Global Agenda Council on Advanced Manufacturing 2012-2014

 

The challenge

Manufacturing is one of the most important economic activities. More than 300 million people around the world are employed in manufacturing, accounting for 14% of global employment. Nevertheless, the share of manufacturing activities and employment as a percentage of GDP continues to drop globally – it now rests at 17%, compared to 27% in 1970. In some economies, this share is declining rapidly, such as in the United States, where it was 12% in 2010. In other countries, the decline is less rapid, such as in China, where it accounted for 33% in 2010.

One of the main challenges regarding manufacturing is that the metric of describing it as a percentage of GDP fails to reflect the sector’s global and complex nature, especially in worldwide value chains, and its impact on capabilities and knowledge dissemination across value chains. To identify and address the fundamental drivers behind the future development of advanced manufacturing, more relevant metrics must be established and more public and private stakeholders aligned at the global level. The Council has been working on two initiatives to achieve this.

What the Council is doing about it

Firstly, the Council is working to identify and establish a common framework describing manufacturing capabilities that will support public-private dialogue. The framework could be based on global value chains, knowledge networks and manufacturing capabilities measurement. Gary Gerreffi, a professor at Duke University and an expert on value chains, is leading a group to compile relevant case studies on global value chains in two industries, apparel and automotive. The Council will assess the private sector’s interest in engaging with the public sector in this framework.

The share of manufacturing activities and employment as a percentage of GDP continues to drop globally – it now rests at 17%, compared to 27% in 1970.

Secondly, the Council has signed a letter of intent with UNIDO to set the foundation for a Global Manufacturing Forum. This forum will address the need to advance public-private partnerships in capabilities development to enable nations to move up the global value chain. The Council will act as an advisory board to UNIDO in the management of the Global Manufacturing Forum. The Council will also publish a co-branded World Economic Forum and UNIDO report in June 2014. 

To get involved please contact

Research Analyst: Tiffany Misrahi, Knowledge Manager, Global Agenda Councils, tiffany.misrahi@weforum.org 
Council Manager: Max Bernard, Associate Director, Aviation and Travel Industries, max.bernard@weforum.org 
Forum Lead: John Moavenzadeh, Senior Director, Head, Mobility Industries, john.moavenzadeh@weforum.org