Readiness for the Future of Production: Country Profiles

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Fast technological change in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution will result in widespread availability of new business models and production techniques that will fundamentally transform our production systems and the path of emerging economies to development. Identifying the capabilities, factors and institutions, needed to benefit from these technological changes and facilitate structural transformations requires a new benchmarking tool to help businesses, governments and civil society to identify priorities for public-private collaboration, track progress and assess new priorities. The possibility of leapfrogging development stages and accelerating inclusive growth processes through effective leveraging of new technologies into production, makes it important to advance in our understanding of these technologies and the processes of structural transformation they will unleash.  

Renewed interest in modern industrial policy and recent academic and policy contributions have highlighted the role of production  in the development process, and the conditions for successful government policies based on sound economic principles and institutional capabilities. Processes of apparent early deindustrialization have highlighted the need for coordinated policy responses to solve market failures and government failures, and coordination failures. This project will be instrumental in applying these insights through the benchmarking of 5 topics that require sound public-private collaboration: innovation and technology, human capital and skills, regulation and governance, natural resources and sustainability, global economy, trade and investment, which will be conditioned by the current structure of production, and consumer trends. 

The speed of technological convergence, redefining the boundaries between traditional manufacturing and services and the nature and speed of structural transformation, together with the disruptions these may have on the use of other factors of production, such as labor, requires new tools to track and understand the drivers of change. It is not enough to understand the transversal factors of competitiveness, but also to have a framework for action on the vertical agenda.

This assessment tool builds on our competitiveness work and provides new insights specific to the incorporation of a new set of identified technologies. It is a more detailed exploration of the issues investigated in the new Framework for Future Preparedness, and will complement the general economics module in that framework. 

Relying on many years of expertise and experience constructing similar tools for competitiveness, the World Economic Forum is uniquely positioned to design a new framework for capabilities for future production that will serve as a catalyst for multistakeholder agendas for future production and a diagnosis tool for modern industrial policy.Additionally, drawing on the expertise of the Global Future Council, the Steering Committee and Stewardship of the initiative, together with the unique access and partnership with governments and industry alike, the Forum can do what no other international organization has been capable of doing: providing a truly multistakeholder platform for a new era of modern industrial policy within the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution addressing the reasons for past failures.

Objectives

The goal of this project is to develop a tool for identifying and monitoring capabilities required for future production, and building multistakeholder agendas for change that will then be possible to track with the tool. A first stage requires formulating a new framework that captures the most recent insights from development theory, modern industrial organization, and the recent literature on modern industrial policy, or productive development policies. A second stage will involve the data collection, calculation, and testing of a scorecard capturing the insights from the framework and gradually increasing coverage as new indicators become available. The construction of this new benchmarking tool will help create a new data set to understand technological diffusion and the patterns of transformation of production systems as well as to point out the need for new indicators and new statistics to capture the capabilities required for production in the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.