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Special Report – Global Supply Chains: New Directions

By Standard Chartered Bank

Summary

Global supply chains (GSCs) have transformed trade and the world economy in the last 30 years. We argue they will continue to expand, though more slowly than before, and could significantly boost productivity. But patterns will likely change.

Robotics could challenge the low-wage model while 3D printing could bring a shift to customised products, made locally. Offsetting this, better communications such as mobile and the Internet of Things should boost GSCs in both manufacturing and services.

The centre of gravity of low-cost manufacturing looks set to trend west from coastal China, inland and to ASEAN, India and eventually Africa. Improving infrastructure and new trade pacts including the Trans-Pacific Partnership and China’s initiatives may be key drivers.

Services trade is likely to grow fast as digital technology advances. Also, horizontal supply chains – trade between countries at the same wage level, based on firm-level excellence or consumer choice – are likely to grow, and expand among emerging countries.

Please click here for the full report.

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