We can expect a whole bunch of interesting reports from the World Economic Forum in the next couple of weeks -in preparation of the meeting in Davos. One interesting think tank that was created at the previous session is about global advanced Manufacturing:
"In January 2011, the Forum created the Future of Manufacturing project to serve as a high-level cross-industry platform for executives and policy-makers to build strategic insights into the key challenges and future outlook for the global manufacturing ecosystem. The project developed a data-driven narrative to articulate how advanced manufacturing drives economic growth, to identify the macroeconomic trends that are shaping global value chains, and to explore the role of government in different countries, building on workshops in Brazil, China, and India."
The video beneath is a rather condensed summary of this think tank, with plenty of valuable thoughts on the future of manufacturing -among other why manufacturing is important for a nation's economy. It's probably something I have given too few thoughts so far, but manufacturing is unleashing a whole set of services, competencies and innovative forces that are crucial to any country's economy.
Also, given the specific short-term challenges that global manufacturers are facing -volatile currencies, the incremental use of technology in the production process, etc- we might see a 're-aggregation' of the value chain in the coming years (which is a difficult term to say that companies will be doing more of their manufacturing themselves instead of outsourcing big chunks of it).