globalEDGE Blog - By Tag: manufacturing

As Brazil is busy finishing the last construction for the 2014 World Cup, Qatar, the host of the 2022 World Cup, has started its infrastructure improvement plan to welcome its guests from all over the world. This preparation has really brought Qatar into the eyes of investors with high expectations for economic gains. Qatar is not alone, as we see millions of “host money” from foreign investors has pushed the UAE’s stock market also to a new high. This blog will give you the overviews of Qatar’s and the UAE’s economy in the recent years and will explain the reason why Qatar and the UAE have experienced growth in foreign investment.

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People’s attention shifted to the U.S. stock market again when stock prices dropped by 10 percent and hit a record low since October 2011. Although the recent ease-money government policies played a role in the price drop, the main reason for the decline was the global growth slowdown.

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Singapore opened its first “green” factory two months ago setting up a milestone for Singapore’s green industry. The news brought great attention to a broader area—Asia, and people soon realized that most manufacturers in Asia have begun to turn “green” in recent years. This is becoming a trend in Asia that cannot be held back.

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For decades, free trade has received major support in the increasingly globalized market. of today. To account for the economic effects of free trade, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has caught the attention of economists and has become one of the most important components of measuring the economy. Since the Great Recession in 2008, most countries, especially the United States, have been experiencing a huge decline in FDI. However, in certain parts of America, we may see a much needed comeback of foreign investments in the next two years.

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This year the spring slowdown in manufacturing may slow down more than anticipated. Following disappointing results in the manufacturing activity and industrial production worldwide, analysts are saying that with the already weak economies in China, Germany, and the United States, the slowdown could impact more than just spring. Germany has had a trend in weaker manufacturing activity, and the U.S. has been introduced to sequestration due to its weak trend in the industry. If China, Germany and the United States can’t find a way to power their manufacturing activity this slowdown could have global effects.  

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After last year’s scare in China with the manufacturing industry taking a step backwards with a year of contraction, it has rebounded and returned to positive growth for four straight months. However, February was China’s lowest month of positive growth since November after posting record growth in January. February’s growth was 50.4, while in January it was 52.3. On the scale, readings above 50 indicate expansion, while below 50 indicates contraction.

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With the global economy in a slump, there are many industries that are suffering. You do not have to look very far to find news about spending cuts, job loss, and shrinking sales within many sectors. One industry that has managed to escape the blunt of these issues is the automotive industry. A recent report found that auto sales in the United States were the highest in four years, many other countries around the world are experiencing success. Many experts are beginning to ask: is this the beginning of the next big boom for the global auto industry?

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One of the most public dramas that has played out in the downturn of the economy has been the manufacturing sector's struggles. Data released earlier this week shows reason for cautious optimism in the United States. For nearly the first time in four months, manufacturing grew within the United States. While the U.S. welcomes even the smallest improvement, other regions did not fare as well. Both China and the Eurozone continue to see the manufacturing sector of their economy contract.

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The storm caused by the European Debt Crisis has loomed like a dark cloud over much of the world.  But certain sectors of the economy, the transport manufacturing industry in particular, have weathered the turbulent markets.  It is the rise in purchasing manager indexes for the United Kingdom, Switzerland, China, India, and Australia, coupled with the decrease in Germany's unemployment that make economists suggest a boom in the export of cars and machinery for the coming year.

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File under: China, Exporting, Manufacturing

China’s image as a low-cost place of production is likely to change due to the rapid increases in worker wages.  In fact, wages for the average manufacturer worker in China are expected to double by 2015.  As this has begun to unfold, many foreign manufacturers have begun looking for alternative low-cost production bases and have been largely unsuccessful in finding better options.  Foreign reliance on China for inexpensive production will likely be a thing of the past as these wages continue to climb.

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File under: India, Asia, Economy, Manufacturing

Most people think of China or Japan as the most prominent auto manufactures in Asia. That has certainly been the case for the past years but now the country of India is becoming a major manufacturing hub for the continent. Nissan’s Indian factory is less than a year old and covers 600 acres making it one of the company’s largest plants worldwide. Nissan is just one of the many major Asian auto companies that have set up manufacturing hubs in India.

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The largest earthquake ever to hit Japan had detrimental effects on its economy. It also crippled Japan's top automakers, causing millions in lost revenue and almost a complete shutdown of the automakers' plants. What caused this supply chain disaster was the Just-In-Time production model that many automotive manufacturers have turned to in the recent years to decrease carrying costs and inventory. For the most part, this model is very safe but during times of supply shortages, having little on hand causes a big problem. As such, one vehicle contains roughly 50 to 100 microchips that control everything from brakes to navigation systems. To continue the car on the assembly line, not one part can be missing. During the earthquake, the main vendor of microchips had damage at its production facility creating a large shortage of a very hard to manufacture product. This shortage of microchips caused the automotive companies to cut production down to 20 to 50 percent of full operating capacity. Consequently, Japanese automakers are losing market share to American car manufacturers because of this shortage.

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With China being one of Brazil’s most important trading partners, the two have created a whole lot of business and money-making opportunities for both countries. No person knows this more than Eike Batista, a Brazilian minerals tycoon that is now the eighth richest man in the world, with a wealth of $27 billion. He’s gotten there quickly, thanks in large part to China.

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Ahh Silicon Valley – a beautiful 50-mile strip located right on San Francisco Bay between San Francisco and San Jose. It's home to innumerous technology companies including global chip heavyweights Intel and AMD. Silicon Valley used to be the go to place to start a new chip company however startups are starting to attract less funding and much of the development can now be done in China.

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In the last few days, news of yet another product recall was released. Abbott Labs, a global pharmaceutical company, informed customers that one of their baby formulas called Similac was contaminated with small beetles. This time, the damage is limited and the worst of the symptoms is a sick tummy. In other recall cases, there are serious consequences for errors in judgment on the part of the manufacturer. Case in point: Toyota. Product recalls are on the rise – Why? In the flurry of new quality management techniques such as “six sigma”, what is causing companies to miss the mark and release potentially dangerous products to the unsuspecting public?

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The United States has long been known as a global powerhouse when it comes to innovation – especially when it comes to manufacturing. These innovations may not necessarily be products (although some certainly were) but, rather, just tweaks to the manufacturing process that greatly improved efficiency (think of interchangeable parts or the assembly line, both developed by Americans). However, in today’s global economy, the United States is losing jobs in the industrial manufacturing sector, despite still being on the forefront of innovation. Many claim that this is simply because of the lower wages required in other countries, but is that the only reason why?

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Say goodbye to your flat-screen TV and that new car battery you were going to buy. In late July China announced that they would be decreasing the supply of rare earth metals to the rest of the world. Now it may not seem like an obvious connection but these rare earth metals in question are the materials that help produce our flat-screen monitors, car batteries, and many more products we manufacture and sell. Now the question comes to, why is China doing this?

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Singapore's economy grew 38% in the first three months of this year. That is the strongest quarterly growth ever recorded in Singapore's history. The key to this recovery and of the Singapore economy as a whole is the manufacturing industry. Healthcare and electronics are the two biggest sectors for this industry in Singapore. Many companies that produce high-tech medical devices are looking to expand into China. China is a huge potential market as they grow and are looking for these high-tech equipments with their increased buying power.

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