This is the first in a 5-part series about what I see as the top 5 international business law trends in 2013.
The first trend to watch out for in 2013 is the diminished role of location in global manufacturing.
Look for Indonesia, Nigeria, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and various players in East Africa to lead the pack of emerging contenders in the international manufacturing sector.
Corporations that seek to take advantage of these less costly manufacturing centers will be required to become familiar with a new set of laws in these markets.
Thus, it’s likely that enterprises will need to revise their manufacturing agreements, refresh their compliance programs and examine their employment policies–among others.
The recently released “2013 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index report from Deloitte Touche” does a great job of capturing the changing landscape of the international manufacturing sector.
Digital Revolution Makes Location Less Relevant
The Deloitte Report rightfully focuses on the diminished role of location resulting from the digitization of global commerce:
The digital revolution and pace of technological change also profoundly impact the way that business and production are organized. Digital technologies have made many facets of the global economy nearly borderless. In an earlier era, the location of natural resources often determined where manufacturing would take place. In todays economy, knowledge, know-how, technology, creativity and capital are the most important resources for production, and they are highly mobile.
Not surprisingly, national economies and firms are growing more sophisticated in their ability to react to these changes and, where possible, leverage them to their advantage.
The finding of the study confirm that the global competitive landscape for manufacturing will continue to undergo transformational shifts that will redefine where production occurs.
Trend to Watch: Look for increased diversification of global manufacturing operations to less traditional locations.