Over the past several years, the global competitiveness of manufacturing in Europe has been challenged. It certainly has been acknowledged that the ability of European manufacturing economies to compete globally has been weakened both by the challenges in their respective economies, as well as an increasingly strong global competitive landscape.
Amidst these challenges in Europe, global competitors have also been clearly getting stronger, and the bar is rising. For example, in the U.S., the ability to extract shale gas has given the U.S. both a significant and relatively long term energy advantage. This advantage comes both in a secure source of energy through plentiful shale reserves, and also at a very competitive cost. In the emerging markets of Asia, both in the major market of China, as well as in frontier markets such as Thailand and Indonesia, capabilities continue to mature. Based on our recent Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index
, executives view China as the strongest in terms of global manufacturing competitiveness. The frontier markets also have very strong momentum, and are viewed as very important markets in the years ahead.