The relocation of manufacturing industry in China deserves our attention, but it is not terrible

Aug 20, 2019  |  by CT
In recent years, the phenomenon of some parts of the mainland’s manufacturing industry moving overseas has been widely concerned by the market, and the Sino-US trade friction in the past year has made it a market concern.

But this kind of moving overseas does not have to be so terrible. This is because:

First, the speed and scope of manufacturing exodus is not as fast and as large as many people think;
Second, the rise of high-end manufacturing after the low-end manufacturing industry moved out;
Third, the growth of the service industry has accelerated after the slowdown in manufacturing growth.
It should be recognized that industrial migration is not only the natural law of world economic development, but also the driving force of global economic growth and the engine of economic upgrading. Five large-scale global industrial migrations have taken place in the history of modern world economy. The current migration of some manufacturing industries from mainland China to Southeast Asia, South Asia and African countries can be regarded as the sixth industrial migration in the history of modern world economy.
The overseas migration of some manufacturing industries in the Mainland is an inevitable phenomenon at the present stage of the development of the Mainland and the global economy. On the other hand, it means that the move does not indicate that the mainland will lose its status as a manufacturing and economic power.
First of all, the speed and scope of manufacturing migration is not as fast and large as many people think. In the past 10 years, how fast has the actual outward migration been and what is the scope? In terms of speed, between 2008 and 2018, with an average annual growth of 2.4% in global trade, the average annual growth of mainland exports was 6.3%. That is to say, mainland exports not only maintained growth, but also grew faster than the growth rate of global trade by 3.9 percentage points.
Secondly, the rapid rise of emerging manufacturing industry in the Mainland will largely offset the impact of the relocation of middle and low-end industries on the manufacturing industry and the economy, thus maintaining the status of manufacturing industry and economic power in the Mainland.
Thirdly, the development of service industry in the Mainland is accelerating, with an average annual nominal growth of 13.1% over the past 10 years, exceeding the industrial growth of 4.3 percentage points. However, its share of GDP is just over 50%, which is still far behind the level of 70% to 80% in developed countries, indicating that it will continue to grow at a high speed in the future. Life service industry will continue to improve, and producer service industry will grow stronger. This will largely offset the impact of the slowdown in manufacturing growth, while continuing to enhance the position of service industry in the economy as a whole, and promote the mainland to become a modern economic power with strong manufacturing and service industries.



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