For a considerable period, China has been synonymous with the concept of an “Asia’s manufacturing hub” in the minds of importers.
China maintains a competitive edge despite increasing wages over its less sizable manufacturing counterparts.
Nevertheless, in light of escalating uncertainties stemming from the U.S. tariffs on China, exploring alternatives to sourcing from China is a prudent step that should be taken sooner rather than later.
Numerous emerging contenders in Southeast Asia are vying to be recognized as the future global manufacturing hub. Among these contenders, five countries are frequently put forward:
Each of these alternative manufacturing destinations boasts distinct strengths and drawbacks. However, the question remains: how can one determine which country is optimal for their manufacturing relocation?
Let us see the pros and cons of each country if you think of any directly source in Asia.
India is also a highly populated country with a skilled workforce, which offers competitive labour costs. India has got the potential to substitute for China as a manufacturing giant.
- People in India can speak English very well, as it was under British rule for several years. Also, English is the primary official language.
- India is also a very populated country; hence, labour cost is relatively cheap.
- There are many professional companies available with high technical skills.
- Lots of development in infrastructure is taking place in the country to connect different parts of the country.
- There is a lack of enough infrastructural facilities as compared to China.
- Legal requirements of different states can be quite different.
Indonesia is also one of the largest economies in South Asia and a potential directly source in Asia.
- Though Indonesia is not as populated as India and China, it also offers lower labour costs.
- Compared to its neighbouring countries in South Asia, this country enjoys a notably higher level of political stability.
- In comparison to its neighbouring countries, the manufacturing sector in this nation is comparatively less advanced.
- The potential for natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis exist within this country.
Malaysia ranks third and just behind India and Indonesia in its economy.
- Malaysia’s geography offers significant advantages for shipping goods.
- High-skilled labour force available.
- Political instability.
- Labour costs are also much higher in Malaysia.
Thailand manufactures computer components, cars, rubbers, and food processing.
- Infrastructural facilities in this country outshine those in neighbouring nations.
- This country has attracted substantial investments from Chinese companies, leading to a wide availability of Chinese goods here.
- Thailand has been notably affected by the trade tensions between the U.S. and China, largely due to the intricate connections between a majority of Thai products and these tensions.
- Political instability.
- Wages are higher.
The economy of Vietnam is also growing rapidly, and it is also called the “new China”.
- Wages are even lower than in China; however, now, it is on the rise.
- Lots of foreign investments are happening in this country.
- No disaster reported in this country.
- Worker strike is very common in this country as per the data.
- Despite many reforms, it is still ranked lower as compared to China.
Within Southeast Asia, a variety of options present themselves as directly source in Asia alternatives to sourcing from China for importers.
The aforementioned countries are merely a subset of the growing nations in the region that present compelling benefits over Chinese sourcing.
However, the determination to transition manufacturing away from China hinges on your individual sourcing requirements.
Despite this, it is worth noting that sourcing from China continues to retain its pre-eminence among numerous importers.