Despite two decades of outsourcing and globalisation, the US remains the world’s largest manufacturer in 2009. However, its share of world value-added in manufacturing declined from around 22.7% of the total in 1990 to less than 20% in 2009. China’s share rose from a minute 2.7% to 17.5% over the same period, taking over Japan, hitherto the world’s second largest manufacture, whose share dropped from 17.7% to 11.4% over the two decades.
China’s increase was a fillip to the share of emerging markets in general, with BRIIC countries (which as well as China include Brazil, Russia, India, Indonesia and South Africa) accounting for a quarter of value-added in manufacturing in 2009 compared with less than 10% in 1990.
This is in contrast with the fall in the share of several other OECD countries has also fallen, notably in Germany by three percentage points to just over 6% of the total. The EU now accounts for only 17.5%. Two OECD countries that saw slight increases include Australia, whose share edged up to 1% of the total, as it gained from the Asian boom, and Mexico, whose share reached 1.8%, up from 1.3%, reflected this economy’s emerging status.
©OECD Observer No 286 Q3 2011
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