Money Talks: Not made in China

China was the source of $1trn-worth of electronic goods and components in 2021, roughly a third of the global total. And it’s not just consumer electronics that begin their life in China. The country is the source of everything from childrens’ toys to medical equipment—it dominates the global supply chain. But manufacturers are increasingly looking elsewhere to make their products as China’s rising wages and growing tensions with the US make its factories less attractive than its neighbours.

On this week’s podcast, hosts Mike Bird, Alice Fulwood and Tom Lee-Devlin look at Asia’s alternative manufacturing hubs. Manmohan Sodhi, professor of operations and supply chain management at Bayes business school in London, tells them that manufacturing requires more than just factories—it also needs universities, labs and designers. Former diplomat and trade negotiator Wendy Cutler, who is now vice president of the Asia Society Policy Institute, says today’s China-centric supply chain structure is no longer sustainable.

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