June 2

Viewpoint: Pandemic Is an Opportunity for Developing Nations

By Mihir Sharma

A pandemic that’s devastated emerging markets — which saw more than $100 billion in outflows in March — should be spreading gloom throughout the developing world. If anything, however, there’s uneasy optimism about the future in places such as India, South Africa and Southeast Asia.

The reason? China. Until the pandemic hit, China’s stranglehold over global manufacturing and trade had seemed unbreakable. Even as wages steadily rose on the mainland, companies hesitated to shift production elsewhere. Rival nations seeking to become the base for new supply chains had to compete with formidable network externalities that had built up in China. Many of those developing countries had begun to wonder, with the advent of automation, if they would be locked out of manufacturing-driven prosperity forever.

Photo courtesy of Ted Lee.

Source: Bloomberg (link opens in a new window)

global development, manufacturing, supply chains