Speed and agility are essential criteria for today’s manufacturers. As the race to redraw the supply chain map intensifies, regional manufacturing hubs are emerging on every continent. 

China – the undisputed ‘factory of the world’ – is a case in point. For decades it provided Western industrial economies with a reliable way of keeping product prices low. But those days are fading fast. Instead of exporting low-cost products to far away regions, China is now shifting its position to become a production powerhouse for its neighbouring countries in Asia.

Today, a wide range of disruptive factors are prompting global companies to rethink the geography of manufacturing and set up operations closer to customer markets. The march of digitalisation and automation, climate change, volatile trade barriers and the supply chain vulnerabilities exposed by the Covid-19 pandemic are just a few drivers of change.

Is the low-cost business model and outsourcing trend that peaked in the 1990s definitively outdated? What is the situation in Europe and does Sweden hold a trump card in the shift toward near-market manufacturing?

To uncover these answers, we present a collection of viewpoints from experts in Sweden’s industrial frontline. Explore their inside perspectives in this report.   

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