Join Dragon Innovation’s VP of Strategic Planning, Shawn Chang, as he explores the State of Manufacturing in Asia, beyond just China. 

The world of manufacturing is changing. China is still dominant, but is no longer the only major player in the game. Places like Taiwan, Malaysia, and Vietnam have entered the space with gusto, investing in the resources and infrastructure necessary to grow manufacturing in their countries.

Taiwan_Sirtec_1050-T-Injection-MoldingAppreciating how this impacts the manufacturing landscape, and how it may impact your bottom line, requires an in-depth understanding of the current situation in those countries. That’s why Shawn Chang, Vice President of Strategic Planning at Dragon Innovation, is setting off on a 100-day journey to explore the opportunities, pitfalls, and overall implications of a changing manufacturing landscape in Far Eastern countries. You can follow along with Shawn’s journey on Dragon’s blog.

Download Your Guide for Selecting a FactoryIn the meantime, some insights on the state of manufacturing in this part of the world:

Manufacturing overseas can still be beneficial for your bottom line

When looking at manufacturing costs for 2018, it becomes clear just how powerful a decision it is where you make your product. In the United States, for example, manufacturing costs averaged $39.03 per hour. In Japan, they came in considerably lower $26.46 per hour. The costs plummet, however, in developing countries like the Philippines and Indonesia, which come in at $1.12 and $1.04 per hour, respectively. (Trading Economics)

But it’s not always just about the bottom line

If you only look at cost, you may be missing out on the bigger picture. Case in point: Manufacturing in Taiwan is on average 10 - 15% more expensive than in China, but the intrinsic benefits in the former may outweigh the costs. Taiwan can be an ideal destination for lower volume, high-value and high-mix manufacturing. So if you’re looking for somewhere to make a product that is higher quality, harder to make, or is sensitive when it comes to intellectual property (IP), Taiwan may be the right choice. It’s an important thing to remember: The decision on where to manufacture almost always has more factors to consider than simply price.

Keep an eye on the trends

The way things are now aren’t necessarily the way they’ll always be and, though no one has a crystal ball, we can plan for the future by gathering intelligence. Take the area of foreign direct investment, for example. While China has been at the forefront in this area, they are actually experiencing a decrease in foreign direct investment: It went from $290.9 billion in 2013 down to 166.1 billion in 2017. (State Administration of Foreign Exchange China) Other Asian economies, however, are on an upward trend in the same metric, including the Philippines and Japan. (Philippines Central Bank, Ministry of Finance Japan)


As an experienced manufacturing consulting partner, Dragon Innovation always aims to be ahead of the curve when it comes to manufacturing knowledge, intelligence, and experience. Thus begins Shawn’s embarking on this 100-day journey -- we’re excited to share his on-the-ground and in-the-factory insights with you! Stay tuned…

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