Southeast Asia, Latin America Set to Gain in Post-Pandemic Supply Chains


From multinational makers of clothing to consumer electronics, companies are reassessing their sources of raw materials, parts and factory assembly because of the pandemic, experts say.
That means countries in Southeast Asia and Latin America are becoming key go-to places in the global supply chain as businesses shift away from China post-pandemic.
China had attracted foreign-invested factories since the 1980s for cheap labor and high productivity. But since the pandemic, China’s traditional role as the world’s factory will be reduced, as American and European multinationals look for parts, labor and assembly at home for higher-end goods — nearby or wherever subsidies are available — according to Jayant Menon, a visiting senior fellow with the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute’s Regional Economic Studies Program in Singapore.

While Southeast Asian countries including Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia have been lifting pandemic restrictions this year, China reinstated lockdowns in two major cities. The lockdowns upset factory orders — and raised consumer prices — because of shipping slowdowns and worker shortages.

In addition to pandemic-related disruptions in China, delays caused by worker shortages at major global ports and airports, including South Korea and the United States, have stifled the flow of consumer goods into Europe, North America and parts of Asia.




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