Exactly a year ago I wrote on the dominance of Factory Asia (China and south-east Asia supply chains) in contributing half of the world’s manufacturing output.

This year, how will rising protectionism from the US administration, disruption from forces such as Brexit and increased security threats affect the Asian manufacturing outlook?

The UN Industrial Development Organization (Unido) expects global manufacturing to remain weak, but compared with other regions, Factory Asia will experience relatively higher growth. The World Bank’s manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index signals continued expansion in China, Indonesia and Vietnam, but a slowdown in Malaysia.

Unido forecasts China’s manufacturing output will increase moderately, at 6.5%, as it is in transition period into higher value-added activities, so facing more balanced growth. India, while experiencing a slight 0.7% dip, is progressing to hi-tech manufacturing.

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