Ubiquitous research firm iSuppli feels a China backlash is coming, with OEMs rediscovering other Southeast Asian nations as manufacturing hotspots. In a new white paper, Validating Vietnam, the firm specifically fingers Vietnam as a likely candidate for a resurgence.
Well, maybe. Few doubt Vietnam’s possibilities; we published an article from EMS provider Spartronics Jason Craft last October that explained the nation’s potential in detail. But Vietnam will remain small potatoes compared to its SE Asia neighbors. The Philippines and Malaysia, I would argue, with their comparatively long histories of electronics manufacturing, are in better shape to catch China’s scraps.
That’s if there are any scraps to be had. Incredibly, China is still scratching the surface of being a player. Most of the country remains untouched by the rest of the world. When they run out of low-cost workers in Shenzhen and Shanghai and Beijing, companies will move inland. And iSuppli’s own data forecast China remaining on the road toward its goal of becoming The World’s Workshop.
It’s reassuring to read that all the world’s eggs won’t end up in one basket. Truth is, they never were going to. But I think it’s a stretch to think Vietnam, to name one, will emerge as anything more than a third tier player.