The World Economic Forum has ranked India at the 30th position on the global manufacturing index. China is at the 5th place and India is above other BRICS peers, South Africa, Russia and Brazil. The best structure of production is with Japan followed by South Korea, Germany, Switzerland, China, Czech Republic, US, Sweden, Austria and Ireland who form the top 10. Out of the BRICS nations, Russia is at 35, Brazil at 41 and South Africa at 45th place.
The report by WEF analyses the development of modern industrial strategies and has categorized 100 countries into four groups, Leading, High Potential, Legacy and Nascent. The leading countries have a strong current base and a high level of readiness for the future, the high potential countries have a limited current base and a high potential for future. The legacy countries have a risk for future but a strong current base and Nascent countries have a limited current base and a low level of readiness for future. India is in the legacy group with Mexico, Russia, and Hungary, Philippines, Turkey, Thailand and many others. China is in the leading countries and Brazil and South Africa are in Nascent.
India is the fifth largest manufacturer in the world with a total manufacturing value added exceeding USD 420 billion in 2016. The country’s manufacturing sector has grown by more than 7 percent per year on average in the last three decades and accounts for 16-20 percent of the country’s GDP. The demand for Indian manufactured products is increasing and the country has room for improvement across the drivers of production. The biggest challenges for India are sustainable resources and human capital. The country will need to raise the capabilities of the young and fast growing labour force. This requires upgrading education curriculum, improving digital skills and revamping vocational training programs. The ‘Make in India’ initiative by the Government was noted and it has improved key enablers which led to a move towards a connected economy.
India is ranked 9th in terms of the scale of production while for its complexity, it is at 48. India is 3rd in terms of market size while the country is ranked poorly in female participation in labour force, regulatory efficiency, trade tariffs and sustainable resources. Overall, the country is ranked better than the neighbors Sri Lanka which is at 66th position and Pakistan which is at 74th position. Bangladesh is at the 80th position. Other countries ranked below India include Turkey, New Zealand, Singapore, Indonesia, Canada, UAE, Mauritius, Hong Kong and Australia. There are many countries which ranked better than India; these include Mexico, France, UK, Singapore, Malaysia, Spain, Denmark, Netherlands, Thailand, Italy, Romania, Philippines and Israel.
WEF had a separate list of countries which were best positioned to capitalize on the fourth industrial revolution in order to transform production systems. US is at the top, followed by Singapore, Switzerland, UK and Netherlands in the top five.