The Fourth Industrial Revolution1 and emerging technologies— such as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, robotics and additive manufacturing—are spurring the development of new production techniques and business models that will fundamentally transform production. Both the speed and the scope of technological change, combined with the emergence of other trends, add a layer of complexity to the already challenging task of developing and implementing industrial strategies that promote productivity and inclusive growth.
Further, recent changes put the competitiveness paradigm of low-cost manufacturing exports as a means for growth
and development at risk. Countries need to decide how to best respond in this new production paradigm vis-à-vis their national strategies and their ambition to leverage production as a national capability. This requires countries to first understand the factors and conditions that have the greatest impact on the transformation of their production systems and then assess their readiness for the future. Subsequently, governments— together with industry, academia and civil society—can take suitable policy actions to close potential gaps related to their readiness for the future of production.
The data-driven Readiness for the Future of Production Assessment 2018 analyses how well positioned countries
are today to shape and benefit from the changing nature of production in the future. Readiness is generally regarded as the ability to capitalize on future production opportunities, mitigate risks and challenges, and be resilient and agile in responding to unknown future shocks. As shown in Figure 1, the assessment is made up of two main components: Structure of Production,
or a country’s current baseline of production, and Drivers of Production, or the key enablers that position a country to capitalize on the Fourth Industrial Revolution to transform production systems.
The 100 countries and economies included in the assessment are assigned to one of four archetypes based on
their performance in the Drivers of Production (vertical axis) and Structure of Production (horizontal axis), as shown in Figure 2. The assessment is comprised of 59 indicators across the Drivers of Production and Structure of Production components. The end of this report includes detailed Country Profiles that can be used by policy-makers, business leaders and others to identify specific opportunities and challenges for individual countries as they navigate the future of production.