We are all aware of the mad rush to manufacture in China, but so are the Chinese. The result has been a major migration of peasants eastward to the heart of China's manufacturing country to get in line for jobs. Recognizing that increased demand equals increased pay, the workers are demanding and getting higher compensation, which is increasing about 17% per year. Pretty soon, the China low-cost option will not be so low cost.
What if you are just getting around to exploring your own low-cost options in China to reduce your production costs? The low-hanging fruit has already been taken, so expect to go inland for reasonable deals, or not go the China at all. This brings us to Vietnam as an increasingly viable low cost alternative. The ports are not as well developed as China and the transportation infrastructure still needs work, but costs are very attractive.
For those interested in this option, on March 19 NEMA's associate member East West Associates brings a wealth of hands-on experience to the NEMA Webinar schedule. East West will host a web seminar titled, "Manufacturing in Vietnam: The Asian Alternative to China." The company works with manufacturing companies to move their production offshore to this emerging economy that offers very real prospects for cost reduction. For more information or to sign up, go to the NEMA Webinar Home Page.