Supply Chains: A Shifting Indo-Pacific
An important shift is underway in the global economy: the relocation, diversification, and reshoring of supply chains to various destinations. Nowhere is this more visible than the Indo-Pacific region. But this is not a new phenomenon – global events including the 2008 financial crisis have already revealed profound supply chain vulnerabilities and prompted companies to re-strategize. That said, in recent years, these trends have only been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing geo-political tensions, and global supply chain disruptions. This has been leading companies to further prioritize resilience and diversification over cost and efficiency, prompting them to look for new outlets for their production and sourcing.
In 2020, due to world-wide travel restrictions, lockdowns, and resulting logistics problems, overall annual flows of global foreign direct investment (FDI) sharply declined by 35%. The full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on future foreign investment remains uncertain. But one consequence is increasingly clear: recognizing the shifting currents in supply chains, many governments are implementing business-friendly policies to attract FDI or in some cases incentivizing reshoring. In fact, these policies — boosting foreign investment and building supply chain resiliency — are becoming integral parts of their overarching economic growth and national security strategies.
About the Project
The Asia Society Policy Institute project – Supply Chains: A Shifting Indo-Pacific – examines this emerging trend by mapping out the supply chain and foreign investment policies of economies in the Indo-Pacific region in a dynamic and easy-to-use format. By combining key investment climate information and economy-specific investment policies into a single one-stop-shop resource, this tool aims to provide stakeholders with a simple and informative way to stay abreast of policy trends in this dynamic area. We hope this new, digital tool proves useful to companies looking to diversify supply chains and mitigate risk, U.S. policymakers focusing on promoting supply chain resiliency and reducing vulnerabilities, and Asian governments looking to learn more about what their neighbors are doing in this space.
Currently, the geographic scope of the project includes 17 Indo-Pacific economies: Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Across these economies, over 180 policies have been mapped out in detail, including tax incentives, subsidies and the creation of special economic zones, as well as those limited to specific sectors including information and communication technology (ICT), medical, automotive and agriculture. The data and policies will be regularly updated and expanded over time.
In an increasingly uncertain and interconnected world, supply chain disruptions are expected to continue, whether due to geopolitical tensions, climate change, future pandemics, or other crises. The ability for firms and policymakers to keep abreast of the latest policy trends will be ever more critical in coming years. As a one-stop-shop for key data and information, this ASPI tool aims to provide a fresh look into this increasingly relevant topic.