News & Analysis

WEF: Emerging Europe Ready for the Future

robotic machine tool in industrial manufacture plant,Smart factory industry 4.0 concept.

Four Emerging Europe countries are among the leading nations ranked in the first edition of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Readiness for the Future of Production report. The report takes into account a country’s readiness to capitalise on future production opportunities, mitigate risks and challenges, and be resilient and agile in responding to unknown future shocks.

Of the 100 countries and economies included in the assessment, only 25 countries are classed as ‘leading’, that being in the best position to benefit from the changing nature of production. Among them, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Poland and Slovenia, which already account for over 75 per cent of global Manufacturing Value Added (MVA) are well positioned to increase their share in the future.

“As production systems stand on the brink of another technological revolution, countries need to build awareness of the changing nature of production, determine how to best prepare to benefit from this transformation and collaborate across the public and private sector to enhance readiness,” said Helana Leurent, head of the Future of Production System Initiative at the WEF.

The assessment has been 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 capitalise on the Fourth Industrial Revolution to transform production systems (Technology and Innovation, Human Capital, Global Trade and Investment, Sustainable Resources, Institutional Framework, Demand Environment).

According to the report, today’s economies have to improve their complexity with policies that encourage diversification and move towards more complex products. Examples of these policies may involve upgrading infrastructure, cold chain logistics and customs efficiency to allow a region to move from exporting canned fruit to fresh produce. The creation of special economic zones has allowed countries to attract more foreign direct investment that increases the complexity of their exports by creating microcosms of efficiency.