Mary SciannaClick image to enlargeIndia has a problem and it's looking at manufacturing to fix it. The country's services sector, which has driven economic growth in that country for years, is shrinking and some are proposing India refocus its efforts on manufacturing


India's solution may become a problem for North America if it succeeds. Despite the recent trend toward reshoring, spurred in part by rising manufacturing costs in countries like India and China, initiatives by these country and by other low-labour cost countries to strengthen manufacturing threatens the fragile movement we call reshoring in Canada and the US.

The potential lure to offshore again to other countries isn't likely to be about low cost labour; increasingly it's likely to be about simply having a more attractive business environment in which to invest. According to a recent Bloomberg ranking, Canada isn't likely to attract a lot of new business investment in the future. And businesses aren't going to head to China either.

Bloomberg's ranking of the "30 Most Innovative Countries" ranked Canada 11th, which isn't bad until you look deeper into the scores. The total ranking looked at 50 countries and in R&D intensity and patent activity Canada was 24th and 23rd respectively, which points to our country's inability to commercialize on innovative R&D ideas. In manufacturing capability, it ranked 32. China ranked 25th overall. The big winners? South Korea and Sweden, which held the number 1 and 2 spots respectively in the ranking.

What this means for Canada is that we need to pull up our boot straps and figure out a way to make sure the reshoring trend continues to move in our direction and not move away to India, South Korea or even Sweden. Canada needs to work harder at moving up the rank [i.e. become more productive and more innovative] to reach for that metaphorical number one position and attract and maintain businesses in Canada to ensure future jobs and economic growth.

If South Korea and Sweden can do it, why can't Canada?

For the record, the Federal government has outlined some initiatives about retaining and encouraging business investment in Canada in the recent Federal Budget released on February 11 (Read SMT's comments about the Federal budget online at, but we think our readers may have some better ideas about what
we can do.

If you have suggestions, please share your ideas with us. We'll collect responses, publish them in the magazine and work with the industry's key associations to get your voice heard by the Federal government. Canada's manufacturing industry needs to speak up for itself and there is no better way to do this than with one loud collective voice to get the government's attention.

Let's work together to make some positive changes and maybe within the next five years, Canada may be able to secure its place as a permanent home for reshoring.SMT

Finding opportunity (when it's not knocking at your door)

Manufacturers recognize the value of setting themselves apart in a competitive marketplace.

Skilled Labour to the Rescue

By Michael Ouellette, editor

Machine Tool Maintenance

by Douglas Rizzo

Your machine tool can last decades if you take care of it

Industry 4.0 for Fabricators

by Robin Stuhler

Countering increasing market pressure with interconnected solutions

Okuma's Winter Showcase 2107 highlights leading edge technologies

Okuma held its Winter Showcase 2017 at its North American headquarters in Charlotte, NC. Hundreds came out to see the latest in machine tools and machining technologies.

A history of GM in Oshawa

A video look at GM's long history in Oshawa, Ontario.

When chatter is a good thing

by Tim Wilson

There is room for manufacturers to up their marketing game

Marketing a shop's capabilities to the right audience can make a real difference to the bottom line, but unfortunately many manufacturing businesses either don't know how to approach marketing, or consider it a low priority. That's too bad because there are some low-cost approaches that can bring impressive results. These include social media, which is poorly utilized in the sector.

Balancing the Value Chain

by Michael Ouellette

Fabricating case study: 30% Productivity Boost

Investing in new bending, fiber laser cutting technology for a greenfield site boosts efficiency for Ontario custom job shop

Finding The Right Drill Size For Tapping

by Marlon Blandon

Are you really getting the best results from your taps? Avoid common mistakes.

Cutting tools tips: drilling deep

by Manfred Lenz

Overcoming deep hole drilling challenges

Watch your language

by Mary Scianna

People working in English dominant countries like Canada and the US take language for granted.

7 Amazing CNC machines you should have

See these innovative CNC machines that can enhance your CNC machine shop.

3D printed pizza and 17 other 3D printed objects

A 3D printed pizza from NASA and 17 other ojects made using additive manufacturing.

Stay In Touch

twitter facebook linkedIn