In this period of extreme economic uncertainty, it is difficult to pinpoint one or two changes that can be defined as the most important in 2012. However, a development that will have a profound impact is the rise in demand for supply chain skills in developing markets.
China and India are the most obvious examples of countries where the manufacturing base has expanded rapidly. But other emerging nations are following a similar trajectory. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations aims to create a single market by 2015 that could rival established unions such as the European Community. ASEAN countries have a combined population of 600 million people and a GDP of $1.5 trillion. And in Latin America, countries such as Brazil and Colombia are gaining in importance as manufacturing centers.
As these nations boost their output of goods for overseas and domestic markets, they also have an increasing need for logistics and supply chain expertise. But emerging countries do not generally have the educational infrastructure required to supply this level of talent — yet.
Many of these countries have embarked on an impressive expansion of their supply chain education programs. These will be necessary to prepare professionals for the global trading environment of today and tomorrow.