Globalisation is nothing new but its meaning is constantly evolving. Once associated with low–cost manufacturing overseas, then a wave of foreign direct investment by Western multinationals into unsophisticated emerging markets, it has most recently been exemplified by the offshoring of back–office processes to low–cost locations. To judge by the results of this year's CEO Briefing survey, the terms of globalisation are changing again.
Customers in emerging markets are becoming far more important and far more demanding; offshoring is no longer driven solely by cost; and competition from overseas and domestic rivals is increasing in every market. The distinctions between high–cost mature markets and low–cost developing ones remain acute, of course, but they are less clear–cut than they once were.
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