April 16, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Chinese goods will no longer be cheap

The world economy is facing a new challenge. After three years characterized by a pandemic, high inflation and geopolitical tensions, a new challenge is now being added.

Asia, the source of most of the world’s cheapest food, is facing a huge headache. Young people no longer want to work in factories, according to the Wall Street Journal. And if they still do it, then they set the salary bar quite high.

Factory operations in Asia are likely to be the swan song of the globalized manufacturing model as we know it so far. Factories have been supplying cheap products to consumers around the world for the past three decades. Americans, Asia’s number one market, may soon feel the rise in prices, said Paul Norris, British co-founder of a Vietnamese garment factory based in Ho Chi Minh City. “People will have to change their consumer habits“, he emphasizes.

Jobs at several factories in Vietnam and China are starting to transform. They have floor-to-ceiling windows, a staff cafe, and free yoga and dance classes. Activities are often organized for employees, such as go-karting or team bowling.

And yet we are not talking about Google, but about shoe and clothing factories. Young Asians, in contrast to their ancestors (prone to slave labor for mere pennies), are beginning to become more demanding, which can be very costly for Western consumers in the very near future.

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