(MENAFN - Jordan Times) Africa and the Middle East are well placed to succeed China as key manufacturing hubs for low-cost goods, according to a press release from Ernst & Young.
"Exports from Africa and the Middle East are poised to grow by more than 12 per cent over the next decade, the press statement quoted Bassam Hage, MENA markets leader of Ernst & Young, as saying in the 2012 Rapid Growth Markets (RGM) forecast.
"While China is still very competitive, rising wages are opening up opportunities for Africa and the Middle East. With a fast-growing labour force, they have the potential to become the next world assembler, possibly replacing China, with China specialising in higher-value added goods."
He added: "However, for this to happen, there will need to be an investment in infrastructure and the continued fostering of entrepreneurship. RGMs need to look at China and learn from its fostering of small- and medium-sized companies."
Of the 25 Rapid Growth Markets, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region countries include Qatar, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.