Europe and US ‘could pay price of failed trade treaties’

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The economists and business consultants behind the Chatham House report recommend that world governments must find a way to support free trade and resist protectionist pressures or leave developed countries facing a long period of tepid growth.

Failure to broker international trade agreements will leave the way clear for developing countries such as China – already the world’s largest manufacturer – and India to grab an even bigger chunk of the manufacturing sector.

The developing countries growth is being driven by the emergence of a huge middle class that will need consumer goods and vast infrastructure investments, according to ‘The World’s Industrial Transformation’. They examined four key sectors – aircraft, automotive, pharmaceutical and retailing – to assess which industries will drive future growth.

It surmises: “Global agreements such as the stalled Doha round now seem to be beyond the reach of the international community but fresh attempts to promote international trade and investment, including regional initiatives such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, should be strongly supported.”

Other findings conclude that China will challenge the Boeing/Airbus duopoly by 2020 in the aircraft industry and will be an important player by 2030, based on the country’s huge domestic demand for aircraft. 

Meanwhile car ownership in the developing world will soar, and production will increasingly be concentrated in these markets.  Most dramatically, in the automotive sector, China produced more vehicles in 2011 than the United States and Japan combined.