Robotics and reshoring - Employment implications for developing countries

This volume addresses the impact of automation on employment in global supply chains.

Much of the discussion of the impact of automation on employment has focused on developed countries. Yet for developing countries a key concern is the prospect of “reshoring” or “nearshoring” – the opposite of offshoring – in which production shifts from developing back towards developed countries. These shifts would be enabled by automation in the labour-intensive sectors that have provided developing countries with strategic entry points into global markets and continue to employ large numbers of workers, often disproportionately women. The COVID-19 crisis has lent renewed urgency to the discussions on such restructuring of global supply chains. Relatively absent in these discussions is a sense of how automation plays out on the shop-floor. This has motivated the industry case studies in this volume, addressing the implications of the increased use of robots and ITC-enabled automation in the apparel and electronics industries as well as in retail warehousing and business process outsourcing.