After the global pandemic COVID-19 decimated the global economy in the 2020's and into the 30's, the world has had to recalibrate. Now, in the roaring 50's with global domination of markets by corporate monopolies disrupted, the global economic trend is increasingly local and with much shorter supply chains.
June 26th 2050
The USA has announced a withdrawal of a further 30% of their trade with Vietnam. The USA was a key customer of Vietnam's electronics manufacture, but as the USA ramps up their domestic industry they are becoming less dependent on foreign industries. In line with the USA’s foreign policy pivot away from East Asia to increasingly localise and a renewed focus on Western Europe.
This has been consistent with a global trend toward shorter supply chains and localisation of supply for essential goods. The COVID-19 scare of the early 2020’s and subsequent global 8 year long recession saw the acceleration of this trend as it revealed the weaknesses of the globalised economy and countries' reliance on foreign product and resources, with medical supplies and pharmaceuticals being the hardest hit.
Although working hard to secure domestic supply of essential goods, countries in the Asia Pacific are continuing to collaborate effectively on urgent and dynamic environmental and health issues affecting the entire region. This includes diplomatic negotiation around resettlement of climate refugees. Skills sharing, thinktanks, knowledge pooling, and inter-island collaboration has been a focus for several governments in the region: Australia, PNG, Solomon Islands, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and Myanmar, Fiji, Tonga.
This growing trend away from a globalised economy and towards more domestic manufacturing has meant that certain essential goods (such as pharmaceuticals, personal computers, digital devices, clothes and non-perishable foodstuffs, vehicles, building materials and household electronics) are often more expensive than in previous eras where their cheap manufacture and shipping costs meant that their price was lower. This has affected the amount of disposable income available to consumers of all backgrounds and has contributed to Australia’s slowing economic growth.
As production of all kinds of goods land back on local soil, there has been a push to boost local manufacturing skill sets, as state and federal government are encouraging high school graduates to learn trades, universities are struggling to offer educational programs to fill these economic demands while technical colleges are seeing an explosion of enrollments.