I got a bit of flak for my last global sourcing post on how Some Companies Will Move To China but Others Will Move Closer To Home despite the fact that before the China revolution, Mexican manufacturing was all the rage — and the fact that Mexico still has capability and lots of capacity. While my antagonists may be right in that some verticals will stay in China due to the significant investments that have been made in China in those verticals, not all verticals have made the same level of investment as the high-tech vertical, for example. Also, as per this recent article in Industry Week, even China is adopting near-sourcing!
According to the article, so far, around 950 Chinese companies have set up operations in Egyptian free zones, which represents a total investment of about $300 Million. The breakdown is about 55% (manufacturing) industry, 33% (service), and 12% other (agricultural, tourism, etc.). This is because Egypt is now offering cheap labor (as salaries compete with those in China), investment incentives, and unrestricted exports. Furthermore, given that China is already quite comfortable with Africa (where it invested 7.8B in 2008, up from $0.5B in 2003), this is just the beginning.