27 April 2006 | Anusha Bradley
The future of low-cost country sourcing lies in Brazil and India as China will lose its competitive edge, a leading businessman told delegates at a CIPS event in London earlier this month.
Sir Anthony Jolliffe said: "I see China as a 10-year wonder as wages are going up. If I were looking to source now, it would be in Brazil, India and Japan, which is making a comeback. India is giving China a run for its money. Brazil has a large population, is aligned with the West and could be the engine of South America."
Jolliffe, a former Lord Mayor of London, grew his accountancy firm into a multinational operation in 44 countries with 200 partners. He holds directorships in publicly listed firms in the UK, US and Japan.
As director of Turbochef Technologies, which supplies high-tech ovens to Little Chef, Jolliffe described how he outsourced the production of ovens to China to reduce costs. But he brought it back to the US when Chinese labour costs went up and automation in the US made production more efficient and cost-effective.
"The only thing China offers is low-cost labour. When you take that out of the equation it can't really offer anything else."
In the same speech, Jolliffe also declared his distaste for Sir Alan Sugar's "bullying" business tactics displayed on the hit TV show The Apprentice.
"That's all for entertainment. Business is not really done that way. Business is all about good relationships," he added.