New industries will bring improvement in quality, not quantity

 

COVID-19 pandemic has significantly changed industry landscape. We all know that some industries will inevitably decline, while some others will thrive. Typical manufacturing companies that rely on global supply chain will face adversity as they would face more risks of supply chain disruption and rise of protectionism.

 

On the other hand, others such as medical service (including telemedicine), risk and security management, non-face-to-face business and automation robotics industry, to name a few, will have opportunities for growth post COVID-19 pandemic period.

 

What will be the impact of decline of traditional manufacturing and rise of these new industries?

 

First, growth would entail little to no employment creation. Growth in traditional manufacturing industry led to job creation as factories need workers. However, automation, non-face-to-face business and telemedicine service rarely need to hire people, let alone replacing existing workers with automation and robots.

 

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Another consequence would be that growth in industry and economy does not entail materialistic growth. Growth of traditional manufacturing created abundance of goods and materials, bringing quantitative improvements to our lives.

 

However, new industries will bring more fine-tuned improvements to our lives, such as environmentally friendly goods, less work with better access to services, and safe management of risks. In other words, improvements will be made in more subtle areas where traditional industries have not addressed properly.

 

Are these changes desirable? Humanity will keep making progress after COVID-19 pandemic as it always has, but the benefit of progress may be a little bit different from what it used to be.

 

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