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Michał Krawczyński, Piotr Czyżewski and Karol Bocian

Abstract

The weakening EU and US economies in the aftermath of the global crisis of 2007 need an impulse to act for the improvement of their condition. The analysis of the history of the GDP of selected world economies suggests that a remedy for it may be the strengthening of the industrial sector. By strengthening, we mean its growth, that is, building and developing manufacturing plants. Large multinationals have generally been relocating their production to China, where labor costs have traditionally been a couple of times lower than in the US or the EU. However, over the past years, the pay gap between the US and China has narrowed, and transport prices have gone up. These are the reasons why numerous large American companies decided to transfer part of their business processes back to the homeland. Also, the EU has been taking account of the benefits of a stable industry. Therefore, it has launched the strategy of “European industry rebirth” that entails a growth of the industry’s share in the GDP up to the level of 20%. In order for EU countries to be able to attain it, the paper raises the issue of the Industrie 4.0 methodology, premises and guidelines may, to a large extent, contribute to success. The paper also takes an in-depth look at Industrie 4.0 and discusses its pros and cons. We attempt to provide an answer to the question of whether Industrie 4.0 may be a tool for reindustrialization.