The size of electronics production in the Central and Eastern European region is approximately $85 billion and growing rapidly to $100 billion as contract manufacturers and component companies expand their presence there, according to a new Technology Forecasters Inc. report. Hungary is the largest electronics producer in the region, at $28.1 billion, being home to 8100 electronics companies. Though the size of this region’s electronic manufacturing sector is not on the same scale as that in Asia (especially China), close to half of the study’s respondents consider Central and Eastern Europe to be a more desirable manufacturing location than Asia for products heading to European customers (less than 25% prefer Asia, and 30% were uncertain).

“The Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region plays an undeniably important role for the electronics markets in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA),” said Pamela J. Gordon, TFI president. “Our study elicited multifaceted views about advantages and disadvantages of manufacturing in China vs. CEE for EMEA customers; the relative merits of one CEE country over another; how environmental and worker responsibility can tip the scale toward manufacturing, servicing, and recycling in CEE for EMEA markets; and whether the CEE region will have enough design and supply-chain activity to become a major global R&D center. But given that most of the world’s large electronics companies-and many smaller ones-are growing their operations in the CEE region, we are confident that the strategic role of the region will only increase.”

Research for the report, “Electronics Design and Manufacturing in Central and Eastern Europe,” was conducted in 2010 by 10 members of TFI’s analytical and consulting team in Europe, North America, and China. The 54 research respondents were one-third brand-name electronics companies (OEMs); one-third contract manufacturers (EMS, ODM); about 25% component manufacturers and distributors; and the remainder electronic-waste recyclers. Interviewers spoke English, Czech, Hungarian, German, and (for comparisons with China) Mandarin.

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