Product Sourcing Outside China // 13 Best Alternatives to China Manufacturing

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What products can you source outside of China? What countries are the best to find manufacturers outside China? What products are made in Vietnam, Taiwan, India and more? We’ll go through and answer these questions and more in this guide on product sourcing outside of China.
Vietnam is a good alternative for manufacturing outside China

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

With the double whammy of the trade war and the CoronaVirus, there has been a huge interest in sourcing suppliers outside of China. However, sourcing outside of China isn’t for every product. So who do you know if you should source products outside china and which country is best for you? 

Over the last month, We, the Team at Cosmo Sourcing, have been talking daily to clients whose supply chains are disrupted by the factory shutdowns from Coronavirus and need to find a new supplier outside of China. 

Unfortunately, we have to turn down many potential clients because there is not a suitable supplier in Vietnam. Other clients have unrealistic expectations of how factories work and think it’s as easy as China. These clients are unaware of the difference in finding a suitable manufacturer in Vietnam or anywhere outside of China, so we need to be very careful to make sure they understand before we start a project. 

In this guide, we’ll first answer what types of products you should source in China, then what’s different about sourcing outside China, and then go over a country by country list of what products can be sourced outside China. 

What products should you source outside China? 

If you are looking to source suppliers and manufacturers outside of China you need to be mindful that non-China countries tend to only specialize in a few different industries and products. Chian is basically a one-stop-shop where you can get pretty much anything and everything made. Unfortunately, no other country comes close to competing with 

Broadly speaking you need to focus on items that are price sensitive in the market they are sold and items that are not time-sensitive. China has one of the most efficient supply chains in the world, so you need to understand that other countries do have delays that just happen. 

Things to keep in mind about sourcing outside China 

If you are looking outside of China for suppliers you need to understand that the process is different. One of the most common mistakes that I see is buyers expecting other suppliers in other countries to work the same as they do in China. If you have only bought from China, then you need to understand that 

Slower response times

China is hypercompetitive, pretty much every industry and product niche has several suppliers that directly compete against each other and the factories will have a sales staff that is dedicated to responding as quickly and thoroughly as possible. Outside China, most factories tend to have a few engineers or other staff who handle sales as a side job and view sales as secondary. 

At Cosmo Sourcing we budget up to 2 weeks from the time we send out RFQs and we have to be aggressive in pursuing and following up with them. IN china we post a few requests and let suppliers come to us. 

ODM Products are much harder to find

Most factories outside of China are OEM or Contract manufacturers that expect you the buyer to have the design files produced and will make your product according to your specifications. Very few factories outside China have their own designs and products ready to go. 

Original Design Manufacturers (ODM) means that the factory is producing their own designs in house and selling them to buyers. This practice is extremely common with Private label business and Drop Shipping Business.  As a result, it is very difficult if not impossible to find a good supplier for private labels outside of China. 

When talking to potential clients who are sourcing in Vietnam for the first time, I really make a point to highlight the differences and make sure that they either have the product spec sheet made or are willing to work with someone who can make it. 

For more information about the different types of Suppliers check out our articles: OEM Vs ODM vs Contract Manufacturing // How Manufacturers work with you

Focus on finding and export-focused manufacturer 

Just because a factory makes an item does not mean that it’s a suitable supplier. You need to understand that making an item for the domestic market is different than making Item for the international market. 

There are extra steps and certifications that a factory must obtain in order to export and get their product imported. In the EU, you need to get CE certifications, many products need lab testing to sell, and if it involves electricity then you’ll need UL certifications. Make sure you work with a factory that knows what they are doing. 

In addition, the factory or suppliers need to understand the expectation of quality that the consumers in the destination country expect. It’s much harder to meet these standards if the factory does not have previous experience exporting to the destination country.

Different Culture than China 

Every culture around the world is different, in both how they do business and how they interact with foreigners. Do not go in expecting it to be the same as in China or your home country. I can’t give much singular advice on this as Vietnam is different from Mexico and India is different than even Malaysia. 

That being said, I’ve done business in over a dozen countries and there are some universal values that apply to every country. Be polite yet professional, be quick to compliment and slow to criticize. Always try to understand the culture and take advantage of opportunities to do so. Always be curious and not afraid to ask questions. I’ve found that almost everywhere people are proud of their heritage and are happy to show it off. From my experience, this is true everywhere in the world… Except for Chile. Not sure what I did wrong there but I did not have a good experience. 

Components are still sourced from China

No other country has a supply chain as diverse and vertically integrated as China, and whoever is second is not even close. Because of this even though the bulk of manufacturing and final assembly is done outside of China many components and sub-assemblies still need to be sourced or manufacturers in China. Right now (Feb 2020)  we are having an issue with getting backpacks finished in Vietnam because the zippers and some plastic latches came from China. 

There are many cases like this in the world. Our wooden furniture is made in Vietnam or Malaysia but the metal handles come from China. Doing plastic injection in Taiwan or Thailand? You still probably need to order the mold from China. For the many products, you are only outsourcing the final assembly outside of China. 

Use alternatives to Alibaba to find supplies 

Alibaba is so popular among Chinese suppliers and foreign buyers in China that it’s pretty much the default method for finding suppliers. Many people have only used Alibaba and have had a great deal of success finding a reliable and reputable supplier for their business. 

Even though Alibaba has suppliers outside of China they tend to be few and far between. Vietnam, for instance, has a strong distrust of all things Chinese and almost no factory uses Alibaba. This is the same for many other countries. As a result, it’s Best to use Alibaba Alternatives. 

We made this list of more than 50 Alibaba alternative form Around the world to find suppliers outside China. We cover Alibaba Alternatives in Vietnam, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and more. Many of these are not true Alibaba alternatives but are more of a database, b2b suppliers list, and ore. Some of these have features like the RFQ feature that Alibaba has, others just have the contact info and you can reach out to factories directly. 

Finally, When searching for suppliers don’t forget that google works well. Google, which is banned in China,  is not banned in the rest of the world. You can literally just google “[product] manufacturer/suppliers in [country]” and you’ll get tons of results. 

List of Products made outside China

No country can make the depth and quantity of products of China, as a result, you need to focus on the product you are sourcing and then select a country that currently can make it. We go through more than a dozen alternatives to China for Sourcing products.  

IN order to select which products we featured, the team at Cosmo Sourcing went through the list of products that clients and potential clients requested. This included over 1,000 requests over the last two years. We then assigned the products to their nearest categories and researched exports form three dozen countries, and selected the countries.  

The list of which products were featured in each country is focused on products and product categories, that potential clients have requested, we then researched the countries best suited. It’s a partially scientific method but more based on gut feeling from sourcing products for more than 5 years from inside and Outside China. These countries are presented in no particular order, but for general sourcing  Vietnam, India, and Thailand tend to be the best suited. 

What are the top Products Manufactured outside China

  • Clothing
  • Shoes
  • Plastic goods
  • Stamped metal parts 
  • Leather goods
  • Wooden goods
  • Rubber and silicone goods
  •  Packaging 

What Products are Made in Vietnam 

For this section we worked with the Vietnam Sourcing company, Cosmo Sourcing, to figure out which products they have had the best success finding manufacturers for clients.  

Vietnam exported over USD 290 Billion worth of goods in 2018, and that number is rising fast. The country’s exports increased by 36% in 2017. Just over half of Vietnam’s exports ended up in Asia, while over 20% made its way to the US and Canada, and 19% ended up in the European Union. Vietnam is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world and is the country best suited to replace China in the supply chain. Vietnam is home to 93 Million people and exports almost 3,000 USD per capita. 

Clothing and Textiles Suppliers in Vietnam 

Vietnam produced and exported over $30 Billion in textiles and clothing in 2017 and is experiencing over 10% growth a year in the industry. Several large companies do a bulk of their manufacturing here. Patagonia and The North Face do a bulk of its production in Vietnam, as well as H&M, Uniqlo, Gap, J.Crew among many others. Vietnam is also leading the way in sustainable manufacturing practices in the industry. Next time you buy a shirt or clothing item check the label to see where it is made, there’s a good chance it’s made in Vietnam.

Footwear Suppliers in Vietnam 

Vietnam is one of the largest manufacturers of shoes in the world and has the largest export capacity in the world. Vietnam produces over $12 Billion worth of shoes a year and is growing fast. Also over 90% of the shoes that are produced in Vietnam are exported overseas, which is the highest rate in the world by far. Vietnam isn’t limited by whose style either. Nike, Adidas, and many other brands have a huge manufacturing presence here. The output ranges from high-end leather shoes and sneakers to cheap flip flops and everything in between.

Luggage, Bags, Purses, and Backpacks Suppliers in Vietnam 

Vietnam has a large amount of ‘cut and sews’ factories that can make products out of any kind including backpacks and other luggage. We have done projects in Vietnam with Briefcases,  duffle bags, backpacks, Ikea style bags, tote bags, purses, weekender bags and much more. 

Consumer Goods  Suppliers in Vietnam 

Consumer goods, which is admittedly a very broad category, is Vietnam’s largest industry. In 2017, Vietnam exported over 70 Billion dollars worth of products classified as consumer goods. Consumer goods are anything that ends up being used by an end consumer (as opposed to a business). For FBA sellers this is good news since most of what is already sold on Amazon is classified as a consumer good.

Plastic and rubber goods  Suppliers in Vietnam 

Vietnam exports over $5 Billion a year in Rubber and plastic goods. Most of these tend to be basic consumer goods such as rubber dog toys to sunglasses. Vietnam has a large capacity to produce goods. The most common method is plastic injections, but you can find any methods here including plastic extrusion and plastic welding. Rubber manufacturers in Vietnam are easy to find and can cover all rubber needs such as extrusion, latex dipping, molding, and calendaring. If you are sourcing a product or components made of Rubber or Plastic then Vietnam is a great option for you.

Iron and Steel Suppliers in Vietnam 

Iron and steel are one of Vietnam’s fastest-growing industries, growing at a staggering rate of over 20% a year for almost a decade now. Vietnam is the largest consumer and producer of steel in South East Asia. Vietnam can make over 16 million tons of steel a year and over 5 million tons of Iron. IN addition to manufacturing Raw steel Vietnam is also one of the largest importers of Scrap metals and has a tremendous capacity to recycle the scrap into finished goods.

We’ve worked with several clients to do mild steel, stamped metal products, metal wire, galvanized steel, hot-dipped steel and more in Vietnam. 

Furniture Suppliers in Vietnam  

Vietnam is currently the second-largest manufacturer of furniture in the world, behind only China. However, Vietnam is the fastest-growing manufacturer of furniture in the world while Chinese furniture production is decreasing. Vietnam’s furniture industry is very diverse ranging from high-end custom made wood furniture to small boutique shops. Companies like IKEA, Ashley Furniture, West Elm and more manufacture furniture in Vietnam.

Packaging Suppliers in Vietnam 

Vietnam is one of the world’s leaders in packaging. Packaging that can be manufactured in Vietnam ranges from cardboard boxes, soda cans, plastic packaging and much, much more. Vietnam exported over $1.7 Billion in packaging. Packing includes but isn’t limited to the food and beverages, cosmetics, pharmaceutical, bottling and beverages, barcoding, printing, and labeling industries. Besides, ProPak Vietnam is the largest trade show for packaging in the world and is held every march in Ho Chi Minh City. If you want to create high-quality custom packaging then Vietnam would be a great place to look. 

Electronics Suppliers in Vietnam  

Vietnam has several major electronic companies that have major manufacturing in the country, such as Samsung, LG, HP, Canon, Foxconn, and many more that have major operations in the Country. Most notably Samsung makes the majority of it’s Galaxy Smartphones in Vietnam and by itself exports around USD 58 Billion worth of goods a year from Vietnam. 

Vietnam can make integrated circuits, Smartphones, Cameras, Televisions and much more. Intel has a large manufacturing presence as well. The main appeal of Vietnam over China isn’t that it’s cheaper, but that Vietnam has a large and highly skilled workforce capable of performing complex tasks. Vietnam has leveraged its skilled labor force to not just compete with China but almost anywhere else in the world for high tech manufacturing.

Construction Materials Suppliers in Vietnam 

Vietnam has a very large and dynamic construction material industry. The types of materials that can be found in Vietnam range from cement to steel supports. As well as screws, bolts, fasteners, rebar. Construction materials exports are right at $2 Billion a year.

Wooden and Bamboo goods Suppliers in Vietnam 

Vietnam exports over $5 Billion in finished wooden goods a year. Most of this focuses on Furniture but includes goods for industrial uses such as wooden reels and handles for tools such as shovels. Vietnam has a huge amount of access to high-quality hardwoods and the manufacturing capability to make high-end finished goods.

What products are made in Thailand

Thailand has long been one of the most prosperous and advanced major countries in Southeast Asia. IN 2019, Thailand exported almost USD 250 Billion worth of goods. Surprisingly the United States, which received 12.8% of the total exports, was the top recipient of exports for Thai exports. 

Clothing, Textiles, and Apparel suppliers in Thailand

Thailand has a large base of clothing manufacturers throughout the country. It’s a good balance of large manufacturers who work with some of the largest brands, such as Brooks Brothers, Bonobos, and Everlane, as well as several small boutique brands. Clothing, apparel and Textile manufacturers pretty much can make garments of all kinds. 

Jewelry suppliers in Thailand 

Thailand is one of the largest manufacturers of Jewelry and one of the largest exporters of precious stones. Thailand exports around $10 Billion in Jewelry a year. The jewelry in Thailand ranges from high-end sapphires and rubies to lower and cheaper wholesale jewelry. 

Wooden Goods suppliers in Thailand

Thailand has long had a large hardwood manufacturing sector but over the last decade, there has been a shift by manufacturers to focus on the export industry. The two biggest wood sectors are Hardwood furniture and architectural hardwoods. 

Plastics and Injection molding suppliers in Thailand 

Thailand is one of the largest manufacturers of plastics in the world, exporting over USD 13 Billion in 2019. There are thousands of plastic manufactured in the country and can make nearly any item form plastics. Plastic injection molding is one of the most popular items. When doing injection molding, you will need to get a mold made and that very often is manufactured in China.  

Other items that are Made in Thailand:

  • Household goods
  • Auto Parts
  • Construction Materials 
  • Rubber items Natural and synthetic  (i.e. tires) 
  • Paper and Printing
  • Beauty/makeup/skincare preparations
  • Wrist/pocket watches (no precious metal case)
  • Electrical lighting/signaling equipment, defrosters
  • Seats (excluding barber/dentist chairs)
  • Paper
  • Iron and steel screws, bolts, nuts, washers
  • Lenses, prisms, mirrors
  • Leather

What products are Made in Malaysia

Malaysia is one of the most diverse countries in Asia and is home to one of its largest cities, Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia is actually almost identical to Thailand in its number of exports. Malaysia shipped USD 238 billion in 2019 vs Thailand’s USD 246 Billion. 

Wood and Metal Furniture suppliers in Malaysia 

Malaysia’s furniture industry exported more than USD 2 Billion in 2018 and employs 100,000 people. The country is dominated by original equipment manufacturers (OEM) with very few ODM. What this means is that you need to come prepared with your designs, as most manufacturers do not have designs you can choose from. Malaysia does have a large metal furniture industry that can make metal office goods and other metal furniture. 

Metal parts and fasteners suppliers in Malaysia 

According to the Malaysian Steel industry Federation (MSIF), Malaysia is set to make more than 12 million metric tons of steel a year. They have a large industry that supplies an extremely wide range of products, from construction materials to fasteners. Currently, the only project that I have done in Malaysia is sourcing nuts, bolts, screws, and nails for a client.  Products made in Malaysia include galvanized and hot dipped mild steel, iron and steel die casting, rolled products, pipes, wire products and much more. 

Other Products made in Malaysia

  • Clothing apparel and Textiles
  • Cosmetics 
  • Car Parts 
  • Shoes
  • Printing and Packaging
  • Home Textiles
  • Glassware
  • Shoes and Footwear
India is popular for sourcing outside China

What products are made in India 

India is the 2nd most populous country in the world but is expected to overtake China for that title in just a few years. Despite the large population, India has a relatively small export of USD 323.1 Billion. That amounts to around $250 per person. India is also a difficult country bureaucratically and culturally to navigate as it has a tremendously diverse population. 

India is aware of its small amount of exports per capita and the government is making major efforts to promote it’s businesses to the world. The most visible of that effort is a website called Invest India.  Invest India is a government-run website that provides a wealth of knowledge about export and business opportunities in India. It also features a tool for a foreign buyer to meet factories and get introduced. 

Apparel and home textiles Garments, clothing, and accessories Suppliers in India

More than $8 billion worth of clothing and textiles were exported from India in 2018. Many clothing brands manufacture their products in India such as Bonobos and Wal-mart. In Addition to clothes, they also exported a large number of home textiles that included bed sheets and curtains. 

Cotton suppliers in India

India, along with the United States, and China, is one of the top three largest growers of cotton, according to the World Atlas. India produced more than 6.4 million metric tons of cotton. Cotton was first farmed in the Indus Valley thousands of years ago. Since then Northern India has been one of the most prosperous regions in the world for cotton growing. Cotton is then sold to textile manufacturers in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and throughout the world, where it is turned into finished goods. 

Leather Suppliers in India 

IN 2018, India exported more than USD 2.8 Billion worth of leather goods. The leather and Tannery industry in India employed more than 4 million people. Currently, India accounts for more than 12% of the world’s leather goods. India is the 2nd largest exporter of leather shoes and leather clothing. 

Other Items made in India

  • Furniture
  • Hardware
  • Construction materials
  • Promotional products
  • Handicrafts
  • Forged components
  • Machined components
  • Sheet metal stamped components
  • spices
  • Sports Goods
  • Medical disposable
  • Industrial supplies
  • Agriculture hand tools
  • Packaging
  • Bath and Bedding
  • Rugs and carpet
  • Fasteners
  • Precision Brass Parts
  • Stationery products

What products are Made in Pakistan

Pakistan is very often overlooked but is a great location to source fabrics, textiles, garments cotton and much more. Other similar items made in Pakistan include knitted and crocheted suits, leather goods, dress patterns, and more. Pakistan is also one of the top suppliers of stone and cement.  Pakistan has a population of over 200 million people and, in 2018, exported $23.6 Billion worth of goods.

Clothing, Textiles, and accessories suppliers in Pakistan

Pakistan has one of the most vertically integrated clothing and textiles supply chains in the world. Pakistan is one of the top growers of Cotton in the world and has the processing capacity to turn that into fabrics and yarns which is then turned into clothing, textiles, and other finished goods. 

Other products made in Pakistan

  • Leather
  • Good from Iron and Steel
  • Plastic items
  • Curtains and Drapes

What products are made in the Philippines

The Philippines is an island country with a population of 105 Million people that is made up of over 7,000 islands. The Philippines has a large electronics manufacturing base that accounts for over half of its exports. I nation the Philippines are one of the top manufacturers on Pharmaceuticals 

Other Items manufactured in the Philippines 

  • Bananas
  • Semiconductors and Microchips and Micro Assemblies 
  • Machinery 
  • Optical, technical, and medical Devices
  • Gems and  precious metals
  • Copper
  • Ships and boats
  • Plastics, plastic articles

What Products are Made in Bangladesh  

Bangladesh is the 2nd largest clothing manufacturer in the world, behind only China. Bangladesh is a South Asian nation that shares a border with India and has a population of 160 million people. Bangladesh exported more than $42 Billion worth of items, more than 90% of which were clothing, textiles, shoes and other similar items. Bangladesh is the 2nd largest manufacturers of clothing in the world, behind only China

Shoes and Footwear suppliers in Bangladesh 

Bangladesh Exported almost $1 Billion dollars and suppliers several major brands. The footwear industry in Bangladesh is one of the fastest-growing in the country with an annual growth rate of nearly 20%  

Knit and Crochet, aka Cut and Sew, supplies in Bangladesh 

Cut and sew is a little different than typical clothing manufacturing. Cut and sew mean that the garment first started as raw fabric and processed into a finished garment. Cut and Sew manufacturers in Bangladesh tend to focus on basic items, from t-shirts to socks, sweatshirts, and other basic clothing items. 

Clothing, Hats, and Apparel Suppliers in Bangladesh

In addition, to the Cut and Sew factories in Bangladesh, there are tons of other factories and suppliers that provide a massively wide variety of clothing items. This ranges from everything for underwear to sock to jeans pants fast fashion, luxury brands and much, much more. 

Other Items manufactured in Bangladesh

  • Clothing Accessories
  • Underwear
  • Swimwear
  • Activewear
  • Miscellaneous textiles,
  • worn clothing
  • Footwear
  • Paper yarn and woven fabric
  • Headgear
  • Leather

What Products are Made in South Korea

South Korea, like Japan, is a surprisingly difficult country to source from. I personally do not know anyone who sources directly from South Korea. This is especially surprising as South Korea Exported USD 540 Billion worth of goods in 2019. About 2/3rds of South Korea’s exports ended up in Asia, 16% ended up in the United States and about 12% in the E.U. The main reason it’s hard to source is that South Korea focuses on high-value products for export and has several strong brands including Samsung, Hyundai, LG, and more. These brands export their products themselves and do not rely on foreign companies.  

Products Manufacturers in South Korea

Source

  • Integrated circuits
  • Cars
  • Passenger and Cargo Ships
  • LCD and OLED screens
  • Car parts
  • Broadcasting Equipment
  • Broadcasting Accessories
  • Telephones
  • Cyclic Hydrocarbons
  • Special Purpose Ships
  • Computers
  • Hot-Rolled Iron
  • Coated Flat-Rolled Iron
  • Semiconductor devices
  • Large Construction Vehicles
  • Polycarboxylic acids
  • Polyacetals
  • Machinery Having Individual Functions
  • Tires

What products are made in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, which used to be named Ceylon, is an often forgotten and overlooked destination for sourcing. Sri Lanka has a population of 22.4 Million people and exported more than 11 billion worth of goods. Sri Lanka is most famous for its teas and spices but is also a great destination for clothing manufacturing. 

Clothing manufacturing in Sri Lanka 

Sri Lanka has a large massive manufacturing base, however, it is dominated by just a few large companies. MAS/Brandix and Jay Jay Mills make up a large majority of the apparel and garment exports from Sri Lanka and account for 100,000’s of workers. Despite the large companies, I know small businesses and apparel startups that have had success sourcing form these Sri Lankan Factories. Brandix works with a contact of mine to make their boutique swim, yoga, and activewear line. 

Sri Lanka specializes in activewear and other advanced garments such as underwear. brands such as Lulumon, Victoria Secret, Nike, Adidas, Mountain Hardwear, Eddie Baur, and many more brands are manufactured in Sri Lanka.

Tea and Spices Suppliers in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is probably most famous for its tea, with massive plantations spread across its central highlands. James Lipton, 

Ceylon Cinnamon is widely regarded as the finest cinnamon in the world, Ceylon is the old British colonial-era name for Sri Lanka 

biodegradable disposable plates manufacturers in Sri Lanka

Are you interested in sourcing biodegradable plates, forks, utensils and more made of bamboo, palm leaves or other natural materials? Then Sri Lanka is one of the best places in the world. Sri Lanka has a large supplier base for items such as eco-friendly bamboo plates. You can also find Bamboo and paper straws, wood, bamboo and palm utensils, and much more.  

What products are made in Taiwan

Taiwan, along with Japan and South Korea, has one of the most advanced manufacturing sectors in the world. IN 2018 Taiwan exported USD 335.8 Billion worth of goods, which is impressive given its a smaller population of 23 million people. Over 13% ended up in North America and 9.4% to European countries. Despite the massive export number that is heavily skewed by it’s Electronics industry, which includes the TMSC, the largest computer chip manufacturer. Electronics accounted for more than USD 180 Billion worth of goods. 

Electronics suppliers in Taiwan

Taiwan Is one of the largest producers of electronics in the world exporting more than USD 180 Billion a year. They are most famous for the Computer chip fabrications which are arguably the most advanced in the world. In addition, they have several OEM and even ODM electronics manufacturers. Though success is limited, I have heard of people having success having ODM electronics made in Taiwan. 

Plastic suppliers in Taiwan

Taiwan exported more than USD 20 Billion in plastic goods, much of it high-value plastics. In the 1990s Taiwan was the world’s largest producer of Plastic, and plastic products were the number one export, however, a government focus on the high tech industry has since caused it to decline. Despite the decline, Taiwan does have one of the most advanced plastic industries and can make high precision goods. Taiwan’s plastic industry is well suited for exports. 

Taiwan is also a leader in recycled plastic goods, that range from building materials to biofuels and much more. 

Hand Tools and Cutlery suppliers in Taiwan

According to the Taiwan Hand Tool Manufacturers’ Association (THTMA), there are over 480 Manufacturers of tools in Taiwan that include screwdrivers, wrenches, hammers, power tools, garden tools, pliers and much more. The association hosts a trade show dedicated to Taiwan hand tools every year and has a free directory of members. Knives of all kinds from kitchen knives to tactical knives are also made in Taiwan. 

Toys and Games suppliers in Taiwan

Toy and games is a very broad category but it accounts for over USD 1.5 Billion in exports a year. By our estimation, there are about 700-900 manufacturers in this category. The games and toy manufacturers in Taiwan make a  wide variety of products. From Plush toys to board games, stickers, dolls, and even dog toys. 

Other products Manufactured in Taiwan

  • Electrical machinery, computer chips, and equipment
  • Machinery including computers
  • Plastics and plastic articles
  • Optical, technical, medical apparatus
  • Iron, steel, and parts made of Iron and Steel
  • Copper:
  • Optical, technical, medical devices and  apparatus
  • Man-Made fabrics and filaments
  • Knit or crochet fabric
  • Rubber, rubber articles

What Products are Made in Mexico? 

Mexico exported more than USD 450 BIllion worth of goods in 2018. Due to it’s shared border it’s no surprise that Mexico’s top trading partner is the United States. Northern Mexico has several industrial parks near the border that caters to the united states. These make many items ranging from cars to appliances, Tvs to X-Rays. 

Bedding and Textiles Suppliers in Mexico

Mexico has a thriving textile industry that is famous for its quality. In addition to many large factories, Mexico has a thriving craftsman and artisan industry made up of small locally owned factories. These make everything from Hammocks, dresses, embroidery, rugs, and more Mexico is famous for its embroidery and uses of unique fabrics such as huipil and sisal from Agave. 

The large textile manufactures make for a wide range of famous brands including Carhartt, Ralph Lauren, Old Navy and much  

Textiles are not as cheap as they are in other countries, but due to the fact that it is much cheaper and quicker to ship to the US from Mexico, it is a popular choice.  

Medical Devices Suppliers in Mexico

This is an interesting category, but it is one that I know people have had success finding and working with suppliers.  Medical devices are a very broad category but it generally includes everything from testing equipment, pharmaceutical manufacturing, medical electronics like defibrillators, scalpels, and surgical equipment and much more.  

Switzerland Global Enterprise did a great summary of the medical device industry in Mexico. According to SGE, there are over 600 suppliers in Mexico that exported more than USD 11 Billion worth of goods. This place Mexico as the 11th largest exporter in the world. 

Metals Manufacturing in Mexico

Mexico has a large metal manufacturing industry that largely supports is Automobile manufacturing. Mexico has set its factories near the US border so that they can quickly supply components to  American Manufacturers. These range from very high-end components made for the Aerospace and Automobile industries, to basic items for use in appliances and other items. Items made of steel, iron, titanium, and aluminum are made in Mexico. Metal manufacturing in Mexico includes all types such as sheet metal, additive and subtractive, wire manufacturing, and much more. 

Furniture Suppliers in Mexico

Furniture Manufacturing in Mexico is a rapidly growing industry. Mexico is one of a few countries that can produce a full range of furniture. In particular, Mexico is good at Upholstered furniture. As mentioned earlier Mexico has massive and diverse textiles and garments industry. As a result, there are plenty of sewers in Mexico that can create upholstered Furniture. Mexico makes woods and metal furniture as well. 

Other items manufactured in Mexico

  • Cars, Trucks, and Automobiles 
  • Electrical machinery
  • Optical, technical, medical Devices and  apparatus
  • Lighting and signs
  • Prefab buildings
  • Plastics and plastic articles
  • Iron or steel parts and finished goods
  • Gems and  precious metals
  • Rubber and rubber parts

What Products are Made in Indonesia? 

Indonesia is an island country in Southeast Asia with a population of 262.3 million people. Indonesia is the 4th most populous country in the world and exported more than USD 180 Billion worth of goods. Most of Indonesia’s population lives on the island of Java, which contains the capital city of Jakarta. Over 70% of ti’s exports stay in Asia, while 11% go to North America and 10.6% end up in the European Union. Cosmo Sourcing has done two projects in Indonesia, one for wood for industrial uses, and another for Hiking Boots. 

Shoes and footwear suppliers in Indonesia

Indonesia is the 4th largest producer of shoes behind China, India, and Vietnam. Indonesia produced 1.8 Billion pairs of shoes worth more than USD 5 Billion. According to Indonesia Expat, there are 155 large factories and a staggering 18,000 small scale businesses that produce shoes. Major brands including Nike and Adidas are made in Indonesia as well as hiking boots, leather shoes, sandals and much more

Wooden goods suppliers in Indonesia

Indonesia has a large number of wood plantations that produce very high-quality tropical hardwoods. Due to national laws they cannot export raw or unfinished wood, as a result, all wood exports from the country have to be finished goods. As the wood is very dense, this is suitable for applications such as the handle of tools and other sues in which strength is needed. 

Clothing, apparel, and garments suppliers in Indonesia

Indonesia is one of the top 10 largest clothing and apparel producers in the world and exported more than USD 15 Billion worth in 2018. Indonesia makes a wide range of Garments and accessories that are shipped throughout the world. 

Other Products Manufactured in Indonesia 

  • Electrical machinery and equipment
  • Rubber and finished rubber products
  • Machinery
  • Electronics including computers
  • Iron and steel goods 
  • Gems and precious metals
  • Cut and sew clothing

What Products are Made in Colombia?  

Colombia is a South American country with a population of 49 Million. It is the 2nd most biodiverse country in the world and this is reflected in the fact that Colombia’s main exports include coffee, fruits, cacao, nuts, and other agricultural products. Colombia has an extremely diverse climate from Rainforest to desserts, three different mountain ranges, amazon rainForest and a coast on the Atlantic and Pacific ocean. 

Coffee production in Colombia

Colombia is probably best known for its coffee. Colombia is the largest producer of Arabica coffee in the world and 2nd largest producer in total. The most well-known element of Colombian coffee is probably Juan Valdez, a fictional farmer who appears in advertisements starting in the 1970s. According to the international COffee Association, Colombia exported 11.5 Million bags of Coffee in 2018. 

Cacao, the main ingredient in CHocolate is also produced abundance in Colombia

Leather Suppliers in Colombia 

As of this writing, I’m actually in Colombia sourcing leather products. Colombia main produces very high-quality leather. Many of the ranches are at a very high altitude above 6,000 ft. This is too high for mosquitos and other biting insects to fly resulting in unblemished leather hides. There 

Other products from Colombia

  • Cacao/Chocolate
  • Tea 
  • spices: $2.2 billion
  • Gems 
  • precious metals
  • Live trees and plants
  • Cut flowers
  • Fruits
  • Nuts

What Products are Made in Japan? 

Despite being one of the world’s foremost manufacturers, I really haven’t heard of small buyers having much luck sourcing products from Japan. The only successful business I know personally is one who sells unique Japanese candies internationally.

The main reason is that Japan is famous for making high value, super technical goods. These goods include cars and cameras. However, there is not a large capacity for low value, fewer technical items, which tend to be the products that private label sellers tend to prefer.  

Despite that, we have worked with several Japanese owned factories… in Vietnam. We have sourced a few components from Japan, such as waterproof zippers and some technical fabrics, but never a fully finished item. 

Technical Fabrics suppliers in Japan

Technical fabric is a fabric whose main function is not aesthetics. Technical fabrics are used in a wide amount of industries including agriculture, homes, packaging, industrial uses and much more. 

Clothing and Garment Accessories Suppliers in Japan

One of the most famous brands throughout the world may be YKK, a zipper manufacturer based in Tokyo, Japan. In addition to YKK, there are tons of manufacturers in japan dedicated to clothing accessories such as 

Other products from Japan

  • Electric storage batteries
  • Taps, valves, similar appliances
  • Clothing and garment accessories 
  • Computers
  • Electrical consumer goods
  • Medical devices 
  • Iron and Steel
  • Plastic goods
  • Rubber goods
  • Furniture
  • Clothing

Final Thoughts

There are tons of opportunities to source products outside of China but you need to be careful about where you look and what you look for there. The manufacturing landscape in most countries is limited so you need to be mindful and diligent before picking a country or two to search for suppliers. 

Even though there are many countries around the world, only a few are suitable. Many countries lack export-focused manufacturers or produce products that do not sell well. You need to understand the different costs involved with changing manufacturers, as well as changing countries. 

As long as you have all product spec sheets ready to go, practice patience and cultural understanding, and are flexible, you can find success sourcing beyond China. 

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Jim Kennemer

Jim Kennemer

Jim Kennemer is the Founder of Cosmo Sourcing and Sourcinghub.io. He has helped 100’s of clients source more than $100 Million USD worth of products from both China and Vietnam. Products that he has sourced have ended up in almost every major retailer for clients from over 30 countries.

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