Pretty much all the goods you use on a daily basis are made abroad these days, right?
Over the past few decades a huge majority of manufacturing has been shifted abroad as businesses strive to keep costs down and margins high, meaning plenty of work for people in places like India and China, but nothing for those in the the UK.
While that is undoubtedly the case for large multi-national businesses like Nike or Apple, statistics show that manufacturing in the UK is back on the rise.
From the height of the industrial revolution, the UK was a hotbed of productivity but switched its attention to financial services in the 1980's under Margaret Thatcher, leaving cities like Manchester and Sheffield with plenty of empty factories, warehouses and mines and even more people out of work.
Interestingly however, a report from PricewaterhouseCoopers in 2009 revealed that manufacturing has been on the up in recent years and that can be put down to the growth of certain sectors like engineering and textiles.
Mass production of goods is generally out-sourced to other countries, but more recently specialised production has found a home in the UK.
Car manufacturing is particularly high in the UK with eight global car manufacturers making their goods here in 2003 - although the recession has hit this area and forced Ford (General Motors) to pull the plug on some high-profile factories.
Aerospace is another area where the UK is prospering and a great example of specialist knowledge winning out over mass-production. Rolls Royce, BAE systems and VT Group, one of the biggest makers of warships, all have productions plants in the UK. Smaller companies like www.kemtron.co.uk have taken production in-house.
Innovation in the future will help keep manufacturing of goods on home soil as well, even as the effects of the recession continues to take its toll on manual labour which can be shifted abroad as companies look to cut costs.
One great example of this is innovation in productivity - that is finding ways for less employees to produce more goods than has been possible in past. This is achieved thanks not only to new tool and technologies, but also because of new work practices like six-sigma.
In their report in 2009, PricewaterhouseCoopers wrote that maintaining manufacturing in the UK can be done by focusing on five different factors - focus on knowledge not products, take a global perspective, take advantage of the government and don't be afraid to lobby, take advantage of the downturn, and be a champion for your industry.
As has been the case for some time now, the UK has been vulnerable to losing manufacturing goods to developing countries who can produce on a huge scale for a low cost.
However, as PricewaterhouseCoopers has pointed out, by shifting the emphasis away from products to knowledge - be it by streamlining processes or innovating new production methods - manufacturing can be kept in the UK.
The UK has been vulnerable to losing manufacturing goods but even in a time where companies are looking to cut costs rumours of the UK manufacturing industry's demise have been exaggerated.
There are still plenty of burgeoning sectors making goods on these shores, but it is now about being clever with production methods and targeting specific industries rather than competing against emerging nations for bulk orders.