More than a third of the planet's population lives in China and India, two countries whose economies are surging. The opportunities for FM continue to undergo seismic and spectacular change.
15 May 2017 | Martin Read and Jamie Harris
The key here is just how quickly things are changing.
It's less than 20 years since the first technology boom that helped kick-start India's commercial flourishing, when global firms, accustomed to the FM they received back home, sought to provide the same level of efficiencies and outsourcing to their new facilities in India.
The IT sector is around 60 to 70 per cent outsourced today, up with the global norm. But manufacturing, by contrast, has seen at best 20 per cent outsourcing. But there are significant spikes; the automotive sector in particular is in the vanguard of outsourcing more operational activities to BPO firms. yet in pharmaceutical, there is limited outsourcing if any.
The government is increasingly comfortable with outsourcing, and that's a dramatic shift. Today the country's ports, airports and railways are undergoing something of a service revolution.
One key development will take place in July with the introduction of a much heralded and centralised value added tax to replace all indirect taxes levied by India's central and state governments. This will have a major impact on the consistency and adaptability of contracts and client / provider relationships.
What's more, the recently introduced skills development ministry has proved a great support to the FM sector. (It pays for firms to both train and employ staff.)
In terms of service providers, there's a move to consolidation and fewer, larger players, with the current trend for service firms to self-deliver as much as possible.
Legislation is also driving change. In India, a client is bound by law to ensure any increase in minimum wage is passed directly from client to their suppliers' employees. There are also now different gradations for the country's minimum wage, meaning for example more distinction between a security guard and an unskilled labourer.
We're broadcasting live at 12 noon BST on World FM Day, Wednesday 17 May. You'll be able to hear audio interviews with some of the international correspondents mentioned above, as we capture a snapshot of FM across the globe in 2017, as well as live discussion on the issues and themes that have arisen. Tune in here.