China to increase momentum in smart manufacturing

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-17 23:59:09|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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BEIJING, May 17 (Xinhua) -- China will focus on smart manufacturing by integrating the strategy of "Made in China 2025" with the Internet Plus Initiative as well as entrepreneurship and innovation to upgrade the country's traditional industries and help advance economic restructuring.

The decision was made at a State Council executive meeting presided over by Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday when a report on the strategy's implementation was delivered to participants.

Since implementing the strategy in 2015, the country has seen a steady progress in industrial capabilities, smart manufacturing, innovation, and product quality and branding. A recent case in point was the passenger jet C919 that took its first test flight earlier this month.

The meeting decided to focus on smart manufacturing and further deploy new technologies such as the industrial internet to make manufacturing a smarter and greener sector that offers better services and products.

Average productivity was up by 38 percent for China's first 109 pilot projects of smart manufacturing, while operating costs dropped by 21 percent, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

The premier said "Made in China 2025", as a crucial part of the supply-side structural reform, is vital to moving the country's economy up the value chain. The key is to exploiting advantages of China's domestic market and human resources, as well as further promotion of basic research and innovations, he said.

"Implementation of the strategy has introduced strength to the real economy, especially the equipment manufacturing. However, we should also keep aware of our weak links as much of the industry is at the medium and lower end of global supply," Li said.

"Made in China 2025" was first unveiled in the Government Work Report in March 2015. Two months later, the State Council released a guideline, which focused on five key projects, including smart manufacturing, and 10 key fields such as new materials.

Key technologies will be on top of agenda, including independent research and development. Innovative development in fields such as new materials and robots will be accelerated.

As of Wednesday, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has approved pilot regions for the strategy, namely 12 cities such as Ningbo in Zhejiang province and three city clusters in provinces such as Jiangsu. Some of them will be designated as the country's demonstration areas, which will get favorable policies in investment, financing and other fields.

The premier urged to establish demonstration areas, where small and medium-sized enterprises can develop with large companies for collaborated growth and greater global competitiveness.

The meeting also decided to cultivate a new model of incorporating the manufacturing sector with the Internet Plus Initiative. The country will strengthen cooperation with other countries to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.

The country will introduce advanced management, raise quality standards and guide companies to put quality as their top priorities. More efforts will be made to attract and recruit talents from home and abroad. More items for governmental approvals will be streamlined with lower threshold for market access and improved oversights to nurture an excellent business environment. Greater financing supports will be given to the real economy to increase resources for industrial upgrading. Intellectual property rights will also be given greater emphasis to safeguard legitimate rights of market entities.