China to establish national demonstration areas for "Made in China 2025"

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-19 23:45:34|Editor: yan
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BEIJING, July 19 (Xinhua) -- China will establish national-level demonstration areas for the "Made in China 2025" plan, a blueprint to upgrade the country's manufacturing sector.

The national demonstration areas will be established in cities and city clusters in the eastern, central and western regions, according to a decision made at a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday.

The areas will help speed up the transformation of the country's manufacturing sector, create innovative mechanisms and facilitate opening up and cooperation.

The areas will focus on integrating the strategy of "Made in China 2025" with the Internet Plus Initiative as well as entrepreneurship and innovation, creating cloud platforms for advanced manufacturing and carrying out pilot programs in innovative system construction, smart and green manufacturing.

In the meantime, some favorable policies already carried out in national independent innovation demonstration zones will be expanded to these areas, with both domestic and overseas investments receiving the same treatment, according to the meeting.

Specifically, the demonstration areas will be encouraged to set up a "negative list" that identifies sectors within the manufacturing and information industry that are off-limits or restricted for investments, and will have certain jurisdiction in foreign investment management upon approval.

A variety of government and industry funds will be used to spur innovation and entrepreneurship, and guide more social capital to support advanced manufacturing. In the demonstration areas, the government will offer stock incentives for employees of some state-owned enterprises.

Land supply in the demonstration areas will receive extra support, with measures to transform old business and storage facilities, idle buildings and excessive commercial real estate into incubation centers for entrepreneurship.

The demonstration areas will also receive support in talent development, with subsidies given to college graduates that meet certain requirements and to those with difficulties finding jobs.

International cooperation will also be a focus of the areas, with advanced technologies and equipment from overseas to be introduced into the areas.

"The Chinese economy has shown a buoyant momentum, but the weakness lies in the manufacturing sector, which requires quickened expansion. We need to focus our efforts on strengthening the sector, which is the foundation of the real economy," Li said.

China's economy expanded 6.9 percent year on year in the first half (H1)of the year to about 38.15 trillion yuan (5.66 trillion U.S. dollars), well above the government's target for the year of 6.5 percent, reflecting a firming trend in the nation's economy.

The high-tech and equipment manufacturing sectors have seen fast growth, with value-added industrial output at designated large enterprises in these sectors increasing 13.1 percent and 11.5 percent in H1,respectively.

China has seen an increasingly strong manufacturing sector since the announcement of the "Made in China 2025" plan in 2015.

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

According to Xin Guobin, vice minister of the MIIT, the national demonstration areas will encourage different regions to develop industries with unique advantages. The MIIT will make targeted plans for different regions to implement the strategy, he said.

KEY WORDS: Li Keqiang