China mulls blueprint for manufacturing industry

By Song Shengxia
(People’s Daily, Global Times)
BEIJING: A blueprint for upgrading ­China’s manufacturing industry by 2025 is in the pipeline and will be submitted to the country’s cabinet for deliberation in the near future, a member of the country’s top political advisory body said Wednesday.
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the Chinese Academy of Engineering are working on the plan, which proposes that China achieve industrialization by 2020 and become a strong industrial power by 2050, Li Yizhong, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), was quoted by media reports at a panel discussion of the political consultative session.
China should focus on developing the real economy and prevent the marginalizing of industry, Li said without offering detail about the plan.
Early media reports showed that the plan aims to upgrade China’s manufacturing industry which will shift to a model driven by innovation, quality advantages and featuring green manufacturing and service-oriented manufacturing.
There have also been reports recently that some Japanese companies such as Panasonic and Daikin Industries plan to move their manufacturing bases in China back to Japan.
“China is a big manufacturing country but not a manufacturing superpower. The key reason lies in China’s lack of core technologies,” Chen Yao, director of the Institute of Industrial Economics at the Chinese Academy of Social ­Sciences, told the Global Times on Wednesday.
“But that does not mean China has lost all its advantages in manufacturing,” Chen said. “Compared with developed economies, China still enjoys an advantage in labor costs and compared with Southeast Asian countries, China has the complete infrastructure to support industrial manufacturing.”
China’s manufacturing output grew 9.4 percent in 2014 from a year earlier, 1.1 percentage points higher than the growth of the national industrial output.
High-end manufacturing output expanded 12.3 percent year-on-year in 2014, accounting for 10.6 percent of the national industrial output. Meanwhile, equipment manufacturing rose 10.5 percent year-on-year in 2014, making up 30.4 percent of the national industrial output.
“China needs to consolidate its advantages in traditional manufacturing and at the same time boost its capability to develop its high-end equipment manufacturing industries,” Cai Jin, a vice chairman of the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing, told the Global Times on Wednesday.
“Upgrading the manufacturing industry also means upgrading the management model of the whole industrial supply chain,” Cai said.