A roadmap for the future of manufacturing — the “Made in China 2025” plan — will be unveiled in the near future, an insider said on April 27.
The four-ministry drafted plan has been submitted to the State Council, according to the insider who requested anonymity.
Ten sectors have been identified as priorities. They are new information technology; high-end numerically-controlled machine tools and robotics; aerospace equipment; ocean engineering equipment and ships with high technology; advanced railway traffic equipment; energy saving and new energy vehicles; power equipment; new materials; biological medicine and high-performance medical devices; and agricultural production machinery.
Made in China 2025 will focus on the upgrading of the manufacturing sector to improve innovation ability, integrate informatization and industrialization, through green manufacturing and manufacturing internationalization, according to Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) Vice-Minister Su Bo.
The plan follows an indepth study by the Chinese Academy of Engineering, according to MIIT Vice-Minister Mao Weiming.
Although comparisons have been made between the roadmap and Germany’s Industrie 4.0, Liu Baicheng, from the Chinese Academy of Engineering, clearly stated that Made in China 2025 was different.
Industrie 4.0 — the result of collaboration between the German government, research institutions and businesses — focuses on the development of fully-automated “smart” factories. These factories would make products on the shopfloor fully customizable, according to media reports.
Made in China 2025, on the other hand, will span the whole manufacturing industry, applying advanced ideas not only from Germany, but also from the US and Britain, among others.
The initiative will not only push forward the transformation and upgrading of the manufacturing industry, but also push development, said Su.
Amid China’s “new normal” of economic development, featuring slower but higher quality growth, the government is attempting to steer the economy toward a more sustainable growth mode driven by domestic consumption, the service sector and, most importantly, innovation.
To this end, Made in China 2025 will focus on five major projects, including the establishment of a manufacturing innovation center, according to Su.
A focus on innovation has resulted in some domestic companies, such as telecommunications giant Huawei, climbing up the value chain. The Shenzhen-based company has spent more than 190 billion yuan on R&D over the past decade. Of its 150,000 employees, more than 45 percent are in innovation, research and development positions.
In 2014, spending on R&D in China accounted for 2.1 percent of GDP, a record high. The proportion in some regions such as Shanghai was as high as 3.6 percent.
Thanks to these efforts, improvements can be seen, such as the industrial value added of the high-tech sector and equipment manufacturing, which jumped by 11.4 percent and 7.7 percent respectively in the first quarter, out-pacing overall industrial growth.
Industrial output grew 6.4 percent year on year in the January-March period, down from 8.7-percent growth a year ago.
By 2025, the plan aims to see the lead time of products shortened by 20 percent of the current average, according to the insider.
Made in China 2025, proposed in this year’s government work report, was touted as having the potential to empower the manufacturing sector.