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Chinese, Japanese companies eye cooperation under ‘Made in China 2025’

Chinese and Japanese companies met April 11 in Beijing for a 2017 China-Japan Industrial Cooperation Forum. The two sides exchanged ideas on how to align China’s “Made in China 2025” plan with Japan’s technical know-how and manufacturing expertise, and were expected to strengthen cooperation in areas such as precision machine tools, electronics, robotics, and auto-manufacturing.

“We not only focus on high quality, we want our products and technology to be tailored to our customers’ needs as well. Chinese companies are doing better in this aspect than before,” Tomizawa Katsuyuki, chairman and managing director of Mitsubishi Electric China, said on the sidelines of the forum.

“Japanese companies have a lot of experience in operations and the flexible use of our manpower, and we would like to share these with our Chinese partners,” he added.

Katsuyuki noted that Chinese companies were faster in decision making and learned from past experiences, while Japanese businesses were more prudent and not as responsive in making decisions. He expected Chinese and Japanese companies to shelve their differences and understand each other better, adding they could work together in the standardization of big data and its applications.

Wang Xiwen, director of the Manufacturing Research Institute of the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information noted the size of China’s market and the mutual benefits from future cooperation. “In the past, Japanese companies came to China for low costs… I think the Japanese should change their mindset and take a longer-term perspective.”

“Japanese companies can ‘bundle’ with Chinese companies, and work together on R&D, innovation, patents and standardization. Both can take advantage of ‘Made in China 2025’ and the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative and reach out to the international market,” he said.

“Two thirds of industrial robots in the world are produced in Japan and this can definitely help China upgrade its industrial sector,’’ he went on, highlighting the growth potential between the two countries in transforming China.

More than 200 Japanese and Chinese manufacturing firms attended the forum. The Japanese delegation was led by the Japanese Association for the Promotion of International Trade, which promotes the development of China-Japan relations through economic and business cooperation.