Things you need to know about ‘Made in China 2025’

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In 2015, the Chinese government revealed a national plan that focuses on the promotion of China’s manufacturing industry.

Dubbed “Made in China 2025,” the initiative aims to upgrade the Chinese industry, and for the country to be a world manufacturing power. It was drafted by the MInistry of Industry and took two years to complete by 150 people.

What does this plan mean, and what should people expect? Here are some of the important things you need to know.

Made in China 2025: Goals and priorities

The plan focuses on upgrading all stages of the country’s supply and demand chains and will focus greatly on all aspects of manufacturing. It aims to improve production efficiency and quality.

“Although it is conceived in a traditional way, this plan is different in that it is China’s first high-level plan that completely focuses on manufacturing,” said Hu Quan, President of Research at the think tank China Academy of Industry 4.0.

Xinhuanet.com listed the following as the ambitious plan’s main priorities:

  • Improving manufacturing innovation
  • Integrating information technology and industry
  • Strengthening the industrial base
  • Fostering Chinese brands
  • Enforcing green manufacturing
  • Promoting breakthroughs in 10 key sectors
  • Advancing restructuring of the manufacturing sector
  • Promoting service-oriented manufacturing and manufacturing-related service industries
  • Internationalizing manufacturing

A 2015 article by Scott Kennedy, Deputy Director, Freeman Chair in China Studies, and Director, Project on Chinese Business and Political Economy, explains that the goal of the plan is to have a comprehensive upgrade of the Chinese industry.

“Its guiding principles are to have manufacturing be innovation-driven, emphasize quality over quantity, achieve green development, optimize the structure of Chinese industry, and nurture human talent.”

Kennedy also highlights that the plan focuses on not just innovation, but the entire manufacturing process.

The key sectors that China aims to push and promote are the following: IT, numerical control tools and robotics, aerospace equipment, ocean engineering equipment and high tech ships, railway equipment, energy saving and new energy vehicles, power equipment, new materials, biological medicine and medical devices, and agricultural machinery.

What some foreign businesses say

Some European businesses are saying, however, that Chinese firms could be given more advantage.

A report by the European Chamber of Commerce in China said: “At a macro level Made in China 2025 represents a far more holistic and sophisticated approach to developing China’s manufacturing base, while at the industry level it continues to make use of many policy tools that discriminate against foreign business in the Chinese market, thereby limiting their ability to contribute to the country’s innovation ecosystem.”

Foreign competitors fear that these new ‘Made in China’ plans could get limited access to mainland markets, and Chinese companies will be given advantage because of the government’s support.

More plans in store for 2029, 2035, and 2049. 

According to reports, there will be two more plans after the 10-year plan, aiming to harness more manufacturing power by the year 2029, which is also be the 100th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

Aside from wanting to be a manufacturing power by 2025, China also aims to become one of the world’s top producers by 2035, and rank in the world’s top league by 2049.

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