Business / Industries

China's manufacturing sector to see higher standards

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-04-08 10:44

BEIJING - China has vowed to improve standards and quality in equipment manufacturing.

The promise is the latest move in the ambitious "Made in China 2025" program, which aims to develop the country into a powerhouse of high-end manufacturing.

China will aim to bring over 90 percent of domestic standards in key manufacturing areas up to international levels by 2020, up from the current 70 percent, said a statement issued Wednesday after a State Council conference chaired by Premier Li Keqiang.

Research and development of major industry norms in robotics, rolling stock, agricultural machinery and sophisticated medical devices should be accelerated, said the statement.

"We will formulate high standards to spur the upgrade of 'made in China' goods," Li said at the meeting.

For years, China has served as the "world factory," churning out merchandise ranging from smartphones to diapers for consumers around the globe. But the country's manufacturers still have not mastered core high-end production technology and face a huge gap with industry leaders from Germany and the United States.

As a consequence, shoppers fly abroad to purchase consumer goods such as heated toilet seats, and cross-border e-commerce has become wildly popular. The manufacturing of automobiles, numerical control machines and other major industrial products still depends on foreign technology.

A national plan, "Made in China 2025," was unveiled in May 2015 to address the problem and build the country into a manufacturing power within ten years.

"We should work to improve consumer confidence in domestic production, enhance manufacturing quality and efficiency and increase the global competitiveness of Chinese companies," Li said.

Ning Jiajun, member of the Experts Committee of the State Information Center, described formulating high-level manufacturing standards as a precondition for China to realize the goal. "The failure of industry and technological norms to develop with the times is common in quite a few sectors in China. This has become a major bottleneck for industrial upgrades."

The process of lifting the standards, which can be tough and costly, is indispensable for the country's shift from rough manufacturing to more value-added production, Ning said.

Analysts expect the new resolution to propel the standardization of core technologies in multiple fields and help lay the foundation for supply-side reform.

The government should toughen supervision to create a fair environment and advocate "the spirit of the craftsman" among manufacturers, Li said.

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