Industry will put innovation on fast track

By Chen Jia and Zheng Yangpeng (China Daily)
Updated: 2012-11-11 07:39

Leaders of Chinese enterprises have vowed to speed up technology innovation to strengthen competitiveness in the global market, responding to the country's goal to transform its economic growth pattern.

Better and smarter technology in the next decade will be the main force behind sustainable economic growth, as the previous investment-driven model is no longer dependable, said Zhou Ji, the president of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, at a news conference during the 18th National Congress of the CPC on Saturday.

"Enterprises will play the most important role to accelerate innovation during the process of industrial upgrading," said Zhou.

At the media news conference, the general manager of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, Ma Xingrui, announced that the Long March-5 rocket would blast off for the first time by the end of 2014.

In addition, the third stage of the Chang'e Plan will be launched in the second half of 2013 and the first Chinese spacecraft will land on the moon, Ma said. "China will independently build a space station around the year 2020."

Industry will put innovation on fast track

Chinese business executives said they see technology innovation as the key to expansion in overseas markets.

Liu Zhenya, general manager of the State Grid Corporation of China, said that the company's overseas investment is expected to increase to 10 percent of total assets.

Chinese companies face many difficulties going into foreign markets, but they can be competitive and win respect by continually improving technology, Liu said.

So far, the national grid company has invested more than $5 billion in foreign countries, including the United States, member states of the European Union and some African countries.

Liang Wengen, chairman of Sany Heavy Industry Co Ltd, a private company, said that his company will achieve "upgrading" mainly through ramping up research and development investment.

Information technology and corporate management are key, said Liang.

"Sany's revenue from the overseas market this year is 10 billion yuan ($1.6b), which is only 15 percent of our total sale value. We hope to get 40 to 50 percent of our sales from the overseas market," Liang said.

The economic growth slowdown this year did affect the heavy-machinery industry to some extent for Sany, making it more difficult to achieve the growth target set at the beginning of this year, said Liang.

"But Sany has a 'sustainable' development model and a 'bright' prospect based on strong research and development investment. Adding the overseas market, I believe that we will not need layoffs for quite a long time," he added.

President Hu Jintao said at the opening ceremony of the congress that the country should ignite all elements of the market with new vigor for development, and increase motivation for pursuing innovation.

"In response to changes in both domestic and international economic developments, we should speed up the creation of a new growth model and ensure that development is based on improved quality and performance," Hu said.

If China can seek new sources of growth, it has a good chance to keep its growth between 7 and 8 percent for some years to come, said Yu Bin, director of macroeconomic research at the State Council Development Research Center.

To deepen the reform in "basic industries" - including energy, transportation and agriculture - may be the next breakthrough of the economy development in the transitional process, said Yu.

Chinese enterprises now have to speed up product upgrades to remain competitive in the global market, he said.

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