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Dual-circulation, emissions goals drive industry change

By ZHONG NAN | China Daily | Updated: 2021-06-24 10:13
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An exhibitor (right) introduces a hydrogen fuel cell on display at the booth of German auto parts supplier Bosch at an expo in Shanghai in April. [Photo/China Daily]

"China has leapfrogged ahead of many advanced economies in newly emerging areas such as e-commerce, electric vehicles, artificial intelligence and new infrastructure projects, but the country needs to continue its technological upgrading in other areas such as environmental protection, agriculture and manufacturing," Ren said.

Manufacturing is the backbone of a country's economy. Manufacturing services are a new business form adapted to the digital economy. Integration of services and manufacturing can enhance the competitiveness of products and promote the transformation, upgrading and high-quality development of the manufacturing sector, according to a guideline released by the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Science and Technology in March.

Toni Petersson, CEO of Oatly Group AB, a Swedish food and beverage company, said the company will bring its first plant in China in Ma'anshan, Anhui province, into operation later this year.

Supported by a local innovation team, the company, apart from supplying plant-based milk, will tailor exclusive products such as ice cream for Chinese consumers to offer them more options, he said.

In addition to adding new manufacturing and innovation teams in China to enhance their earnings strength, Gu Chunyuan, chairman of ABB (China) Ltd, the country branch of Swiss technology company ABB Group, said the ongoing energy transformation in China and its carbon neutrality pledge present opportunities for multinational corporations to continue investing in the country's clean energy and smart manufacturing sectors to support Beijing's carbon neutrality ambitions.

China's carbon neutrality targets will reshape its economy, and energy ecosystems, technology innovations in renewable energy, productivity and energy saving will be key to reach stated goals in a sustainable and efficient way, Gu said.

With many export-oriented companies having difficulties recruiting enough workers to their factories, Gu said China's robotics market will continue to grow rapidly, due to mega trends such as rising consumer demand for customized products, shortages of qualified labor and the need to become more resilient.

The 2020 World Robotics Report released by the International Federation of Robotics said China's manufacturing industry ranked 15th in the world in terms of robot density in 2019, with 187 robots for every 10,000 workers, showing great potential for further development.

With $150 million of investment, the Swiss group will put its new factory into operation in Shanghai in the first quarter of 2022. It will be the most advanced, automated and flexible factory in the robot-making sector worldwide, ABB Group said.

The global manufacturing sector has increasingly become service-oriented and intelligent, with about one-third of the value added to the global trade of finished products coming from services, said Zhao Ying, a researcher at the Beijing-based Institute of Industrial Economics, which is affiliated with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

"It is urgent for China to reinforce its manufacturing industry innovation ability," Zhao said.

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