China Seeks Greater FDI for Belt and Road Initiative
The Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit, GMIS, has hosted an event to examine China’s grand plans China Manufacturing 2025, CM2025, and the Belt and Road Initiative, BRI, and the impact they may have on both its labour force and the existing supply chains.
The half-day conference, themed ‘Taking Manufacturing to the Next Level’, was jointly organised by the GMIS, Siemens AG and the China Federation of Industrial Economics, CFIE, in collaboration with the European Chamber of Commerce in China.
Some of the main challenges China faces include how the effective implementation of CM2025 may be hampered by its lack of skilled workers, and how its commitments to reduce non-fossil fuels would impact traditional industries. Also, if China’s industrial upgrading facilitates its integration with modern, digital supply chains, then this could affect its interactions with countries along the New Silk Road, many of which are not at an advanced stage of development.
Despite these challenges, some global manufacturers have already expressed interest, with one of the companies that took part in the conference deciding to increase their investments in China.
“We are confident in China’s ability to move its manufacturing base to the next level, and have committed to building two technical centres in Chengdu. We hope that they will support China’s intelligent manufacturing ambitions,” said Wang Haibin, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Siemens Digital Factory Division.
The GMIS sees China as a good example of how manufacturing can create wealth and establish strong global partnerships.
“We are hosting this conference in China for the second time to learn more about the most pressing issues faced by manufacturers around the world, such as the relationship between man and machine, the outlook for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and climate change,” said Badr Al-Olama, Head of the GMIS Organising Committee. “We believe that the Chinese manufacturing sector can pave the way for others around the world.”
As one of its strategic partners, the CFIE said that its mission corresponded closely with that of GMIS. “We are committed to promoting openness, innovation and cooperation in China’s industrial sector,” said Xiong Meng, Executive Vice Chairman of the CFIE. “We are ready to contribute to supply-side structural reform, the construction of a new type of manufacturing system, and building China into a real manufacturing power.”
The European Chamber believes that China’s potential can be fulfilled as long as it follows through on its commitments to economic globalisation, as stated by President Xi Jinping during the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier in 2017.
“The success of CM2025 hinges on its integration into global supply chains, and the BRI will flourish only when it is embraced by the rest of the world and seen as a global project. We have always been clear on this,” said European Chamber President Mats Harborn. “Thus, both CM2025 and the BRI can be major achievements, provided they are predicated on open markets, balanced trade, transparency and reciprocity.”
The inaugural Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit was held in Abu Dhabi in March 2017, as a joint initiative of the UAE Ministry of Economy and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, UNIDO.