China prioritizes ten areas for manufacturing upgrade

Posted on 30 Sep 2015 by Michael Cruickshank

China is planning greater investment in ten key sectors of the country’s already-huge manufacturing sector.

A key committee advising the country’s central government on its “Made in China 2025” plan outlined this new strategy earlier this week.

All up, the committee has identified a number of areas in which China has the ability to transition away from being a low-end manufacturer, to one of high-value added goods.

The ten key industries identified included the new emerging sectors of:

  • robotics
  • IT
  • aerospace technology
  • biotech
  • alternative-fuel vehicles

Complementing these, were a selection of more traditional industries which China already excels at, including:

  • shipping
  • electrical equipment
  • agricultural machines
  • rail technology
  • advanced materials

Under the new plan, the list of key industries will be updated on a two-year basis.

China is pressing ahead with its ‘Made in China 2025’ plan which it outlined in May this year, and a strengthening of these key industries is a critical part of this.

The plan itself, calls for large investments in high tech sectors in order to boost productivity, and mitigate the country’s looming worker shortage.

One of the areas in which the country is making its biggest investments is in robotic manufacturing technologies, where billions have already been earmarked for development.

China’s government hopes to turn the Pearl River Delta into a robotics hub, with the development of indigenous robotics designs, and the opening of new automated factories.

As well, the country has set strong targets for its IT sector, in an attempt to boost local production of high-end devices, as well as to address security concerns related to imported hardware.


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Chinese manufacturing sector troubles

While China has earmarked massive investments in manufacturing technologies, the government is being driven more by desperation than a position of strength.

Global demand for Chinese products is on the decline, due to both rising prices and overall economic weakness.

At the same time, other developing countries, like Vietnam and India, are competing for China’s low-end manufacturing contracts, forcing China to implement plans to move into more advanced and technical sectors.