China needs to improve industrial image

16:33, April 15, 2011      

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China has made rapid and remarkable industrial progress in the past 30 years, and products made in China are used around the world. However, what many Chinese manufacturers do is simply copy products invented in the West to produce low value-added products. This has turned the label "Made in China" into a synonym for inexpensiveness and low quality, which is inconsistent with China's national image.

Experts said at the first Academician Forum on China Creation that the country's manufacturing industry needs to master core technologies to enhance the competitiveness of Chinese brands, improve China's national industrial image and lay a solid foundation for Chinese companies to go global.

Improving the reputation of Chinese products

"American products feature innovation, Japanese products reflect the manufactures' pursuit of perfection and German products feature top quality and trustworthiness. These characteristics have become an essential part of their national industrial image. We need to build our own competitive famous brands to improve China's national industrial image," said Zhou Xisheng, deputy chief of the Xinhua News Agency.

So, what is China's national industrial image?

China overtook Germany as the world's largest exporter in 2009. The total value of China's imports and exports reached nearly 3 trillion U.S. dollars in 2010, when the country accounted for over 10 percent of global exports. China has the world's second largest manufacturing industry, but still lacks brands that can represent its national industrial image. More often than not, the label "Made in China" is regarded as a synonym for low price and low quality.

Guo Chuanjie, CPPCC member and former deputy secretary of the Party Committee of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said that Chinese enterprises have already captured a large global market share in many industries. For instance, Chinese home appliance enterprises dominate up to 50 percent of the global market share, but they still lack innovation capacities and core competitiveness.

An official from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said that because China is still at the medium stage of urbanization and industrialization, it is foreseeable that the manufacturing sector will remain China's economic pillar over the next 10 to 20 years. Reshaping China's industrial image and accelerating the pace to fulfill the goal of "Created in China" has become a serious issue demanding an urgent solution.

Core technologies affect, sustain country's industrial image

As a key factor in a country's competitiveness, core technologies affect and sustain a country's industrial image to a considerable extent, experts say. In the aftermath of the international financial crisis, developed economies such as the United States, the European Union and Japan have all pushed forward plans to "rebuild the manufacturing sector." This means that China will face strong international competition not only in new, strategic industries but also in traditional industries.

Wu Cheng, member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said that core technologies will determine whether an enterprise can take a dominant position in the industry, and the destiny of the entire country's industry will rely on whether the country is home to some leading players in the industry.

Lu Zhongyuan, deputy director of the Development Research Center of the State Council, said that following the international financial crisis, the world has entered into a new round of an industrial restructuring period, which objectively requires China to move to achieve an innovation-driven economic growth and reshape China's industrial image.

"The combination of scientific and technological innovation will undoubtedly rebuild China's industrial image and enable 'Created in China' to win recognition worldwide," said Huo Jianguo, head of the Ministry of Commerce's International Economic and Trade Research Institute.

12th Five-Year Plan becomes critical period to establish image

China will enter the critical period of improving scientific and technological strength and enhancing national image during the 12th Five-Year Plan period. According to the 12th Five-Year plan, the next five years will be the crucial period of establishing an innovation-oriented country, and China's economic growth and structural adjustment will achieve a deeper and broader breakthrough. The Chinese government will increase investments in science and technology with an annual growth rate of no less than 20 percent.

Xu Heping, deputy director of the Ministry of Science and Technology, said that the sustained high input in technology and the research and development breakthroughs in core technologies will directly change the global competitive situation of China's national pillar industries and create a new national industrial image. Research resources of society as a whole should be integrated in the future to mobilize forces in various aspects, such as production, education and research, so that breakthroughs can be made in a batch of major core technologies to enhance creativity and to realize independent control. This is very important for enhancing the innovative capability of the national industry and the national industrial image.

Dong Mingzhu, chairman of the Gree Group board, said that during the 12th Five-Year Plan period, Chinese enterprises should transfer people's strength and wisdom from simple commercial exchanges to the innovation field in order to allow more Chinese products to become world famous brands through continuously making breakthroughs in core technologies and enhancing the global influence of Chinese industries.

By People's Daily Online

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