Robots work at an automatic welding production line in Liaocheng, East China's Shandong province, July 5, 2014. (Internet Photo)
The United States is expected to be the most competitive manufacturing nation by the year 2020, pushing China into the number two position, according to the 2016 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index report jointly released by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (Deloitte Global) and the Council on Competitiveness.
The report’s prediction is based on in-depth analysis of survey responses from more than 500 chief executive officers and senior leaders at manufacturing companies across the world.
In 2013, China ranked first in manufacturing competitiveness, followed by Germany and the U.S. The report notes that manufacturing is sustainable, smart, safe and growing, and the U.S. is expected to remain among the leaders in this industry.
However, while the U.S. may remain competitive, China has realized the seriousness of the problems holding back its own manufacturing, and has pushed forward reforms to address those issues.
"We will apply higher standards to spur the upgrade of 'made in China' goods," Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said at a regular meeting of the State Council on April 6. China will make sure that at least 90 percent of its standards for domestic equipment manufacturing are brought up to international standards by 2020, according to the State Council. Advances will also be sought in key sectors including robotics, rail transportation equipment, agricultural machinery and high-performance medical equipment.
In addition, China has unveiled a series of policies that support tax revenue and technical innovation in the financial sector. Between "Made in China 2025" and "Internet Plus," China has taken undeniable steps to improve the quality of China-made goods and enhance the competitiveness of Chinese enterprises.
Other reasons listed in the report for China’s decreasing manufacturing competitiveness include the country’s ageing population, economic slowdown and rising labor costs. However, China has taken measures to address these problems, such as adjusting the family planning policy, economic restructuring and transformation, and promoting the robotics industry. These changes will surely have a significant impact on the country's manufacturing industry in the future.
In a word, while the government has already made some positive changes, China should continue to learn from the advanced technology in the West to increase its competitiveness in manufacturing.