Made in China 2025

Calling All British Manufacturing Firms: China Needs You

According to a new report, UK manufacturers could be in line for an exports boom. The research, published by the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC) suggests specialists firms right here in the UK could have a key role to play in China’s ambitions to modernise its manufacturing sector under the header Made in China 2025.

The world’s most densely populated country recently put forward the Made in China 2025 plan which hopes to see the country’s manufacturing industry revolutionised. The plan, announced in May 2015, was originally set to run until 2025 only but now looks set to colour the horizon of China’s manufacturing evolution until 2049. Whilst the journey will itself be one to watch out for, the end goal remains to transform China into a global manufacturing player. 50 pilot projects have already be launched and the country is well on its way to manufacturing prominence.

Amongst strong internal investment and renewed emphasis on advanced manufacturing technologies and facilities, CBBC’s report also suggests that the plan represents a number of opportunities for British firms. Mark Wareing, Director of Advanced Manufacturing and Transport with UK Trade and Investment China at the British Embassy in China, highlighted that China’s growth would not only target making headway on developing products for Chinese consumers but would also look to tap into markets overseas. In order to do so, China is expected to call upon the experience and knowledge of both long-standing and emerging British firms.

The Made in China 2025 plan is focused on 10 sectors deemed of paramount import within both China and the wider world. Those highlighted include: advanced rail networks and technologies, aerospace and aviation, agriculture, power generation and distribution, and information technology.

Made in China 2025
Calling All British Manufacturing Firm: China Needs You

In light of those industries highlighted and, specifically, China’s desired outcomes, Wareing noted the appropriateness of UK businesses’ involvement, insisting that the skills, experience and capability of the UK’s industrial base align with China’s ambitions.

China already stands as the UK’s second largest export destination with annual exports totalling a value of £18.7bn. Some £15.5bn of that total is dedicated to manufactured products, further highlighting the prominence of the UK’s manufacturing sector.

Alongside upgrading those sectors pinpointed for advancement, the plan will also see the implementation of five nationwide initiatives geared toward innovation. These are expected to be manifest with the development of new research hubs, innovation centres, and smart or green manufacturing projects – each one prioritise high value, state-of-the-art manufacturing.

Stephen Phillips, Chief Executive of CBBC points out that the UK, again, has much to offer in respect of innovation having long held a world-leading position in the R&D stakes.

The majority of provinces and cities across China have released plans for local realisation of the country’s master-plan and thus there will exist a number of opportunities in which UK companies can get involved.

Despite the promise of an emerging, highly lucrative market, however, Phillips reminds firms that there will be a number of hoops to just through should they want to be a part of China’s becoming – IP protection, over-supply, over-investment, and discrimination to name but a few. Of course, firms will also need express commitment to innovation and evolution for the market will undoubtedly be one in which change is the name of the game.

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