Industrial upgrading enables China manufacture evolve from “big” to “strong”

  • China can make full use of existing technology to achieve industrial upgrading throughout the full value chain localization
  • Robotic automation, efficient industrial motors, electric vehicles, and renewable energy are all important aspects of improving energy efficiency and reducing environmental impact
  • Beijing, March 24, 2014 – At the "China Development Forum" held on March 22 in Beijing, ABB Group CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer praised highly China's strategic shift growth focus on quality over speed, and analyzed the opportunities and challenges ahead. In the presence of academic institutions, government officials, and other enterprises, Spiesshofer explored some of the required ingredients for creating a successful path towards industrial upgrading and economic transition.

    Spiesshofer pointed out that relying on the demographic dividend is a thing of the past and that changes in China's current workforce will continue to drive the establishment of a high-end industrial chain. In addition, China's rapid economic development has also created huge environmental pressures, thus creating an imperative for the transformation and upgrading of China's manufacturing industry.

    Spiesshofer believes the goal of transforming China's manufacturing industry hinges on the shift from being labor-intensive to technology-intensive. Moving up the industrial value chain will also help create the environment China needs to develop and produce its own products. Moreover, China neither has to start from scratch nor overly rely on the mergers and acquisitions of overseas companies or technology. Instead, China can make full use of existing technology, combined with local context, to embark on a path distinctly of its own.

    Spiesshofer said, "In the 12th Five-Year Plan, the Chinese government highlighted that industrial upgrading through technological innovation is the key to achieving China's social and economic goals. The training of highly qualified labor, application of industrial robots and promotion of electric vehicles are also included in various future development plans. ABB fully supports China’s planning objectives and will work closely with our customers to further develop these advanced technologies and solutions."

    Taking efficient industrial motors, robotic automation, electric vehicles and renewable energy as examples, Spiesshofer vividly described the great potential China has to improve energy efficiency. His presentation focused on how these technologies could contribute to China’s becoming a world class “industrial superpower” while vastly reducing the impact industrial development has on the environment.

    Held in Beijing each year since 2000, the "China Development Forum" is an interactive gathering of global business leaders and policy makers as well as academics and senior economic planners in China. The forum is organized by the Development Research Center of the State Council of China.

    ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 150,000 people. ABB has a full range of business activities in China, including R&D, manufacturing, sales and services, with 19,000 employees, 37 local companies, and an extensive sales and service network across 109 cities.

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