China is making a big push toward advanced manufacturing, hoping to become a global industrial giant in a decade.
The State Council has set the wheels in motion with “Made in China 2025”, an ambitious blueprint for the country’s manufacturing strategy.
The strategy will play a vital role in China’s efforts to build an Asia-Europe economic corridor inspired by the ancient Silk Road.
This is where Hong Kong can become a major beneficiary of these unprecedented initiatives.
Hong Kong’s location in the Pearl River Delta makes it a logical first stop in “One Belt, One Road” as China’s southern gateway to the world.
By itself, “Made in China 2025” is a big source of economic opportunity, with its focus on 10 major sectors.
These are next-generation information technology, high-end computerized machinery and robotics, aviation and aerospace equipment, ocean engineering equipment and high-tech shipbuilding, advanced rail transport equipment, energy-saving cars and new energy cars, power tools, new materials, biomedicine and high-performance medical equipment, and agricultural machinery.
Global industries have been undergoing change since the end of the 2008 global finance crisis.
Developed countries are re-industrializing to revitalise their manufacturing industries.
For instance, Germany has adopted a high-tech strategy, Industrie 4.0, or the fourth phase of industrialization in the manufacturing sector.
Meanwhile, developing countries are seeking a bigger role in the new order, competing for capital and global market opportunities.
In response, China is developing industries and nurturing start-ups such those in the information technology industry, environmental protection industry and bio-industry.
Information technology, in particular, is the most important of all because of its role in revolutionizing business operations and transforming traditional industries.
China’s traditional manufacturing industries have to be upgraded to allow them to compete globally.
Hence, Hong Kong, with its manufacturing sector now largely based in the mainland, is a good model for Chinese enterprises planning to expand overseas.
Companies from Hong Kong and the mainland can work together, with the former providing advanced consulting services to help promote, operate and upgrade the latter’s manufacturing capability.
And as an international financial center, Hong Kong can provide financing and insurance services to mainland firms.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on July 9.
Translation by Darlie Yiu
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