HANNOVER MESSE: Chinese premier promises ‘openness’ in manufacturing market
Wen cites challenges, concedes China has ‘a long way to go’ on manufacturing quality
Chinese premier Wen Jiabao opened the 2012 Hannover Messe Sunday night in Germany with a promise of greater openness and cooperation on global industrial manufacturing and a concession that the Chinese still have a distance to go to achieve manufacturing excellence.
Wen addressed more than 3,000 guests at the Opening Ceremonies, a night of both political and cultural exchanges on the eve of Hannover Messe, the world’s largest industrial trade show. More than 250,000 visitors are expected to attend the five-day event – and that won’t count the approximately 200 protestors who waved signs and chanted outside the Hannover Congress Center Sunday night as Wen and a large Chinese contingent arrived for the ceremonies.
As the 2012 Partner Nation at Hannover Messe, China’s emergence over the past decade as a global manufacturing force has been well-documented, and Wen’s speech highlighted the rapid growth and success of the Chinese manufacturing emergence.
“It has taken China only 30 years to achieve what took developed countries 100 years to accomplish in industrialization,” Wen said. “In this process, China has not only created enormous material wealth, but also gained important historical experience.”
Wen also said China’s continued growth depends on getting much better at not just the quantity of its output, but especially the quality. “ ‘Made in China’ products are generally at the medium and low rungs of the international industrial chain, and have a long way to go to catch up with the advanced level,” he said. “China is confronted with major challenges and problems with industrialization, including an inefficient model for industrial development, lack of market competitiveness, weak capacity for scientific and technological innovation and low efficiency in the use of resources.”
Wen sought to assure the global audience in attendance that China intends to opens its market to the rest of the world, improve innovation and protect intellectual property rights. “We should continue to deepen international business cooperation and resolutely reject protectionism in all forms,” Wen said. “China will remain unchanged in its commitment to the basic state policy of opening-up. We will continue to improve our laws, regulations and policies, expand market access, strengthen (intellectual property) protection, ensure there is a level playing field for all companies legally registered in China.”
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Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.
There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.
But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.
Read more: 2015 Salary Survey