After India’s launch of the high-profile ‘Make in India’ campaign last year, championed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, China Tuesday unveiled its ‘Made in China 2025’ plan endorsed by Premier Li Keqiang.
The state media said the plan was the “country’s first action plan focusing on manufacturing” and quoted officials as saying it has been put in place to tackle competition from “emerging economies like India”.
Official news agency, Xinhua quoted Miao Wei, minister of industry and information technology (MITT), as saying that the realisation of the plan means “by 2025 ... China will basically realise industrialisation nearly equal to the manufacturing abilities of Germany and Japan at their early stages of industrialisation”.
Manufacturing sectors in China and India are at very different levels of development. Though the sector is showing signs of slowing, China continues to be considered the manufacturing hub of the world while the sector in India is underdeveloped.
Chinese manufacturing accounts for about 20% of the world’s total but clearly the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), led by President Xi Jinping, realises the economic road ahead is far from smooth.
China’s new plan seems to have been drawn up to ensure it continues to have the edge in manufacturing even as cost of production rises, demand decreases and competition increases, eating into its list of comparative advantages.
The new plan focuses sharply on innovation. Some of the key sectors the plan will focus on are new information technology, robotics, aerospace, ocean engineering, railway, new energy vehicles, power, medicine and agricultural machinery. The plan will be market-oriented but guided by the government.