4th LD-Writethru-China Focus: World Manufacturing Convention opens with focus on innovation, cooperation

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HEFEI, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- The World Manufacturing Convention 2019 opened Friday in Hefei, capital of eastern China's emerging manufacturing hub of Anhui Province, setting a platform for industry insiders to showcase cutting-edge technologies and develop business contacts.

The four-day event, under the theme of "Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Creativity: Embracing the New Era of Manufacturing," brings together more than 4,000 representatives from over 60 countries and regions, including senior managers from Global Fortune 500 companies, said the organizing committee.

Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to the convention.

The global manufacturing industry is currently undergoing profound changes, requiring countries to step up cooperation and learn from one another, Xi said in the letter.

Xi called on countries to seize the opportunities presented by the new round of scientific and industrial revolution, enhance the technological innovation capacity of the manufacturing sector, and promote changes in terms of quality, efficiency and driving force.

State Councilor Wang Yong attended the opening ceremony of the convention and read the congratulatory letter.

Xi's letter provided important guidance for promoting high-quality development of the world manufacturing industry and strengthening global manufacturing cooperation, Wang said.

The Hefei Initiative of the World Manufacturing Convention 2019 was unveiled during the opening ceremony.

The organization committee proposed a five-point initiative, namely to transform and upgrade high-end manufacturing; to drive through innovation and manufacture with intelligence; to make ecology and green manufacturing priority; and to open up and collaborate.

In this era of infinite possibilities, scientific and technological innovation is deeply integrated with the real economy, restructuring the global innovation map and reshaping the global economic structure, the initiative said.

The global manufacturing industry shall promote the shifting of driving forces, modify the pattern of the international division of labor in the industrial chain, cultivate small and medium-sized enterprises of specialties and upgrade industrial foundation and modernize industrial chain, it said.

Focusing on the wave of regional integration and economic globalization and adhering to opening wider and expanding cooperation, global manufacturing industries shall be committed to creating a stable, fair, transparent and predictable international business environment, and build mutually beneficial partnerships, the initiative added.

Covering over 60,000 square meters, the convention features 10 exhibition areas such as intelligent manufacturing and outdoor driverless vehicles exploration.

The business-matching activities are expected to cover about 600 projects during the convention. Summits, seminars and forums will also be held during the convention to discuss the development trends of the manufacturing industry, the organizing committee said.

As the event's guest of honor, Britain has set up a national pavilion at this year's convention and is scheduled to organize a number of cooperation and exchange activities.

"There are big changes happening in the world," and the best response is to be open, forward-looking and globally engaged, said Nadhim Zahawi, the UK's parliamentary under secretary of state at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, in his speech at the opening ceremony.

Britain is "a world leader in advanced manufacturing, so too is China," which is "a long-time key partner" of Britain, Zahawi said. "We can learn from each other, work with each other and help the world to prosper."

British enterprises are keen to design new works, take on new opportunities and enter new markets, according to Zahawi.

Not only British companies, but international participants widely expect to connect with others at the convention to expand their businesses in China, one of the world's most populous consumer markets.

"China is a perfect example of a country committed to innovation and change," said Luca de Meo, president of SEAT, a Spanish automobile manufacturer.

According to Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, friendly China boasts strength in the economy, industry and other major areas, and Iraq, deeply troubled by damaged infrastructure and backward development, should learn from all its friends including China.

Entrepreneur and scholar representatives also shared their perspectives on the prospects of high-quality manufacturing.

Lenovo Chairman and CEO Yang Yuanqing said Chinese manufacturing enterprises should foster their own brands of international influence.

The Chinese manufacturers must transform their products from simple follow-ups to innovation-based, he said.

Their production ability must be improved to achieve a shift from low-end manufacturing characterized by low cost to mid-to-high-end manufacturing featuring high quality, Yang added.

Li Yang, chairman of the National Institution for Finance and Development, said developing the manufacturing industry would boost economic growth and inject positive energy into the economy.

The development of manufacturing and service industries must be coordinated so that they can complement each other, said Li, also a member of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, adding that high-tech technologies must be applied to comprehensively transform the traditional manufacturing industry into an advanced one.

The manufacturing industry must embrace the latest technological advancements such as artificial intelligence, big data and cloud computing, he said.

Reforms and innovation in the finance sector should also be strengthened to meet the new manufacturing era, he added.

A total of 436 projects with investments of 447.1 billion yuan (63 billion U.S. dollars) were signed at the first convention last year. More than 92 percent of them had finished business registration by the end of July, which is a good sign of contract implementation, said Zhang Jian, head of the provincial bureau of commerce. Enditem

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