Manufacturing in spotlight as recovery from epidemic gathers speed

Updated: Aug 26, 2020 By CHENG YU and PEI PEI in Shenzhen, Guangdong CHINA DAILY Print
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A worker inspects equipment accessories at a factory in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province. [Photo by Geng Yuhe/For China Daily]

More efforts will be put into the coordinated development and resumption of manufacturing in the second half of the year to offset the impact brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a top industry regulator.

"Accelerated steps will be made to maintain the stability of the industrial and supply chains. The country will also step up efforts in helping small and medium-sized enterprises to tide over difficulties, drive technological innovation as well as bring about digital transformation and upgrading," said Xin Guobin, vice-minister from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

Xin said the industrial sector is still faced with many uncertainties as the pandemic ravages the world while market demand has not yet fully recovered.

"China will also expand domestic demand to improve the quality of supply side and stimulate consumption potential, and at the same time, accelerate the development of new consumption formats and actively expand effective investment," Xin added.

From April to June, industrial output rose 3.9 percent, 4.4 percent and 4.8 percent, respectively, year-on-year. Among 41 industrial categories, more than half achieved positive growth in the second quarter.

Output of the equipment manufacturing industry in May and June grew 9.5 percent and 9.7 percent, respectively. Production and sales of automobiles increased 21.9 percent and 16.4 percent year-on-year in July, respectively.

"China's industrial development is improving month-by-month as a slew of policies by the government take effect," said Xin, adding that some changes also took place.

"The pandemic has led to the development of new products, new formats and new models, and the integration of information technology and manufacturing has accelerated," he added.

In the first half, output from the high-tech manufacturing sector rose 4.5 percent year-on-year, and output of electronic components and integrated circuits rose 36.6 percent and 16.4 percent, respectively.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, a group of new economic models including remote working, livestreaming e-commerce and online education became fresh growth engines.

"New technologies such as big data and online streaming e-commerce will help manufacturers get a better understanding of industries and enable them to tailor customized, personalized products," said Ouyang Rihui, assistant dean of the China Center for Internet Economy Research at Central University of Finance and Economics.

Seen over the long run, the fundamentals of the country's industrial economy have not changed, said Xin from the ministry.

"China will actively respond to various risks and challenges, try to reduce the losses due to the pandemic as much as possible and strive to achieve stable and healthy development of the industrial economy," he added.

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