UP THE VALUE CHAIN

China’s stress on in­no­va­tion will be a ma­jor fo­cus at Davos sum­mit, Fu Jing re­ports.

China Daily (Canada) - - ANALYSIS -

has barely budged in the past six years. Faced with ris­ing pro­duc­tion costs, an ag­ing pop­u­la­tion and di­min­ish­ing re­turns on the mas­sive cap­i­tal in­vest­ments of the past three decades, China must now evolve to a model where pro­duc­tiv­ity gains are gen­er­ated through in­no­va­tion and de­mand through do­mes­tic con­sump­tion.”

If that process goes smoothly, China’s rank­ing in mea­sur­ing in­no­va­tion lev­els may rise quickly. The govern­ment es­ti­mates it is now placed 18th to 20th glob­ally, the es­ti­mate based on ma­jor rank­ing in­dexes.

The Global In­no­va­tion In­dex 2015, co-pub­lished by Cor­nell Univer­sity, the Euro­pean In­sti­tute of Busi­ness Ad­min­is­tra­tion and the World In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty, ranked China at 29th. When the re­port was first pub­lished in 2007, China’s rank­ing was the same.

In March, when China’s Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress holds its an­nual ses­sion, leg­is­la­tors will de­bate the 13th FiveYear Plan (2016-20), which will de­tail goals to ramp up in­no­va­tion.

One promis­ing area is the In­ter­net-led in­dus­trial rev­o­lu­tion world­wide, where China can be a leader and build in­no­va­tive ca­pa­bil­i­ties, China watch­ers say.

China has a ma­ture and siz­able in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy mar­ket, the world’s largest reser­voir of re­search tal­ent and role mod­els such as the so-called BATs (Baidu, Alibaba, Ten­cent), they said, point­ing out that the coun­try has made break­throughs in ar­eas such as life sci­ences, new ma­te­ri­als and new en­ergy.

Charles-Edouard Bouee, global CEO of the con­sult­ing firm Roland Berger, is one of the op­ti­mists. He said the merg­ing of Chi­nese re­sources with the global in­dus­try ecosys­tem in the past few years has paved the way for growth in lo­cal man­u­fac­tur­ing.

“China has ag­gres­sively built ca­pa­bil­i­ties in high-speed com­put­ing, ro­bots, new en­ergy ve­hi­cles and elec­tric equip­ment,” said Bouee.

“For now, they are still fo­cus­ing on the do­mes­tic mar­ket, but within the next five years, I won’t be sur­prised to see

DU JIA / FOR CHINA DAILY

A ro­bot plays flute at the World Ro­bot Con­fer­ence in Bei­jing in Novem­ber.

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