High-tech business leaders optimistic about China
China has been undergoing the process of strategic transformation, from the high-speed growth to the new normal and structural adjustment. It may bring a great shock for the traditional IT industry, but not for our company which is focusing on data analysis exploration and application. Just the opposite, we are quite optimistic about the market outlook, and predict more business opportunities here.
The State Council issued an action plan to promote the application of big data last year and more government agencies are establishing big data platforms this year. For companies, when the overall economy is facing a slowdown, they will consider whether to use the data of their own companies or outside data from social media, to analyze and apply the data for more opportunities instead of using traditional ways, such as opening more outlets.
With its years of accumulation, China has played an important role in maintaining stability and growth in the global economy. China is and remains Dürr's most important single market worldwide. That's why we are investing in the construction of a new site in Shanghai which will offer testing and training facilities. At 25 million euros, this is the largest single investment our company has made in China. The Dürr Group now employs around 3,000 staff there, mainly in the Shanghai area. But other sites are also expanding.
We strongly believe that the Chinese government will successfully facilitate the transformation process from a production and investment-oriented economy towards a service and consumer-driven economy. Our machinery and systems are used, in particular, in the automotive and furniture industries, both of which are consumer-oriented industries. Market experts anticipate growth rates of around 6 percent in the next few years. In the automotive industry as well as in the furniture industry, the focus is on flexibility, automation and highly efficient production. This is where our strengths lie.
We also believe that our customers' investments in environmental protection will increase substantially. As a leading provider of exhaust-air purification systems, for example, we can help our customers comply with the increasingly stringent emissions limits which the government has specified as part of its "National Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Air Pollution".
China forms a strong market for our company with many potential opportunities for expanding our business. Our business is driven by mobility. The ever growing number of people becoming mobile and being more extensively mobile are the reasons for continual expansion of demand for our products. Also the trend towards more intelligent products and Intensive use of cloud data will expand the market potential in China.
We believe that the Chinese market will expand for our products in 2016 by a similar extent as in the years before.
These are a few examples of our tangible actions for China's growth. We consider a bright future. We estimate China is to build half of the future metro networks worldwide and that there will be approximately 300 new aircraft in the country every year.