Favorable polices are helping Changsha's intelligent manufacturing industry to take off and grow healthily, experts said.
The capital of Hunan province in Central China enjoys enormous potential for developing the intelligent manufacturing industry, given its well-established industrial foundation and rich human resources, said Deng Ziwei, dean of the Changsha Intelligent Manufacturing Research Institute.
"However, what has surprised companies most is definitely the strong support in the form of policies issued by the local government," Deng said.
By 2020, Changsha aims to be home to a group of model companies in the industry and make breakthroughs in technologies and machinery manufacturing, according to the 2018-20 plan to establish the city as a national intelligent manufacturing center, released in July.
The targeted sectors include industrial robots, the Beidou Navigation Satellite System, intelligent sensors and chips, and unmanned intelligent equipment. By that time, the annual output value of Changsha's intelligent manufacturing technology and equipment is projected to reach 100 billion yuan ($15 billion).
Huang Tao, Party chief of the Changsha Economic and Information Commission, said Changsha's intelligent manufacturing industry has made marked progress.
The city has been selected as one of the first group of 2025 pilot cities for developing the intelligent manufacturing industry. A total of 230 local companies have been named city-level demonstration enterprises for intelligent manufacturing.
That number is projected to increase to 530 by 2025. By then, more than 10 Changsha-based companies are expected to be granted the status of State-level model enterprises in the industry, Huang said.
About a month before the three-year plan was rolled out, local authorities released a policy to revitalize Changsha's industries and boost its real economy. The policy consists of 30 articles and so is dubbed the Changsha Industry 30 Articles.
Xiang Wenbo, president of Sany, an engineering machinery manufacturer, said: "The policy is a great encouragement and support for the real economy's transformation and upgrade.
"It has located the difficulties and pain points in developing the real economy and is extensive, supportive and feasible, offering local businesses a real bonus."
The policy incentives promote intelligent manufacturing, key components, research and development, and military-civil industrial integration, establishing a comprehensive service system serving local businesses' going global, which will stimulate Sany's innovation and transformation, Xiang added.
He said that, thanks to the incentives, Sany will greatly reduce its costs related to construction, operations and technological innovation, by tens of millions of yuan.
Sun Changjun, vice-president of Zoomlion, an agricultural and engineering machinery manufacturer, said: "The policy shows local authorities' strong sense of responsibility and resolution in boosting supply-side structural reform and helping enterprises to transform, upgrade and innovate."
These opinions were echoed by Zhong Shijun, corporate management director of Wasion Group, a leading supplier of energy measurement equipment in China.
The policy will strengthen the sustainable development of Changsha's economy, optimize its business environment and establish a long-term guarantee mechanism for the city's economy, Zhong said.
Local authorities decided in September 2016 that Changsha should seize the opportunities brought by the Made in China 2025 and Internet Plus strategies by establishing a service system to promote the intelligent manufacturing sector.
The city also needs to extend its industrial chain and attract more high-level professionals, in a bid to develop itself into a national intelligent manufacturing center and promote the sector's transformation, the authorities said.
Changsha's top officials are keen for the industry to be a future focal point for the city's industrial transformation.
They released a three-year action plan for the sector's growth in 2015, the first of its kind in the country, which provided a series of supportive policies benefiting related businesses.
Their goal is to achieve marked improvements in the use of intelligent equipment and machines in key sectors of the manufacturing industry by the end of 2018.
Another three-year action plan, which was released in Changsha in 2014, is targeted at industrial robotics, the foundation of the intelligent manufacturing industry, providing incentives for market promotion and investors.
Zhang Dandan contributed to this story.
(China Daily 11/17/2017 page12)