An employee introduces vehicle power battery and fuel cell from Freudenberg, a Germany-headquartered global tech firm, to a visitor during the fifth China International Import Expo held in Shanghai in November. (PHOTO/CHINA DAILY)
New policies help integrate services, manufacturing to enhance industrial and supply chains
Those hurt by COVID-19 disruptions to economic activities may want to call 2022 annus horribilis, but for German company Freudenberg Group that operates in China, last year was a good period.
With a total investment of 520 million yuan ($77 million), Freudenberg completed construction of its new manufacturing plant in July in Changchun, Jilin province, and kicked off operations in October. The factory makes high-quality seals used in automotive and related industries.
Another factory in Chongqing providing high-end shock absorption and noise reduction products and solutions for passenger cars, including air springs, also became operational last year, and has delivered more than 60 titles of products and solutions to more than 20 clients so far.
Freudenberg Group shows why foreign investors find the attractiveness of China's high-end manufacturing sector irresistible. Benefits to be reaped abound as China strives to transform and upgrade traditional industries while cultivating and spurring the growth of strategic emerging industries.
The Central Economic Work Conference in mid-December said China will accelerate the building of a modern industrial system. Efforts will be made to identify the weak links in key and core technologies as well as components and parts in the country's major manufacturing industrial chains, and pull together resources to tackle various problems so that the industrial system can become independent, controllable, safe and reliable, the meeting said.
It also said the country will make greater efforts to attract and utilize foreign capital.
Experts said China's manufacturing sector is expected to become even more attractive to foreign investors, as stronger government efforts to boost FDI in the sector are anticipated in the coming years.
"The manufacturing sector is a key economic pillar and a driver of economic growth. It's also a key area for global competition. However, in recent years, the overall scale and growth of FDI inflows into China's manufacturing have declined relative to the services sector, leading to a decline in the manufacturing sector's share in overall FDI," said Zhang Fei, associate director of the Institute of Foreign Investment, which is part of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation.
"That has prompted the authorities concerned to intensify efforts to boost and encourage FDI in manufacturing. They have introduced a series of new policy measures," she said.