The coal-to-liquids project of Shenhua Ningxia Coal Industry Group Co Ltd. (Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn)
Chinese policymakers and companies should make concerted efforts to foster inclusive, sustainable industrial development, experts said on Wednesday.
Cecilia Ugaz, director of the Department of Policy Research and Statistics at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, said China has been one of the countries that has capitalized the most on its domestic demand as the competitiveness and the capability of industrial sector in the nation has been increasing over the years.
Policymakers should help entrepreneurs and the private sector to manufacture in a more innovative manner, encourage them to use new technologies, and ensure that the technology they use is environment-friendly, she said.
Ugaz made the comments after presenting the Industrial Development Report 2018 in Beijing. The report discusses industrial development from the perspective of demand - which is often not considered. In the past, the focus was mostly on supply-side issues.
According to the report, consumption is a key driver of industrial development, and it sets in motion a virtuous circle of demand diversification, income creation and inclusive industrialization.
"The impact on the environment from increased consumption can be reduced through technological innovation and development of environment-friendly goods," the report said. "Shifting consumption patterns toward environment-friendly goods is key to sustainable development."
The report cites China's efforts in promoting new-energy vehicles, an incentive that is prompting consumers to use more environment-friendly products.
Guan Chenghua, dean of the School of Economics and Resource Management of Beijing Normal University, said the industrial sector has made great contributions to China's rapid development over the past 40 years.
"In the past, the country's growth was mainly driven by external demand. There is vast potential to stimulate the internal demand, especially in the industrial and manufacturing sector," he said.
"Chinese companies need to continuously explore effective methods to reorient industrial activity toward cleaner processes, by saving energy and reducing costs," said Guan.
Guan is also director of UNIDO Green Industry Platform China Chapter Office. The organization, rooted in the UN global network, is dedicated to promoting the development of green industry in China by sharing global green development experiences.
Zhang Jianping, researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, said China has rich experience in infrastructure construction and the promotion of industrialization, which can be drawn on by other countries to achieve sustainable development.
China's industrial output grew 6 percent year-on-year in July, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. In the first seven months of the year, industrial output increased 6.6 percent year-on-year, 0.1 percentage point lower from January-June period.