(ECNS) -- Themed "Smart mobility, Reshaping the future", the Fourth Industrial Revolution and Smart Mobility Forum was held during the fifth China International Import Expo (CIIE) in east China's Shanghai on Sunday.
Gerd Müller, UNIDO director general, said in his opening remarks that the pandemic hit the automotive industry especially hard with supply chain disruptions, but the industry survived and is changing for the better.
"Disruptions can also open up opportunities to rethink business models. This is key to improving resilience. In this sense, the automotive industry has a key role in reaching a digital transformation and a green transition. Innovative technologies like the internet of things and artificial intelligence are leading to a revolution in auto manufacturing," he said.
Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Sheng Qiuping noted that the automotive industry is accelerating its integration with digital technology and witnessing a transformation to clean, light, and smart development.
"Automobiles are changing their role from transportation vehicles to large mobile and smart terminals. At the same time, the upgrading of the automotive industry can not only alleviate energy pressure and environmental problems, but also promote innovation and upgrading of high-tech industries. These industries have huge development potential," Sheng said.
UN Resident Coordinator in China Siddharth Chatterjee also delivered a speech via video at the opening ceremony.
Chatterjee highlighted the potential of better and more efficient transportation systems, among other innovations and technologies, to respond to the climate crisis. He pointed out that "rapid innovation and deployment of new digital technologies can play a vital role towards smart mobility that achieves sustainable and inclusive urban development."
Zhang Mingxin, deputy editor-in-chief of China News Service, highlighted the importance of collaboration in smart mobility. As green, low carbon, digital, and smart transportation is becoming an increasingly prominent trend, a better future for transportation requires government guidance, industrial collaboration, university research, corporate innovation, and social support, Zhang said.
Steady and integrated global industry supply and industrial chains should also play a greater role," he added.
Tim Huang, deputy CEO and head of Corporate Banking China, JPMorgan Chase Bank (China) Company Limited, delivered a keynote speech at the forum.
“In the era of smart mobility, NEV and intelligent vehicles are leading the evolution of the automotive industry. With the falling battery costs, a sophistication of charging infrastructure, coupled with strong policy support, J.P. Morgan is positive about the long-term demand of NEV in China," Huang said.
Gu Yue, chairman of China Pacific Property Insurance, said "the new trends of electrification, digitalization, networking and sharing have led to a series of changes in the automobile industry. Traditional insurance products lag behind costumer needs amid the rapid development of these new trends, which necessitates innovations in insurance products to adapt to the current context."
The forum was jointly held by United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Investment and Technology Promotion Network,China International Import Expo Bureau, National Exhibition and Convention Center（Shanghai), and China News Network.