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The manufacturing industry is heading for three major turning points, reflecting a new round of "China Opportunities"
Under the new economic normal background, foreign capital is experiencing a “structural turning point” in China. According to data from the Ministry of Commerce, in 2015, the manufacturing industry utilized only half of the foreign investment. The "Economic Information Daily" reporter recently found in many interviews that the proportion of foreign investment in manufacturing in China has declined, but the proportion of high-end manufacturing has increased significantly; traditional industry investment has fallen sharply, but new service formats have attracted foreign investment; labor-intensive The production line has been transferred a lot, but the corporate headquarters and R&D center have increased significantly. The phenomenon of “three falls and three liters” not only reflects a new round of “China Opportunities”, but also provides new ideas for future Chinese investment.
Inflection point 1: from low-end manufacturing to high-end manufacturing
Nokia has closed its factories in Dongguan, Beijing and Suzhou, Jiangsu; Japanese manufacturing companies such as Panasonic and Daikin have moved some of China's production capacity back to Japan; foreign companies such as Nike and Foxconn have opened new factories in Southeast Asia or India...
In recent years, with the rise of domestic factor costs, some manufacturing foreign capital will turn to Southeast Asia where the cost is lower; developed countries such as Germany encourage the return of manufacturing, and some foreign capital is also returning.
According to data from the Ministry of Commerce, the proportion of manufacturing use of foreign capital in China has been declining in recent years. Last year, the actual use of foreign capital in the manufacturing industry was 39.54 billion US dollars, which has dropped to about half of the service industry. It is worth noting that the foreign capital inflows from traditional manufacturing industries such as steel, cement, electrolytic aluminum, shipbuilding and flat glass are basically “zero”.
While the overall size of foreign investment in manufacturing is declining, the proportion of high-end manufacturing is on the rise. According to statistics, last year, the use of foreign capital in high-tech manufacturing increased by 9.5%, and the proportion of foreign investment in manufacturing increased to 23.8%.
The Belgian-based Maris Company established a 3D Printing Technology Co., Ltd. in Shanghai in November 2014. “Industry transformation, innovation and entrepreneurship have promoted the improvement of China's manufacturing industry, which has brought a broad market to the use of 3D printing technology,” said Qin En, general manager of the company.
After entering the Chinese market, Maris mainly provides 3D printing software solutions to the medical and industrial fields. At present, it has established research centers with Shanghai Ninth People's Hospital and Shanghai Children's Hospital, and dozens of partners.
Inflection point 2: From traditional manufacturing to new service industry
In the past, China attracted more foreign investment in manufacturing, and foreign-funded enterprises promoted China to become a factory in the world. Now, the service industry has attracted a rapid increase in foreign investment, and it has become the main attraction.
According to data from the Ministry of Commerce, the actual use of foreign investment in the service industry last year was US$77.18 billion, a year-on-year increase of 17.3%, accounting for 61.1% of the national total.
As a large foreign capital province, Zhao Jin, an inspector of the Jiangsu Provincial Department of Commerce, said that Jiangsu has entered the late stage of industrialization and is undergoing a transformation from industrial economy to service economy. The service industry has seen rapid growth in foreign investment. Under the new normal, Jiangsu foreign capital should be further transformed and upgraded to accelerate the development of modern service industries that are compatible with the transformation and upgrading of the manufacturing industry. This year, Jiangsu will hold a conference to promote the use of foreign capital in the service industry in a timely manner, and strive to introduce more open policies for the service industry.
The foreign investment structure of the service industry has also undergone great changes, and the new format has attracted a lot of momentum.
Hong Benzhu, deputy director of the Xiamen Municipal Bureau of Commerce, said that the fastest growing contractual foreign investment in Xiamen's service industry is computer services and software, business services, etc., which are more than 7 times year-on-year; there are also some new industries, such as sports, finance, and pension. Medical care and other proportions in foreign capital are growing. The decline is more obvious in the real estate industry. In the whole year, Xiamen’s real estate contracted foreign investment was only 23.51 million US dollars, down 97.4% year-on-year.
In November last year, Taiwan's Eslite Bookstore opened its first store in mainland China on the bank of Jinji Lake in Suzhou. This complex of 56,000 square meters includes bookstores, stationery stores, cafes, restaurants, and exhibition halls. The store cooperates with more than 2,000 publishers around the world to drive more than 50,000 books across the sea.
“We are confident in the reading and cultural and creative industries in mainland China,” said Li Jiexiu, general manager of Eslite.
Turning point three: from labor-intensive to headquarters
In addition to industry adjustments and changes, structural changes also occur within foreign companies. Some foreign-funded enterprises have transferred labor-intensive production lines, and added corporate headquarters and R&D centers in China.
The trend of foreign companies moving their corporate headquarters and regional headquarters to China is obvious. Take Shanghai as an example. According to data from the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce, as of the end of last year, there were 535 regional headquarters of multinational corporations that had settled in Shanghai. The “headquarters economy” has become a business card for Shanghai.
The R&D centers of traditional industries are also accelerating the transfer to China. According to statistics, at present, foreign capital has established more than 2,400 R&D institutions in China. The scope of research and development radiation has expanded from early domestic manufacturing to Asian and global, and some R&D centers have shown an upward trend toward R&D headquarters.
Han Jiang, director of the Economic Development Bureau of Suzhou Industrial Park, said that a famous Korean electronics company in the park has reduced its sales revenue by 40% per year for two consecutive years, but its profit has increased by about 10% per year. “This company has moved its labor-intensive, low-profit production line to Vietnam and placed high-end new products such as R&D centers, ultra-thin and touch in the park.”
“From the perspective of long-term development, it is a development law for enterprises to move to a place with lower comprehensive cost. What we need to do now is to improve the operational efficiency in Dongguan.” Senior Vice President of Liwei Shoes Co., Ltd., who has been working in Dongguan for more than 20 years. Chuck Gillis said.
Liwei's parent company, Brown Footwear, has a history of 100 years of footwear and is one of the world's largest footwear trading companies. In recent years, Dongguan's role in its global presence has been constantly changing, initially focusing on manufacturing, and now it is the most important design and development center for Brown Footwear in the world.
“We closed the Taiwan office a few years ago. There are only 20 people left in the Italian design department. The Dongguan company is expanding. Now more than 600 employees come from 14 countries and regions.” Nevertheless, Gillis admits that the past few decades The company has moved from the United States to Taiwan to the mainland of China. The cost of the mainland is now getting higher and higher. It is not ruled that it will move to Southeast Asia in the future.
Experts from the University of International Business and Economics, such as Sang Baichuan, believe that at present, we can deeply study the path of foreign investment transformation and upgrading, actively grasp the development trend of foreign capital, enhance the level of China's social productivity through the technology spillover effect of foreign capital, and consolidate and upgrade China through deep integration into the global layout of multinational corporations. Position in the global value chain.