3. Companies benefit from China’s ecosystem
Economic conditions for companies have improved considerably, both in China and abroad, due in no small part to the Chinese strategy for industrial development. If we look at the Chinese automotive market, the Chinese government has set a goal of bringing five million electric vehicles onto Chinese roads by 2020 alone. This offers immense opportunities for global companies.
Chinese authorities support not only domestic companies, but foreign businesses as well, and this has been our experience over the last 40 years. Most recently we’ve enjoyed this support during the construction of our new robotics factory in Shanghai. Our team works closely with the local government and in 2019 the project was included in the top 10 projects of the “Manufacturing in Shanghai” initiative.
In addition, companies can now source top talent from many areas. Through cooperation with universities, businesses have the opportunity to establish targeted relationships in the country, where ABB works with over 500 universities to conduct joint research and attract talent.
At the same time, of course, there is still room for improvement regarding investment conditions in China, especially for foreign companies. We welcome the negotiations between the EU and China on an investment agreement. The signing at the planned EU-China Summit in Leipzig in the second half of 2020 would be an important milestone.
What does this mean for Europe and its businesses?
Europe should not make the mistake of belittling itself. I see plenty of innovation across Europe as well! When developing industrial automation technologies, European companies do not need to hide their know-how from anyone. Moreover, it is no coincidence that concepts from Germany for Industry 4.0 have served as a model for China’s industrial strategy.
Nevertheless, despite all its industrial excellence, Europe must continue to develop and innovate. Just as China learns from Europe, Europe should also learn from China – especially when it comes to the development and acceptance of new technologies.
Thereby, simple measures can also make an important contribution. At ABB, for example, China is the region that receives the most colleagues from other parts of the world. At the same time, our workforce in China boasts the highest share of employees sent to other regions. I see again and again how colleagues gain new insights through these exchanges, which they can apply to their daily work.
In the end, however, joint efforts by industry, policy makers and science are also needed to gradually create a more innovation-friendly environment. Only in this way can Germany and Europe maintain their competitiveness in the long term – and help companies develop new technologies to provide solutions to a wide range of social and economic issues worldwide.
This article was originally posted on Sami Atiya’s LinkedIn page: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/china-market-opportunities-sami-atiya/ and shares Sami Atiya’s thoughts on the question “Must we fear China?” The topic was discussed at the SZ-Wirtschaftsgipfel in Berlin from November 11 – 13, 2019, with Holger Engelmann of Webasto Group, David Wang Chengdong of Huawei Germany, Stefan Scheible of Roland Berger, and Sami Atiya. You can view the discussion here: https://lnkd.in/ePcZVwh