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Learning from China’s success

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The People’s Republic of China is amongst the most populated countries in the world with over one billion people. The country which is on paper listed on the developing countries, is in real sense a developed country.

Currently, China is the world’s second largest economy by nominal Gross Domestic Product. By 2015, China was the world’s fastest-growing economy, with growth rates averaging 10 percent over thirty years. China is also known for being a hub for manufacturing and is the largest manufacturing economy in the world as well as the largest exporter of goods.

However, to achieve this status, the country underwent different difficulties, with an economic downturn experienced before 1978.The economic hardships faced by the Chinese people acted as a wakeup call, hence, jointly with the government, the people worked day and night to build their country to success. In 1979, the Chinese government introduced economic reforms that saw an upsurge in food production and the opening up of China to other countries for investments, trade and technology.

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Since 1979 to date, China has in place five-year strategic plans in order to achieve continuous economic development. The thirteenth five year plan for 2016 to 2020 is currently being implemented.

So, how did China managed to grow its economy?

China’s Overseas Investment and Government Policies in the ministry of Commerce, Chen Wenlin, shares some of the steps China undertook to its successive plans. Wenlin said the 30 years of China opening up and reforms with rich management experiences and skills helped the country for its rapid economic growth. He also hinted that China shifted its way in development, environment and social welfare.

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“Within the 30 years as a country, we made sure that we had huge foreign reserve and production capacity surplus. The surplus especially in agriculture was met by intensifying irrigation farming, with most of the rural people being engaged into farming. Agriculture is the priority sector the Chinese government supported for the past 60 years.

“The other thing was an increase in market scale and demands. This has led to an increase in mergers and acquisitions which saw about 55 percent of the Chinese overseas Foreign Direct Investment in 2012 coming through mergers and acquisitions,” Wenlin said.

He also highlighted the need for management of policies on overseas FDI. Wenlin said when investors want to come into a country; there is a need to make sure they have capacity, thus financial and production.

Intellectual property

This is another area that China is putting emphasis on. Locally produced products or innovations in China ought to be protected. China’s prominent lawyer, Asia Managing Partner, Wang said today’s world is competing on Intellectual Property. Xiang said for the past decades, China has been battling with intellectual property cases in various courts around the world.

He said Chinese companies were being sued for copying other people’s products.

“There was no IP law or even property law then in China. The undeclared but fiercely fought and on-going “IP Wars” between Chinese and foreign companies in China, and around the world initially known by many to produce the largest number of counterfeited, infringing or “look-alike” goods.

“The more, the Chinese business people lost the court cases, the more they become innovative. The loss of money through the court battles motivated business persons to become innovative and produced their own products using their own innovations,” said Wang. He said today China has invested in education with over 2,700 universities and colleges to produced high skilled and competent workers.

“The colleges which are both community and urban have produced highly skilled workers that are innovative and produce unique goods made and designed by China. This has helped the country to compete internationally and be proud to have its own brands,” he said.

Wang hinted that for developing countries to have their own brands is not easy and they have to sacrifice at first by copying from others but with time should improve and become innovative to have their own brands. He further said the IP creation and commercialization encouraged by Chinese laws and policies has seen a growth of over 2,000+ industrial science parks.

“The future in economic growth is going IP, those who are savvy on IP creation, commercialisation as well as enforcement may survive on top,”said Xiang.

Chinese industrialisation

Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Lecturer, Li Renqing, said industrialisation is the way to go for developed countries to develop. He said machinery usage is key in production, even though machines can also make mistakes. However, Renqing said after the successful reforms and opening up to other countries, China still continues to implement its strategies that were set up in 1979.

He said the country has a 2025 manufacturing strategy that hopes to upgrade the country’s manufacturing power.

“The initiative to upgrade the nation from a big manufacturer to a manufacturing industry superpower is the key to helping China maintain economic growth at a medium-to-high level and to move up the global value chain,” Renqing said.

He said nine tasks have been identified as priorities to grow the sector by 2025.These include improving

manufacturing innovation, integ rating information technology and industry, strengthening the industrial base, fostering Chinese brands, enforcing green manufacturing, promoting breakthroughs in 10 key sectors, advancing restructuring of the manufacturing sector, promoting service-oriented manufacturing and manufacturing-related service industries and internationalising manufacturing.

The strategy also has10 key sectors, that include new information technology, numerical control tools and robotics, aerospace equipment, ocean engineering equipment and high-tech ships, railway equipment, energy saving and new energy vehicles, power equipment, new materials, biological medicine and medical devices and agricultural machinery.

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