World Manufacturing Convention 2021 Held in Hefei
The World Manufacturing Convention (WMC) 2021 was held in Hefei, Anhui Province, China, from November 19 to 22. The Convention is jointly hosted by 10 institutions, including the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Commerce, Global Alliance of SMEs (GASME) and the People’s Government of Anhui Province.
The theme of this convention is “Innovation Driven Digitally Empowered”. Nearly 1,400 guests attended the event. They were from national ministries, other provinces and cities, foreign embassies and consulates in China, international organizations, Fortune 500 enterprises, business associations, colleges and universities as well as scientific research institutions, among which the foreign representatives were mainly from 24 countries and regions including Germany, Japan, South Korea, France, the United States and Russia. The convention was held in a combination of online and offline.
Distinguished guests include: Zheng Shanjie, Party Secretary of Anhui Provincial Committee, Wang Qingxian, Governor of Anhui Province, Christian Wulff, former President of Germany and Global Chairman of Global Alliance of SMEs (video), Vladimir Norov, Secretary-General of Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Ma Jiantang, Secretary of the Party Leadership Group of the Development Research Center of the State Council, Xin Guobin, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Zhong Zhihua, Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, Peng Huagang, Secretary-General of SASAC of the State Council, Zhang Wei, Deputy Mayor of Shanghai Municipality, Zhou Jiye, Vice Chairman of Jiangsu Provincial CPPCC, Lu Shan, Vice Governor of Zhejiang Province, Cui Yuying, Chairman of Fujian Provincial CPPCC, Hu Qisheng, Deputy Governor of Hebei Province, Zhang Shaochun, Executive Vice Chairman of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Guo Ningning, Deputy Governor of Fujian Province, Lei Chunmei, Deputy Director of the Standing Committee of Fujian Provincial People's Congress, Fei Dongbin, Deputy Governor of Henan Province, Zhou Nong, Deputy Director of the Standing Committee of the Hunan Provincial People's Congress, Chen Jinshan, Deputy Mayor of Chongqing Province, Zhang Yongze, Vice Chairman of Tibet Autonomous Region, Guo Chenglu, Vice Chairman of Gansu Provincial CPPCC, Zhao Qing, Vice Chairman of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Jang Hasung, South Korean Ambassador to China (video), He Weiwen, Vice Chairman of Global Alliance of SMEs and former Economic and Business Counselor of the Chinese Consulate General in San Francisco/New York, Li Zibin, President of China Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, Frank Cao, Secretary-General of Global Alliance of SMEs and Chinese Affairs Adviser of former German President Wulff, Quan Shunji, President of China-Asian Economic Development Association, Yu Jianlong, Secretary General of China Chamber of International Commerce, Nilolai Setzer, Chairman of Executive Board and Chief Executive Officer of Continental AG (video), Eric Musser, President and Chief Operating Officer of Corning Incorporated (video), Zhang Ruimin, Founder of Haier Group, Zeng Xiwen, Global Vice President of Unilever Group, Wu Linling, Global Vice President of Owens Corning Group, Yu Taojin, Vice President of 3M China, Peng Junsong, Vice President and Chief Digital Officer of SAP, Shinoda Toshio, Deputy Chief Representative of Marubeni Corporation in China, and Ge wandi, CEO of Volkswagen (Anhui) Co., Ltd.
At the opening ceremony, Zheng Shanjie, Party Secretary of Anhui Provincial Committee, read out the written speech of Vice Premier Liu He. Vice Premier Liu He mentioned in his written speech that General Secretary Xi Jinping highly valued the development of manufacturing, pointing out that manufacturing was the foundation of building a strong country, and we should accelerate the development of a digital, networked and intelligent manufacturing industry. Manufacturing was the “ballast” of a major economy, and was crucial for promoting economic growth and improving the quality of employment. Liu He stressed that innovation was the key to quality manufacturing development. It was necessary to consolidate enterprises’ function as the main force of innovation, create a favorable environment for innovation, explore a new mode of “enterprises ask and scientific research institutions answer”, optimize the national laboratory system, make full use of various national innovation bases, guide and help enterprises to focus on their core business and innovation, and constantly enhance their core competitiveness. Opening-up and cooperation were necessary for innovation-driven development. All countries should join hands together to maintain smooth supply chains and innovation chains. The Chinese government would continue to firmly promote high-level opening-up, equally treat domestic and foreign enterprises, and welcome entrepreneurs from all countries to seize the opportunities in the supersized Chinese market.
Then, Party Secretary Zheng Shanjie delivered a speech. He pointed out that manufacturing was the backbone of an economy and the foundation to build a strong country or province. Global manufacturing industry was facing profound changes, bringing serious challenges as well as huge opportunities. Anhui Province would follow the spirit of General Secretary Xi Jinping and thoroughly implement the requirements stated in the speech of Vice Premier Liu He, put quality development of manufacturing as a priority, improve quality, quantity and efficiency of the manufacturing industry and accelerate the pace of building a strong manufacturing province. Party Secretary Zheng Shanjie announced at the opening ceremony: “From next year, September 20th will be the opening date of the World Manufacturing Conference every year.”
Chairman Wulff pointed out in his speech via video that the biggest public health disaster after WWII—COVID-19 pandemic—was still raging around the world. Many low-income countries were particularly in trouble due to insufficient vaccine distribution and financial resource shortage. The world supply chain also encountered disruptions, causing major challenges to the world economic recovery. Trade and investment facilitation was indispensable for quality development of the manufacturing industry. To this end, it was necessary to improve global economic governance system and rules, maintain multilateral trading system with the World Trade Organization as its core, build a scientific international division of labor system in the manufacturing industry chain and build an open world economy. During the progress of manufacturing development, we must also pay special attention to green development. This was crucial to energy conservation and emission reduction, the full implementation of the Paris Agreement and our efforts to cope with climate change. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in all countries should take active actions in fields of technological innovation, energy conservation and emission reduction. Chairman Wulff hoped that the manufacturing industries of Germany and China could use this event as an opportunity to further strengthen cooperation, especially the cooperation between SMEs, and lead global manufacturing recovery in the post-pandemic era.
Xin Guobin, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, stressed at the convention that China had entered a new stage of development and had started a new journey of moving on to all-out efforts to build a great modern socialist country. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology would earnestly implement the decisions and arrangements of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, accelerate the pace of building a strong manufacturing country, and lay a solid material and technical foundation for moving on to all-out efforts to build a strong modern socialist country. He said that the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology supported SMEs to take a “professional, specialized, unique and innovative” path. It would help cultivate a number of professional, specialized, unique and innovative “Little Giant” enterprises, specialized champion enterprises and leading enterprises in the industrial chain, and promote the integrated and innovative development of enterprises of all sizes.
Nilolai Setzer, Chairman of Executive Board and Chief Executive Officer of Continental AG, noted in his video speech that China was one of the main driving forces of global digitalization. During the past several decades, China has become a hub for world-leading technologies and innovative companies. Continental Group, a German manufacturing company with 150-year history, has witnessed and participated in the rapid development of China's manufacturing industry. After 27 years of continuous growth, Continental’s business in China has now covered 28 cities and has 18 R&D centers. He thought that Anhui, as one of the manufacturing centers of China, would help the development of the manufacturing industry. Founded in 1871 and headquartered in Hanover, Germany, Continental is a Fortune 500 enterprise and the world's fourth largest tire manufacturer.
Eric Musser, President and Chief Operating Officer of Corning Incorporated, said in his video speech that, in the past two years, China’s secondary industry had grown by over 10%, providing powerful impetus for the world economic development. He believed that with the cooperation of multinational companies and Chinese businesses, China would remain a crucial part in the world supply chain. Over the past four decades, Corning Incorporated has been actively contributing to China’s economic growth. In the meantime, it has also benefited a lot from China’s development. He said that Corning Incorporated would continue to uphold the idea of taking root in and investing in China, and further improve its strategic layout of its global manufacturing network in China. Founded in 1851 in Corning, New York, Corning Incorporated is a Fortune 500 enterprise and a global leader in special glass and ceramic materials.
Zhang Ruimin, founder of Haier Group, quoted a famous saying of Hegel “What is familiarly known is not properly known” in his speech. He explained that what we used in manufacturing today was “familiarly known”, including the models and methods. But what we really needed was those “properly known”. We should subvert what we thought was right in the past, and use what was “properly known” in the Internet age to promote industrial Internet, making our businesses leaders in the manufacturing sector worldwide. Founded in 1984, Haier Group ranks the first among large home appliance brands globally.
Other guests who delivered speeches at the opening ceremony included Vladimir Norov, Secretary-General of Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Ma Jiantang, Secretary of the Party Leadership Group of the Development Research Center of the State Council, Jang Hasung, South Korean Ambassador to China (video), and Zhang Wei, Deputy Mayor of Shanghai Municipality.
The opening ceremony was presided over by Wang Qingxian, Governor of Anhui Province.
Reports released at the convention included the World Manufacturing Convention 2021 Hefei Prospect, 2021 Global Manufacturing Innovation Index White Paper, High-Quality Development Report of China's New Energy Vehicle Industry 2021 and Ten Innovative Application Cases of Industrial Internet in Anhui Province.
There were 20 activities carried out at the convention, including: “Six Hundred” matching activities of state-owned enterprises, private enterprises, foreign enterprises, enterprises from Hong Kong and Macao, China, enterprises from Taiwan, China, and overseas Chinese enterprises. There were also activities like high-end summits, forums, exhibitions, etc. Among these events, the “China-EU and U.S. Manufacturing Cooperation Forum” was hosted by Global Alliance of SMEs, the People’s Government of Lu’an Municipality and other organizations. The Alliance of International Chamber of Commerce in the Central Region was also established at the convention, with the signing of the Yangtze-river Delta International Chamber of Commerce Alliance Memorandum of Understanding and the Alliance of International Chamber of Commerce Memorandum of Understanding.
The convention’s exhibition area covered 43,000 square meters. More than 400 companies with competitive advantages exhibited thousands of cutting-edge products, highlighting the achievements of “Dual Recruitment and Dual Introduction” (an investment and talent attraction policy) in the top ten emerging industries. The exhibition was closely connected to the CIIE, introducing displays of 198 categories from 26 countries and regions exhibited in the Hongqiao Import Commodity Exhibition and Trading Center, which were deeply appreciated by the visitors.
The convention also used an online platform and the Html 5 scene application “Cloud Exhibition”. The preface—Rubik's Cube—adopted the cutting-edge and most fashionable naked-eye 3D display and panoramic VR, allowing the visitors to enjoy the online exhibition. It had not only real-time interaction and experience, but also reservation, customized visit route and switching between different exhibition areas. The online exhibition runs 24/7, building a never-ending “Cloud Exhibition” platform.
As the guest country of honor, South Korea set up a South Korean National Pavilion and held the “South Korean Culture Week”. In addition, Shanghai, Jiangsu Province and Zhejiang Province also jointly participated in the Yangtze River Delta Integration Exhibition Area.
The convention facilitated in total 703 cooperation projects, achieving a total investment of 582.18 billion Yuan. 399 projects were signed at the convention with a total investment of 374.32 billion Yuan.
The World Manufacturing Conference has been successfully held for four years. In 2018, Global Alliance of SMEs and the People’s Government of Anhui Province jointly initiated and hosted the first “World Manufacturing Convention”. In 2019, President Xi Jinping sent a congratulation letter to the event, setting development goals for the convention at a higher level. For four years, there have been 2,455 projects signed at the WMC, with a total investment of about 2.38 trillion Yuan. So far, among the projects signed at the previous three WMCs, a total of 1643 projects have completed business registration in Anhui and 1518 projects have already started construction. The project registration rate is 94% and 87% of projects started construction, attracting a total investment of 66 million Yuan.
The Opening Ceremony
Zheng Shanjie, Party Secretary of Anhui Provincial Committee, read out the written speech of Vice Premier Liu He
Wang Qingxian, Governor of Anhui Province, presided over the meeting
Address via video by Christian Wulff, former German President and Global President of GASME
Address by Vladimir Norov, Secretary-General of Shanghai Cooperation Organization
Address by Ma Jiantang, Secretary of the Party Leadership Group of the Development Research Center of the State Council
Address by Xin Guobin, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology
Address via video by Jang Hasung, South Korean Ambassador to China
Address by Zhang Wei, Deputy Mayor of Shanghai Municipality
Address via video by Nilolai Setzer, Chairman of Executive Board and Chief Executive Officer of Continental AG
Address via video by Eric Musser, President and Chief Operating Officer of Corning Incorporated
Address by Zhang Ruimin, Founder of Haier Group
Release of Hefei Prospect
Signing Ceremony of major project
China-EU and U.S. Manufacturing Cooperation Forum hosted by GASME
China-EU and U.S. Manufacturing Cooperation Forum hosted by GASME
Main Exhibition Hall of the convention
Opening ceremony of the South Korean (guest country of honor) Pavilion