2024 industry work conference highlights new industrialisation

context: Annual work conferences review the year and announce priorities for the next year. MIIT (Ministry of Industry and Information Technology) did not hold one in 2022, and its 2021 work conference was overshadowed by COVID-19-related manufacturing disruptions. Throughout 2023, ‘new industrialisation’ has gained in prominence. MIIT has received additional responsibilities for its implementation in the 2023 agency overhaul.

‘New industrialisation’ was the core theme of the MIIT (Ministry of Industry and Information Technology) annual work conference, held on 21 December. The meeting readout stresses that new industrialisation is a strategic deployment for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, and calls for thoroughly implementing the requirements laid out at the National New Industrialisation Conference held by the CPC Central Committee in September 2023. 

The meeting readout highlights 12 specific tasks for 2024, including

  • steady growth of the industrial economy through
    • boosting bulk consumption
    • economic propaganda and public opinion guidance
    • service guarantees for foreign-invested projects in manufacturing
    • steady growth of the tobacco industry
  • key manufacturing industry chains through key tech research projects and major technical equipment research projects
  • industrial innovation capabilities by
    • creating an upgraded version of the ‘Torch’ program (CP note: The Torch Centre promotes industrial application of new technology. It was transferred from MoST (Ministry of Science and Technology) to MIIT in the 2023 agency overhaul.)
    • setting up national ‘new industrialisation demo zones’
  • traditional industries, such as upgrading steel, nonferrous metals and light industry
  • consolidating and enhancing leading position in advantageous industries, such as NEVs (new energy vehicles), battery and battery swapping, photovoltaics and rare earths applications in aerospace, information tech and new energy
  • cultivation of emerging industries, such as ICVs (intelligent connected vehicles), satellite internet, new energy, new materials, high-end equipment, biomedicine, high-end medical equipment, safety emergency equipment, biomanufacturing and commercial aerospace
  • future industries, targeting humanoid robots and quantum information
  • information technology through
    • large-scale deployment of 5G and gigabit optical networks and intelligent computing infrastructure
    • 6G early stage research
    • enhanced protection of critical infrastructure emergency response capabilities
  • green and low-carbon development through strict control of new production capacity of steel, cement and flat glass
  • specialised SMEs and the integrated development of large, medium and small enterprises
  • national defence technology industry
  • universities under MIIT
  • improving governance for
    • industries with overcapacity
    • industry standardisation
    • open market access to industries such as telecommunications

The meeting readout highlights progress in 2023, including

  • growth of the industrial economy
    • industrial value added grew 4.3 percent y-o-y
    • proportion of manufacturing to GDP remained stable
    • high-tech manufacturing value added grew 2.3 percent y-o-y
    • equipment manufacturing industry value-added grew 6.4 percent y-o-y
    • export of ‘three new export products’ (NEVs, lithium batteries, photovoltaic cells) grew rapidly
  • MIIT successfully assuming new responsibilities and bodies in the party and state institutional reform
  • specific successes in key industrial chains, such as 
    • start of commercial operation of the C919 aircraft
    • delivery of China’s first large-scale cruise ship
    • the world’s largest single-unit offshore wind turbine
    • completed certification for the first domestic ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation)
    • mass production of domestically developed 6-row cotton pickers
    • launch of the Shenzhou 16 and 17 spacecrafts 
  • manufacturing innovation system strengthened
    • 29 national manufacturing innovation centres, 260 provincial
    • 78 national high-tech industrial development zones
    • industrial transfer docking activities in 45 national-level advanced manufacturing clusters
  • high-tech SMEs strengthened, now reaching
    • 12,000 ‘little giants’ 
    • 103,00 specialised SME 
    • 100 SME clusters 

Jin Zhuanglong 金壮龙 MIIT minister presided over the conference, and cadres from provincial industry departments of Liaoning, Jiangsu, Hubei, Sichuan and the Shanghai Municipal Communications Bureau attended.