The China Opportunity
There are many opportunities in the advanced manufacturing and transportation sector in China, some of which are government-led. The Chinese government’s continued support and development of the Made in China 2025
strategy plays an important role across the industries it identifies as key for China’s transformation into a global technological leader in certain fields, including integrated circuits, aircraft engines, new energy vehicles, and new materials.
Outside of Made in China 2025, sales of electric vehicles are strong in China, just as they are globally. In 2017, 1.22 million electric vehicles were sold worldwide, a year-on-year increase of 58%. This figure is estimated to reach 1.5 million in 2018, of which half will be sold in China, partly due to government policies that favour the purchase of such vehicles. Similarly, other technology in this field, including that related to autonomous driving and enhanced mobility, is in high demand in China.
The rapid expansion currently being seen within the Chinese automotive industry, especially in areas related to more advanced technology, has resulted in a shortage of the engineering talent required to meet this growth, creating opportunities for both UK engineering companies and those that provide training in such areas. Industrial design is a further area in which China is encountering problems in finding the skills it needs, particularly in high-end areas such as premium vehicles and first-class carriage designs, and UK companies are also well placed to supply these skills.
The UK has relevant strengths in a variety of industries within the advanced manufacturing and transportation sector that meet China’s needs, including:
- The General Aviation Industry - The UK has strengths in avionics that are in demand among Chinese companies.
- The Cruise Ship Industry - The design of cruise ships themselves and their interiors are skills required in China that the UK can provide.
- The Automotive Industry - Within the automotive industry, the UK exhibits an array of strengths that are of interest to Chinese companies, including in the production of low-carbon materials, battery technology, powertrain technology, V2V and V2I technology, test facilities for autonomous vehicles and other vehicles, the exterior and interior design of a number of types of transportation, and automotive engineering training.
- Automechanika (an exhibition within the automotive sector), Shanghai, 3-6 December 2019
- ITMA Asia + CITME (an exhibition within the advanced engineering sector), Shanghai, October 2020
- China International Import Expo (an exhibition across multiple sectors), November 2020
- All in Print China 2020 (an exhibition within the advanced engineering sector), Shanghai, 12-16 October 2020
- Seawork Asia (an exhibition and conference within the marine sector), Shanghai, 3-5 November 2020
- China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition, Zhuhai, 10-15 November 2020
- INMEX China 2020, The 9th edition of the Leading & Definitive International Maritime Expo in the Pearl River Delta Region, Guangzhou, 9-11 December 2020