Helping hand to drive manufacturing

Shanghai will nurture 500 selected products and brands to bolster its plan to become a world leading manufacturing city by 2020.

Shanghai will nurture 500 selected products and brands to bolster its plan to become a world leading manufacturing city by 2020.

The city government said yesterday that the number will include eight to 10 unicorn enterprises — private firms with a market value over US$1 billion.

Manufacturing has for decades been a “name card” for Shanghai, thanks to a host of famous brands. Now the city wants to “polish” that image by upgrading traditional products alongside nurturing advanced technologies. The aim is that by doing so Shanghai will have a larger voice in global manufacturing.

The 500 brands include traditional renowned brands and newly developed ones, said Chen Mingbo, director of Shanghai Economy and Information Commission. 

“Both are showing excellent quality and leading technologies developed in Shanghai.”

The city wants to see famous brands such as Lao Feng Xiang (jewelry) and Threegun (clothing) revitalized as this will help to revive traditional manufacturing industries.

Shanghai also wants the development of high-tech industries such as integrated circuits and aviation speeded up, Chen said.

Wu Jincheng, deputy director of the commission, said upgrading among Shanghai-based producers should include taking in new technologies by learning from domestic rivals or merging with companies overseas, alongside developing new production patterns and business models.

Traditional brands should enhance competitiveness by developing new products combined with new technologies, improving designs and enhancing innovation, he added.

The growth of brands in advanced industries, meanwhile, is linked with the city’s plan of nurturing up to 10 unicorn manufacturing companies, which will be achieved by enhancing efforts in areas covering smart manufacturing, biological medicine, new energy, and intelligent and connected vehicles.

Shanghai has “a great advantage in the development of integrated circuit, bolstered by its industrial chain nationwide,” Chen said. 

The city will speed up efforts in such areas, in turn, attracting more highly skilled professionals, he added.

Alongside these plans, Chen also said the city will develop 20 “industrial Internet platforms” to boost smart manufacturing, alongside catapulting at least three Shanghai-based manufacturers into the world’s top 500 enterprises.

To achieve such goals, the government will provide support in fundraising and improve the business environment, such as urging banks to provide more loans to manufacturing companies and to develop more industrial clusters, Chen said.

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