Sino-German Cooperation on Industrie 4.0

Project description

Title: Sino-German Cooperation on Industrie 4.0
Commissioned byCommissioned byCommissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)
Country: People’s Republic of China
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the People’s Republic of China (MIIT)
Overall term: 2017 to 2019

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Context

Sino-German trade amounted to around 187 billion euros in 2017, which makes China Germany’s most important trading partner. Numerous opportunities for sales and investment result from these intensive economic relations and the ongoing modernisation of industry in both countries. At the same time, the differing economic systems and industrial policy strategies give rise to a significant need for in-depth dialogue. Corporate cooperation, research collaboration and the development of common standards are unlocking enormous economic potential on both sides. 
The German strategy for Industrie 4.0 envisages comprehensive digitalisation of industrial production and acts as a worldwide benchmark with regard to the modernisation of industry and the integration of manufacturing processes. China is pursuing similar objectives with its ‘Made in China 2025’ and ‘Internet Plus’ initiatives. 
Against this background, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in July 2015 that communicates their intention to promote cooperation in the area of intelligent manufacturing. BMWi commissioned the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in 2016 to implement these plans. 

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Objective

The central cooperation office is deepening mutual economic and political understanding between Germany and China. Dialogue mechanisms have been established, intensified and interlinked. This leads to an improvement of the economic conditions in China and also contributes to the ongoing development of a liberal trade system.

Approach

The project supports the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding on the promotion of corporate cooperation and is deepening mutual economic and political understanding between Germany and China. 

GIZ operates a central working office and point of contact in China in the area of Industrie 4.0. As a federal enterprise, GIZ cooperates here with political, economic and societal stakeholders in both countries and is supporting political exchange in a coordinating and advisory capacity. The project is working closely with the Industrie 4.0 platform and the German Embassy in China. To help establish equal competitive conditions for German and Chinese companies, the project often introduces new topics, such as cybersecurity, into its cooperation activities. Cooperation takes place on a more detailed level with the assistance of dialogue platforms such as the ‘Company Industrie 4.0 and Intelligent Manufacturing’ Working Group and the ‘Digitalisation and Industrie 4.0’ steering committee. 
The implementation partner on the Chinese side is the China Center for Information Industry Development (CCID), which has been commissioned by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to implement the Memorandum of Understanding. 

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Results

This cooperation creates a market environment where companies can define the opportunities and scope of the cooperation and achieve progress with the implementation of specific projects.

As a result of the project’s work, core channels of communication have been established between German and Chinese stakeholders from the fields of politics and business. The Company Working Group is particularly noteworthy in this regard. It acts as an open platform for the ongoing exchange of information and advice between German and Chinese companies, experts and other interested parties. Small and medium-sized enterprises benefit particularly from this. In addition, the project carries out content-related and organisational planning of the annual Sino-German Symposium on Intelligent Manufacturing and Interconnected Production Processes at the level of State Secretaries and Deputy Ministers for BMWi and also supports the implementation process. 

The project has improved political understanding of the particular characteristics of the other side’s industrial-policy approach and has thus put in place an important foundation for future cooperation. The project is also advising BMWi with the aim of furthering development of Sino-German cooperation with a focus on additional digitalisation issues.