On 9 March 2015, representatives of German industry, politics and academia met for a half-day Private Sector Roundtable on “Industrie 4.0” at Kempinski Hotel Lufthansa Center in Beijing. Moderated by the Economic Department of the German Embassy in Beijing, participants discussed the implementation progress of “Industrie 4.0“ in Germany and China, anticipated market opportunities for the German private sector as well as potentials for future bilateral cooperation with a delegation from the Department for Industry Policy at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).
Organised by the Sino-German Quality Infrastructure Project (QI Project) on behalf of BMWi, more than 30 participants attended the event. In their opening remarks, speakers especially highlighted the importance of topics such as cyber security, new working environments and “Industrie 4.0”-related standard setting. Moreover, the event served as exchange opportunity to identify potentials for bilateral cooperation in these areas from a view of German enterprises in China.
Participants welcomed Germany’s pioneering role in conceptualising and developing “Industrie 4.0” and agreed that, given its cross-sectoral nature and current era of economic interdependencies along the entire global value chain, related aspects and developments have to be considered from a global perspective. Especially China is regarded as an important cooperation partner. Its rapid development is associated with both great opportunities and anticipated risks, which might eventually open up new horizons for the German industry.
In their presentations, representatives of leading German enterprises embodying “Industrie 4.0”-related user and provider industries shed light on their views regarding supportive political measures, associated market opportunities and their visions of potentials for the Sino-German bilateral cooperation.
One of the most important key messages delivered by attending private sector representatives from different industries alike has been the vision to use “Industrie 4.0” to more transparently and efficiently reshape the entire global value chain down to the end-consumer. Setting relevant standards and overcoming emerging cyber security issues have been viewed as an essential pre-condition for the successful realization of “Industrie 4.0”.