This summer, China‘s State Council announced its “12th Five-Year Plan on National Emerging Industries of Strategic Importance.” Behind the lengthy title is a single initiative with far-reaching implications: The looming economic giant has chosen seven key emerging technologies on which to focus its economic might.
These seven industries, many of which have yet to receive substantial stateside support, will become the focal points for China’s state economic development and will create new markets for American exporters of energy solutions.
New & Alternative Fuels for the Automotive Industry: Concerns over the boom in car ownership led the city of Guangzhou to limit new license plates through auctions and lotteries. With fuel and pollution worries growing, other municipalities are expected to follow suit. As China’s burgeoning middle class rushes to get behind the wheel, the state is playing the long game by looking to clean-burning cars.
Information Technology: China’s tech industry is fast outgrowing the aging technology infrastructure, and the number of professionals skilled enough to take on demanding IT jobs is perilously low. To keep up with its tech-savvy neighbors Japan and South Korea, let alone the U.S., China will attempt to pump considerable resources into multiple facets of its IT sector.
Biotechnology: An obvious choice given the agricultural and medical needs of a massive populace, the biotech sector will see considerable funding over the next five years.
High-End Manufacturing: Following this somewhat general resolution that aims to “green up” the production of everything from aviation to rail travel to consumer goods, both Chinese companies as well as foreign entities with manufacturing centers in China will find themselves increasingly pressured to improve their manufacturing standards.
New Materials: A vague-sounding pronouncement, which covers the fabrication of advanced composites and next-generation building materials designed to reduce the environmental impact of growing China’s basic infrastructure.
New Energy: A broad label for a resolution devoting increased attention and state resources to the development of nuclear, wind, solar and biomass energy production.
Environmental Protection: In perhaps the most sweeping piece of the plan, China aims to change its reputation as one of the globe’s least environmentally conscious nations by pouring resources into stewardship initiatives like national recycling programs, emission reduction and a more robust environmental protection apparatus.
According to the brief, China aims to increase the share of these seven industries’ total added value to its GDP to 8% by 2015 and 15% by 2020.