Nov 16, 2015 | By Alec

Though the G20 summit will have been partly overshadowed by international security concerns following the horrendous attacks in Paris on Friday, this meeting of the world’s industrial giants is first and foremost and economic one. Questions surrounding the lingering financial crisis and changing economies were therefore foremost on the agenda, in in that respect the Chinese president Xi Jinping gave a very interesting speech that focused on the Chinese economic future. Though now in every way a big production economy, he argued that sluggish growth needs to be countered by innovation-driven development tools, including 3D printing technology and Internet+.

In the speech, he thus essentially called for upgrading traditional industries with the help of state of the art manufacturing technologies like 3D printing. Entitled ‘Innovative Growth That Benefits All’, the leader called for a collaborative effort by the G20 to maintain stable economic growth, while also using such new technologies to set the course for long term development too.

This closely fits the theme of the summit, held in the Turkish resort city Antalya, which is ‘collective action for inclusive and robust growth’ and seeks to find long term, sustainable solutions for the entire world economy. As Xi reiterated in his speech, the traditional economic system is losing its growth potential, which is highlighting the shortcomings of the structures currently used to govern the economy. ‘These factors have weakened the momentum of global growth and dampened effective demand, which are manifested in sluggish growth,’ he argued.

While G20 researchers and economists have long been debating various solutions, Xi argued that a powerful tool could be found the up and coming technologies and industries. ‘One strong impression I have got from meetings with Chinese entrepreneurs back at home and during my visits to foreign countries is that the new round of scientific and industrial revolution is creating historic opportunities,’ he argues. ‘New ideas and new business forms such as Internet+, sharing economy, 3D printing and smart manufacturing are generating enormous business opportunities and demand. There is also huge potential in upgrading traditional industries with new technologies. We should seize the opportunities, and make innovation-driven development and cultivation of new growth points the new priorities of G20 cooperation.’

Doing so, he continues, will require great efforts from the G20 community on both the supply and demand sides of the economy. Countries need to accelerate and encourage the transition from old drivers to the new growth tools, and work together to create a new global demand – one that is effective and sustainable. Seizing opportunities, cultivating innovation-driven development are to become the priorities of G20 cooperation.

Of course, 3D printing won’t simply fix the economic crisis, but these kinds of industries could play a vital role. In his speech, Xi further called for revitalizing trade and investment, and the reduction of protectionism. ‘We should reject protectionism and uphold and strengthen the multilateral trading regime in order to provide sufficient space for the development of different countries,’ he said. Over 2014, foreign direct investments have dropped by 8 percent worldwide. Furthermore, the regional trade blocks that are being formed by politically allied nations should be carefully watched and steps should be taken to prevent them from becoming obstacles to trade, he added.

In his speech, of which the full text can be found here, the Chinese leader further discussed the relatively slow growth of China’s economy – after a 30-year boom. He told his colleagues that China is able to sustain a medium-high growth rate, but that the country will be taking steps to adjust the structure of the economy. ‘We have adopted the proposal on the 13th Five-Year Plan, committing to the attainment of a society of initial prosperity in all respects and the doubling of the 2010 GDP and per capita urban and rural income by 2020,’ Xi says. ‘In the coming five years, we will pursue innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development, focus on implementing the strategy of innovation-driven growth, create new driving force and ensure balanced progress in promoting a new type of industrialization, IT application, urbanization and agricultural modernization. We will move from being a big manufacturer to a strong manufacturer and boost technological innovations and their application including mobile internet, cloud computing and big data.’

While 3D printing had already found a fertile soil in China’s industrial and political environment, this speech thus suggests that the technology is set to be given even more room to grow and bloom over the coming years.



Posted in 3D Printing Technology



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