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updated 7:11 AM UTC, Aug 23, 2017
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Manufacturing in focus at Kunshan import event

Global manufacturing solutions providers will gather at the 2017 China Import Expo in Kunshan in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, between May 17 and 19, to support China's manufacturing industrial upgrade and transformation plans.

Leading machine tools, robotic technologies and 3-D printing technology developers and makers will display the latest manufacturing systems and solutions during the three-day fair, including Germany's Siemens, Japan's NSK, Kawasaki and Nidec, and China's Muye Group, according to the event organizers.

Siemens plans to participate in the China Import Expo for the second time. It will establish an Industry 4.0 laboratory to show its latest approach to serving the new stage of global industrial revolution. The company will showcase its industrial cloud system at the expo, with solutions for small and medium-sized enterprises that are keen to promote transparent management in production processes.

Kasawaki Heavy Industries, one of the world's leading automation technology developers from Japan, will occupy 58 booths in its third showing at the expo. It will demonstrate its most advanced robotic technologies to visitors. A Japan-made vehicle assembly line, which includes 10 robots, will demonstrate highly automated production processes to visitors.

Nidec, one of the largest motor developers and producers from Japan, will also be a focus for global buyers. Naka Kouji, senior manager from Nidec, hopes the event can help to expand the company's brand awareness in China so it can strengthen partnerships with more Chinese businesses.

Naka said that his company has acquired many businesses in the world over the past three years to expand its footprint in the production sector. It acquired Spain's Arisa in 2015, aiming to expand its technological and market reach in the global press machine market. It also made acquisition deals in the United States.

"China and Japan are in different economic development stages, which means the two countries have strong potential for cooperation," Naka said.

"We will strengthen our commitment to China in the upcoming years because the Chinese market is worth exploring deeply."

In recent years, China's machine tool and robotic industries expanded rapidly along with its growing manufacturing industry.

China became the world's largest industrial robotic market in 2013, according to the International Federation of Robotics. However, its advanced robotics market is dominated by foreign businesses.

The same situation is also evident in the high-end machine tools industry. It was reported that more than 80 percent of high-end machine tools are imported.

China is implementing its Made in China 2025 strategy, a 10-year national plan designed to transform the country from a manufacturing giant into a global high-tech manufacturing powerhouse. The plan was first mentioned by Premier Li Keqiang in his government work report in March 2015 and has been reiterated on many important occasions.

The central government is promoting the Made in China 2025 initiative, mainly aiming to support industrial development in 10 fields, including advanced numerical-controlled machine tools and robotics that integrate information technology with production, in an attempt to help China's manufacturers to develop smart and high-efficiency products.

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