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Rockwell Automation banks on digital, green transition in China

By FAN FEIFEI | China Daily | Updated: 2024-04-19 09:30

A view of the booth of Rockwell Automation during an expo in Shanghai. PHOTO/CHINA DAILY

US-based industrial automation company Rockwell Automation is eyeing opportunities arising from China's digital and green transformation, a senior executive said.

Ian Shih, president of Rockwell Automation China, said the company is also planning to drive more collaborations in China's strategic emerging industries, such as new energy and life sciences.

Since Rockwell entered the Chinese market in 1988, it has been deeply impressed by the remarkable resilience and dynamism of the country's economy, Shih added.

In the context of China's ongoing efforts to promote a dual-circulation development pattern and the reshaping of global supply chains, he said Rockwell has witnessed an increasing number of Chinese enterprises expanding their horizons and seeking opportunities overseas for a second wave of growth.

Ian Shih

"In tandem with this expansion, these companies are prioritizing the acceleration of their digital transformation journeys in order to strengthen their core competitiveness on the global stage," Shih said.

He highlighted that Rockwell is stepping up efforts to help Chinese enterprises achieve digitalized and intelligent transformation by applying its innovative technologies and strengths in smart manufacturing.

Noting that China has placed great emphasis on technological innovation, he said the company looks forward to leveraging its experience in industrial automation and digital transformation, and accelerating the innovation and application of emerging technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence and industrial internet of things in China.

"We believe that cultivating new quality productive forces necessitates upgrading the quality and models of businesses in China," he said.

The company is capitalizing on the opportunities from China's digital and green transformation journey and strengthening collaboration with a wider range of local partners to contribute to the sustainable development of the Chinese economy, he added.

"Promoting high-quality and sustainable economic development has become a critical issue worldwide. China's economy has seen continuous improvement in both efficiency and green development due to a series of policies," Shih pointed out.

With over 30 years of experience in China, Rockwell has witnessed the country's reform and opening-up. "We are encouraged by China's commitment to providing a world-class business environment for foreign companies," he said.

China is the world's largest manufacturing country, with its industrial output accounting for nearly 30 percent of the global total, ranking first for 14 consecutive years, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

The country recently announced the removal of all restrictions on foreign investment access in the manufacturing sector, and has introduced a series of policies supporting the high-quality development of the digital economy and green economy.

"These developments strengthen our resolve to deepen our local roots and collaborate with Chinese manufacturing partners in charting a course for the industry's high-quality development," Shih added.

"The next five years will be a golden period for pushing forward digitalization, and governments around the world have attached great significance to digitalization," said Kitty Fok, managing director of market consultancy IDC China.

The rapid development of the digital economy will bolster the advancement of digitalization, Fok said.

IDC expects more than 50 percent of global GDP to be driven by digitally transformed enterprises over the next five years.

Rockwell is also dedicated to constructing a net-zero supply chain through innovative initiatives like the Rockii ESG (environmental, social and governance) Alliance.

By fostering cross-border collaboration with both domestic and international partners in the ecosystem, the company is driving green and low-carbon processes across the supply chain, jointly contributing to the sustainable growth of China's economy, Shih said.

The digitalization of enterprises serves as the cornerstone of the digital economy, said Xiang Ligang, director-general of the Information Consumption Alliance, a telecom industry association.

Emerging digital technologies represented by 5G, big data and AI have played a critical role in enhancing operational efficiency, cutting costs and improving the core competitiveness of traditional industries amid downward economic pressure, Xiang said.

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