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Interview: UNIDO chief says three challenges to be addressed in implementing Industry 4.0

Xinhua, April 25, 2017 Adjust font size:

The need for further awareness building, the requirement for entirely new skills, and the need for traceable and comparable industrial standards are three challenges in implementing the concept of Industry 4.0, said a senior UN official on Monday.

Li Yong, director general of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), said that although Industry 4.0 has the potential to improve productivity and competitiveness, to increase energy and resource efficiency, and therefore to protect the environment, these challenges should be addressed, the UNIDO chief told the Sino-German Intelligent Manufacturing Investment Cooperation Conference during the world's largest industrial trade exhibition -- the Hanover Fair.

"UNIDO is more than ready to assume its role in tackling these challenges," he said, showing confidence in collaborative actions with the international community, with which potential losers of this new industrial trend can be turned into its main beneficiaries.

Li emphasized the importance of city-to-city cooperation, which UNIDO actively promotes through international and high-level Belt and Road (B&R) events -- B&R Inclusive and Sustainable City Exhibition and Dialogue, which was held for the first time in Vienna last year.

Li said "the second high-level B&R event will take place in Vienna from Sept. 26 to Sept. 28, 2017," which will discuss sector-specific urban development challenges and will aid in the development of concrete project-based opportunities for business matchmaking, financing and investment.

Regarding Sino-German cooperation in intelligent manufacturing, or aligning Germany's "Industry 4.0" with "Made in China 2025," Li said, China and Germany, both as very important member countries of UNIDO, have a long tradition of friendship, sharing a common interest in enhancing business collaborations and engaging in long-term joint ventures.

He is very confident that Chinese cities can offer a conducive business environment to allure more foreign companies from Germany and other countries that are looking for business potential in the thriving sub-regions of China.

It is very encouraging to see the renewed attention given to high-tech industrialization as a driver of economic diversification, value addition, economic growth and sustainable development, the UNIDO chief said.

He underlined that "history shows that no country in the world has reached a high stage of economic and social development without an advanced industrial sector."

For its 70th year, the five-day Hanover Fair, which opens on Monday, is expected to attract around 200,000 visitors this year. Endi