Wednesday, 25 November 2015

China automation industry issues group standards for robots

The China Association for Science and Technology published four standards for industrial robots-the first for China's robotics industry-at the World Robot Conference 2015 in Beijing. The three-day conference, which opened on Monday, was jointly hosted by the association, the Beijing municipal government and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to boost the development of the robotics industry in China.

"Technological innovation is the driving force in the development of the robotics industry, and standards play a crucial role in promoting new technologies," said Song Jun, head of the academic department of the association. "The standards themselves are an important achievement brought about by innovation."

"After publication, we will seek recognition of the standards to make them a common language for international technological exchanges," he said. The newly published standards apply to three different kinds of robots: stacking robots, wheeled robots and electronic belt scales.

At the publication ceremony on Tuesday, representatives from more than 20 leading robotics research institutes and industrial robot producers signed commitments that they will adopt the standards.

"The Chinese authorities related to industrial automation had been carrying out successive reforms in recent years, and the publication of the group standard is one of the most promising developments," said Yang Shuping, a researcher at the Beijing Research Institute of Automation for the Machinery Industry.

Group standards are a set of voluntary technical standards created by nongovernmental academic organizations that are thoroughly tested before being promulgated on a national scale.In July, the State Council, China's Cabinet, issued an implementation plan to transfer more government functions, including the establishment of some industry standards, to the China Association for Science, a public organization of 204 technological associations covering more than 70 percent of China's tech community.

In the months that followed, the association compiled standards for a number of cutting-edge technologies including industrial robots, electric cars and 3D printing.

"Group standards are a good supplement to national standards. Since the development cycle of group standards is usually fast, it responds quickly to market changes and can lay the groundwork for amendments to national standards," Yang said.

In September, the Standardization Administration of China authorized the establishment of a special team for standardization within the robotics industry. The team-composed of government officials and industrial experts from 56 different government authorities, research institutes and companies-will develop and propose the international standards.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Shanghai FTZ unveils new financial reforms

BEIJING - Liberalizing the capital account was the highlight of a number of new pilot measures that China's central bank announced for the Shanghai free trade zone on Friday.

The People's Bank of China said in a statement that individuals in the zone will be allowed to directly buy overseas assets, including businesses, stocks and real estate.

Chinese citizens currently can only make overseas investments through third parties including banks and securities firms.

China will also increase the exchange quota for its citizens in the zone. Currently, each one only has an exchange quota of $50,000 every year.

In addition, the zone will allow more institutions and individuals to buy securities and futures in the domestic and overseas markets.

The central bank did not give a timetable for the measures.

Lu Zhengwei, chief economist with Industrial Bank, said the moves indicate accelerated steps toward capital account liberalization and renminbi internationalization as China is seeking to include renminbi in a basket of reserve currencies by the IMF.

Zhu Ying, president of international business with Agricultural Bank of China's Shanghai branch, said the new policies will make it easier for both individuals and institutions to invest and raise funds across the border.

Top 10 biggest exporters of food to China

Appetite for imported food has been growing fast in the country as the increasingly wealthy population seeks more exotic eating, latest data showed.

China's food imports saw an annualized growth of 17.4 percent through the 2010-2014 period, Xinhua reported, citing data from the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.

The imports came from 213 countries and regions, with the top 10 exporters accounting for 84.3 percent of the total trade. Among all, ASEAN ranks as the number one source of food imports.

2. European Union
3. The US
4. New Zealand
5. Brazil
6. Canada
7. Russia
8. Australia
9. Argentina
10. Republic of Korea