China Exclusive: China set for leading role in Industry 4.0: Klaus Schwab

  WUZHEN, Zhejiang, Dec. 17 (Xinhua)– China is going to play a leading role in the new wave of economic activities and technological innovation, World Economic Forum founder and executive chair Klaus Schwab told Xinhua in an exclusive interview during the ongoing Second World Internet Conference (WIC).

“The Internet is already part of culture and we should learn to use it to promote global cultural exchanges,” he said.

As a speaker at the opening ceremony of WIC, Schwab found that he shared many ideas of Internet development with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

“The most important one is that we should keep the Internet open and we have to work together on the global level,” he said, noting it needs the dedication of governments, businesses and individuals to shape the Internet in such a way that everybody has access and that the Internet can really serve as an engine and catalyst for economic development.

In his observation, the Fourth Industrial Revolution featuring technology such as artificial intelligence, robotics, 3D printing and nanotechnology is coming our way at an overwhelming speed.

Schwab said China has already established a foothold in many areas and looks set to continue. However, China must ensure the transition from low-end manufacturing to modern industry is successful to sustain this path.

“The ‘Internet Plus’ and ‘Made in China 2015’ [strategies] show that China is going right toward that direction,” Schwab added.

Schwab pointed out that a big task will be ensuring equal assess to the Internet. The digital divide is a problem both across the world and it must be addressed on a global level.

“China has good preconditions to bridge the digital divide and help other countries enhance information infrastructure,” said Schwab citing China’s huge population with Internet access and the current developments regarding 5G.

To cope with the challenges to governance brought about by the current technological shift, Schwab suggested a more agile approach to government-private-expert cooperation to create the optimal conditions for smart technology and service orientated design, both hallmarks of Industry 4.0, as the Fourth Industrial Revolution is also known.

Looking ahead, Schwab pictures a future where a sensor implanted in our body will help us control objects around us. Industry 4.0 will change the way we work, too, as we will no longer be held back by geographical limitations, the world will be our office.

“We will have richer social lives […] and most importantly a greener environment where we can breathe fresh air every day. It’s not fiction and its not far away,” Schwab said. Enditem

 Editor   Xuefei Chen Axelsson

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