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Summer Davos to focus on new industrial revolution

Updated: Jun 21,2016 5:35 PM

Progress made in information, biology and materials technologies in recent years is definitely leading to a new industrial revolution, said Tong Jiadong, head of the Summer Davos agenda-preparing group, in an interview with Xinhua.

Therefore, the 2016 Summer Davos will focus on the new industrial revolution, said Tong.

The 2016 Summer Davos Forum — also known as the annual meeting of the New Champions — will be held in Tianjin from June 26 to 28. The forum’s theme is “The Fourth Industrial Revolution and Its Transformational Impact”.

The fourth industrial revolution is the current trend of automation and data exchanges in manufacturing technologies. It creates “smart factories” through technologies of cyber-physical systems, internet of Things, and cloud computing, among others.

In the past, an important symbol of industrial revolution was the fast growth of GDP, but this time it will be replaced by bringing more convenience and sharp cuts in costs, Tong said.

The reason is that technological progress in information, biology and materials in the past eight years is cutting costs and bringing more convenience, said Tong.

“For example, apps like WeChat and Alipay have reduced the cost of communication and payment, cross-border e-commerce has cut trade links and wide use of new materials has reduced our reliance on nonrenewable resources,” Tong added.

“These progresses might not lead to GDP growth,” Tong said. “But they make people’s lives more convenient.”

As the new industrial revolution is approaching, this year’s topics will include the connections between technological revolution and trade, US economic growth as well as changes in exchange rates, said Tong.

In addition, participants will also discuss hot issues concerning China as well as the host city of Tianjin, such as cutting stocks, cutting capacity, supply-side reform, the construction of Tianjin free trade zone and the coordinated development of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei, Tong said.