CHINA has moved to bolster its 3-D printing sector with favorable policies from stronger fiscal support to easier financing as it counts on high-tech, emerging sectors to drive the economy.
The government expects the industry to maintain an annual growth rate of more than 30 percent in the coming years and its revenue to top 20 billion yuan (US$3 billion) in 2020, according to guidelines released Wednesday by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and 11 other agencies.
Homegrown core technology will reach international levels at that time, said the guidelines, which aim to foster two or three domestic firms able to take on global rivals with their products recognized in overseas markets.
Specifically, breakthroughs will be made on more than 100 types of technological equipment, key devices and special materials, and more than 100 pilot programs will be launched, according to the official plan. The technology will be widely used in aviation, ship building, car making, health care, culture, and education.
The MIIT promised to increase fiscal support for 3-D printing companies, and said it will encourage diverse financing models including going public and issuing bonds. Financial leasing will also be promoted.
Foreign firms will be encouraged to set up research and development centers in China, according to the guidelines.
The market for 3-D printing in China is booming as the technology is being tested in nearly all possible applications, from housing to food, clothing and surgery.
The output value of China’s 3-D printing industry hit nearly 8 billion yuan in 2016, up by 87.5 percent year-on-year, and highlighting the the industry’s strong momentum, according to data from Additive Manufacturing Alliance of China.
Beijing, Shanghai, Shaanxi, Guangdong and Hubei provinces have formed a 3-D industry chain, in terms of geography, which covers product design, materials, key components, equipment and applications. Shaanxi Province has applied for more than 1,000 patents related to 3-D printing.