XIAMEN, May 24 (Xinhua) -- The industrial internet and digital manufacturing are taking root in BRICS countries, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. There are broad prospects for cooperation in these fields, transforming modes of production and shaping people's experiences of life, work and study.
This topic was extensively discussed at the opening ceremony of the BRICS Forum on Development of the Industrial Internet and Digital Manufacturing on Monday in Xiamen, east China's Fujian Province, with nearly 300 representatives attending in person and virtually.
The use of smart agricultural equipment such as driverless tractors is now commonplace on large farms in Brazil, one of the world's biggest producers and exporters of soybeans and beef, according to Brazilian Ambassador to China Paulo Estivallet de Mesquita.
In Russia, digital technology has been widely applied in the unmanned manufacturing and transportation sectors. Some transportation product prototypes are undergoing digital transformation upgrades, said Alexey Gruzdev, Russia's deputy minister of industry and trade. He also said that Russia is ready to work with other BRICS countries in industrial digitization.
India is also working on digital infrastructure and government services, and the country has cut health care costs through digital means, making inexpensive health care services accessible to the public, said Som Parkash, India's union minister of state for commerce and industry.
South Africa is taking advantage of the industrial internet and digital manufacturing to create more opportunities for young people, said Ebrahim Patel, South Africa's minister of trade, industry and competition, expressing the hope that related businesses and sectors in BRICS countries will carry out closer cooperation.
In China, digital transformation leads the way to industrial development. "China has built the largest optical-fiber and mobile networks in the world, with over 1.6 million 5G base stations and over 400 million 5G phone users," said Xiao Yaqing, China's minister of industry and information technology.
The scale of China's industrial internet sector has exceeded 1 trillion yuan (about 150.2 billion U.S. dollars) and spawned a host of new business models, such as collaborative research and development, unmanned production, remote operation and maintenance, online monitoring and shared manufacturing, Xiao said.
An initiative on cooperation among BRICS countries in the manufacturing industry's digital transformation was launched on Monday, covering issues such as the development of digital infrastructure and how to boost the inclusive growth of small and medium-sized enterprises.
The forum is scheduled to run from Monday to Tuesday and is being co-hosted by China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the provincial government of Fujian and the municipal government of Xiamen. ■