The first Sino-German Agribusiness Forum with a focus on mechanisation and modern farming took place in Beijing. China, on April 25th. Around 100 high-level experts from business and politics attended the one-day event. The Forum is a project under the umbrella of the German-Sino Agricultural Center (DCZ). The main objective of the Agribusiness Forum is to provide information about technologies and political framework conditions and to help share experiences and best practice solutions. The event is also an opportunity to come together and to make valuable contacts.
At the outset, welcoming speeches were given by Yang Yi, Director General of the Foreign Economic Cooperation Center, Martine Püster, Counsellor at the German Embassy in Beijing, and Frederik Tipp, Head of International Projects for the host organisation, the DLG.
Subsequently, keynote speeches were presented by Kong Liang, Deputy Director General of the Department for Farm Mechanisation at the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture as well as Luca Mainardi, Chairman of VDMA’s Agricultural Machinery China Management Group.
In his presentation, Mainardi noted that the German agricultural machinery market had declined in 2015 due to low commodity prices and, consequently, lower farm incomes. On the other hand, the agricultural machinery market in China was still growing, but at a lower rate. He stressed that the sales of smaller agricultural machines were declining strongly, whereas tractor sales of bigger machines of more than 100 hp were increasing by more than 30 per cent.
Liang presented the 13th Five-Year plan and its priorities and targets with regard to mechanisation and rural development in China. According to his presentation, Germany was a strategic partner concerning agricultural development. Liang stressed the importance of mechanisation since farm labour in China was becoming increasingly scarce due to urbanisation.
The subsequent programme consisted of three major parts. Firstly, German and Chinese public and private institutions presented training concepts. A German gave an account of their training approach and the advantages of the German dual vocational education system. The second part of the event was a discussion by a German and a Chinese farmer. Thirdly, Chinese and German companies presented their experiences with co-operation schemes and investments with European and Chinese partners.
The final discussion was summarised by Managing Director of the German-Sino Agricultural Center (DCZ) Conrad Graf von Hoyos. Chinese agricultural machinery companies are very interested in knowledge and technology transfer from German agribusiness companies. German companies, on the other hand, are eager to invest and develop the Chinese market to sell their products and services. There is a common interest in collaboration in the field of education and practical training of farmers.