By Isaac Yao
AmCham China led a delegation consisting of 7 member companies to visit the city of Yangling in Shaanxi province from September 6 to 8. The trip began with a meeting with the Vice Governor of Shaanxi, Wei Zengjun. Wei discussed the latest industrial policies for foreign investors, the general development of the Shaanxi economy, and Shaanxi’s development goals. Member companies emphasized their investment in Shaanxi and vocalized their need for the local government to address future and current barriers.
The priority of this trip was to visit Yangling’s Free Trade Zone, one of the three areas of the Shaanxi Pilot Free Trade Zone. This zone aims to be a world-class free trade area with unique agricultural characteristics, such as a focus on innovation, demonstration, and promotion of agricultural science and technology. Through comprehensive expansion efforts and international cooperation, Yangling hopes to become a center for agricultural science and technological innovation.
Initiate and Open Up New Heights of Exchange
The Yangling Free Trade Zone is working to invest in international modern agriculture, as every year 300 people are trained in Asian, African, and Latin American agricultural techniques. To expand this training, the zone has constructed the China (Yangling) AID Dryland Farming Technology Training Center, the Dryland Farming Technology Reference Center of the United Nations, and the College of Vocational Farmers. These facilities create new heights of agricultural science, and promote cultural and educational exchanges with other countries.
The Yangling Free Trade Zone will also accumulate high-quality agricultural resources and techniques from countries along “The Belt and Road”. This includes water-saving irrigation technology from Israel, agricultural machinery from Germany, milk and flowers from Holland, grains and red wine from France, fishery structure influence from the UK, and other agriculture-related products from around the world. These techniques will help to build Yangling as an agricultural exhibition and trading center.
Expand New Space for Investment and Trade
By leveraging “Yangling Agricultural Science and Technology” and “China Yangling Agricultural Hi-Tech Fair”, the Zone is attracting international agricultural brands and related industries to create partnerships in the region. Yangling will also use the policy advantages of being a free trade area to expand and improve international agricultural credit, insurance, risk investment, and future trading.
The Zone will integrate distinctive, high-quality agricultural products in Shaanxi. It will focus on the development of the trade of bulk agricultural products such as apples, kiwi fruit, walnuts, jujubes, and tea. The zone will also take advantage of higher cost performance of export agricultural products in Yangling.
Finally, the Zone plans to occupy the market of agricultural product consumption in countries along the Silk Road.
The Yangling Free Trade Zone will be the first to introduce distinctive international agricultural products along the Silk Road. It will open the trade of high-quality foreign agricultural products and build mass-consumption brands centered on “Yangling Agricultural Science and Technology”. The zone will produce high-quality seeds, fertilizer, feed, agricultural machinery, and other means of agricultural production; further develop the export-oriented agricultural science and technology service industry; actively encourage farmers in Yangling to work in the countries along the Silk Road; and strengthen the role of the Yangling Free Trade Zone in agricultural service trade.
Isaac Yao is the Government Affairs Manager with DuPont China.