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Zhao Shuanglian Attended “Belt and Road” Forum for International Cooperation Release Time : 2017-05-31

On May 14, “Belt and Road” Forum for International Cooperation kicked off in Beijing. COFCO Corporation Chairman Zhao Shuanglian attended the opening ceremony of the Forum and participated in the Thematic Session on Connectivity of Development Policies and Strategies.
Conduct agricultural cooperation as a major engine to boost economic construction along the “Belt and Road”
The economic belt along the Silk Road has been a major channel for the exchange of Chinese and Western crop types since the ancient times. With the imbalance of global economic growth becoming further prominent, the regional imbalance as well as structural imbalance between production and consumption of agricultural products in the world is taking a turn for the worse. According to agricultural officials and experts from Russia, Kazakhstan, Thailand, Cambodia and other countries, agricultural cooperation is becoming a major engine to boost economic construction along the “Belt and Road” with the constant deepening of trade contacts among those countries. 
COFCO Corporation has been trying to become a bridge connecting the world’ major grain production regions with its major sales regions. On March 28, COFCO Corporation’s first shipment of 2,200 tons of wheat, which was picked up by China-Europe return freight train in Kostanay Province of Kazakhstan and loaded in bulk containers, arrived at Xi’an International Logistics Park. As the first stop along the “Silk Road Economic Belt”, Kazakhstan, whose export of agro-products occupies an important place in its economic development, boasts abundant agricultural resources and enormous growth potential. The import of green and safe Kazakh wheat has provided an extra option to China’s diversified channels of importing wheat, not only contributing to the enhancement of product quality and competitiveness of wheat flour processing industry in China’s Northwestern regions but also enriching the supply of high-quality wheat of different varieties in Chinese market.
In 2016, COFCO Corporation’s total international trading volume of agricultural and grain products almost hit 130 million tons with the amount of trade at US$41.86 billion involving nearly 140 countries and regions. Through its global construction efforts, COFCO Corporation has built warehouses, wharves, and logistic facilities in the world’s major grain production regions in South and North Americas, Australia, and around the Black Sea, all of which serve as COFCO’s strategic resources that extend its G&O industrial presence throughout the world. COFCO Corporation will also accelerate the construction of warehouses and logistic facilities in Central Asia, Far East and around the Black Sea as well as agricultural products processing facilities in Southeast Asia to promote exchanges in agriculture and trade as well as synergy in industrial development along the “Belt and Road”.
Push on agricultural supply-side structural reform to promote regional sound development
With gradual deepening of agricultural cooperation between China and countries along the “Belt and Road”, the agricultural technology exchange, talent development, and various forms of cooperation between governments and enterprises have become new economic growth points. While actively promoting agricultural supply-side structural reform, COFCO Corporation will be guided by agricultural technology, guaranteed by its modern and efficient logistic and warehousing facilities and supported by its leading position in the industry so as to help China and other countries along the “Belt and Road” form an open, inclusive, mutually beneficial and win-win regional economic community and boost the development of regional agricultural and economic belt.
Rice is the most important agricultural product in Southeast Asian countries such as Cambodia, Thailand and Pakistan. Since October 2013, COFCO Corporation has been importing quality rice from countries along the “Belt and Road” including Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Laos. By means of rice trade, COFCO Corporation has helped China and Southeast Asian countries forge a community with extensive interests in agriculture, thus effectively promoting the upgrade and progress of those countries’ rice industry. A few days ago, Cambodia’s Green Trade Company sent a letter of thanks to COFCO Corporation for its support to Cambodian farmers, rice processing mills, and exporters in executing its contract of importing Cambodian rice. COFCO Corporation’s agricultural technological guidance for Cambodia has contributed to a drastic increase of total rice output and per unit area yield as well as an expansion of its processing capacity and promoted the construction of rice drying, warehousing and logistic facilities, bringing tangible welfare to those employed by Cambodia’s rice industry.
Take root in overseas markets to boost local employment and economic growth
Starting from deepening trade ties with countries along the “Belt and Road” to seeking mutual prosperity through joint construction over the past three years, China has immersed itself overseas as a builder to promote the economic growth of countries along the “Belt and Road” and improve the living standards of their people. As a vanguard that implements the strategy of “going global”, COFCO Corporation has acquired overseas assets that account for over 50% of its total assets with around 14,000 employees outside China.
In August 2011, COFCO Corporation’s subsidiary COFCO Biochemical acquired 100% stake in a Thailand-based factory and leveraged its advanced management, technology and marketing advantages in the citric acid industry to transform its production environment in order to meet COFCO Corporation’s food quality management standard. By tapping into abundant resources of cassava raw material in Thailand and its neighboring countries, COFCO Biochemical Thailand Co., Ltd. has achieved sound growth by focusing on high-end food market. At present, the factory has around 340 employees, 220 of whom have been recruited from local labor pool and 70 of whom are contract workers from Thailand and neighboring countries.
In November 2015, Yashili infant formula factory, which was built by COFCO Corporation’s subsidiary Mengniu Dairy with a total investment of RMB 1.1 billion yuan, opened in Waikato of the central North Island of New Zealand, making Mengniu a forerunner of independently building plant overseas among domestic brands of China’s dairy industry and providing over 800 job opportunities for local people.
In May 2016, DSSC grain terminal constructed by COFCO Corporation with an investment of US$ 75 million officially went into operation, further optimizing Ukraine and neighboring countries’ grain warehousing and logistic system from their rivers to the estuary and greatly increasing this region’s grain export volume. In a word, this project has made remarkable contributions to promoting local economy and employment.
COFCO Corporation aims to play its role of state G&O industry investment entity in countries along the “Belt and Road” and further improve the positioning of its supply chain assets in the world’s major grain production regions in order to enhance economic returns and promote domestic and foreign trade. By 2020, it plans to achieve the development goal of “1-3-1-5”, which stand for RMB 10 billion yuan to be invested in countries along the “Belt and Road”, 30 million tons of grain to be traded, 10 million tons of first-hand grain source to be controlled, and RMB 5 billion yuan as income from imported food volume and service trade respectively.  

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