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Welcome to the Agricultural Revolution: Reflections on the Inaugural AgMAC Summit

Zhang Hongshan; Board Member, WTCA; Chairman, Agriculture Member Advisory Council; Chairman, WTC Harbin

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The agriculture industry plays a vital role in daily life around the world. It is not only the leading contributor to global GDP, but it also plays a critical role in global food safety and satisfies people’s expectations for quality food and lifestyle.

Recently, however, the industry—“agribusiness,” for short—has become the focal point of conversations among global leaders as issues around food security continue to rise. One prime issue: how to feed a growing population while managing the world’s ever-declining resources. To help address this global challenge, with the support of Headquarters World Trade Centers Assocition (WTCA), Members established the Agriculture Member Advisory Council (AgMAC) during the General Assembly in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands. Comprised of more than 50 WTCA Members who are focused on agribusiness, including World Trade Center (WTC) Harbin, the AgMAC’s mission is to establish a sustainable future through innovation and technology, and explore opportunities for agricultural trade and development through joint efforts.

To kick start its key initiatives, the AgMAC hosted the inaugural 2019 Agriculture and Trade Development Global Summit and World Trade Center Exhibition at the China World Trade Center in Beijing, China, which ran from July 9-12. During the four-day event, more than 100 representatives from various WTCs and business delegations gathered to exchange views on promoting regional and global economic and trade development through the WTCA network. Because China plays an important role in the world’s agricultural and trade development—ranked number one in worldwide farming output with more than 300 million people working in the Chinese agriculture industry—there was a great focus on the opportunities available in China and the greater Asia-Pacific region. Additionally, the Chinese diet has become more “westernized,” creating a diverse demand of foods throughout the region. Over the next five years, it is expected that China will import more than US $10 trillion in goods and services, which offers great opportunities for enterprises all over the world to enter its vast domestic market.

Overall, the summit was a great success and resulted in several collaborative opportunities amongst WTC Members. WTC Harbin signed strategic-cooperation-partnership agreements with eight WTCs—including Beijing, Dandong, Jinzhong, Nanning, Shenyang, Tianjin, Xi'an, and Zhengzhou—to strengthen their partnership in the future. Several WTCs—including WTC Shenyang, Sydney, and Taiwan, amongst others—have also expressed their intention to partner in the fields of agricultural science and technology, agricultural deep processing, and enterprise network services. The summit also fostered collaborative opportunities for outside companies as well, including a few business delegations brought in by WTC Dublin. For example, an interest to import 3,000-5,000 alpacas was established between K2Alpacas Ireland and Inner Mongolia Alpaca Technology Co. Ltd from China. A number of other Chinese companies also expressed strong interest to work with Ireland-based Listoke Distillery & Gin School to promote gin consumption and training in China.

The exhibition portion of the event offered attendees a peek into the cutting-edge agricultural solutions and services that various WTCs provide. Comprised of more than 30 booths and international volunteers, the exhibition provided a platform in which WTCs could gain direct access into the Chinese market. More than 100 corporate buyers and key senior decision-makers from China visited the exhibition and discussed possible partnerships with the WTC exhibitors.

On behalf of WTC Harbin and the other AgMAC Members, we would like to thank all the WTCs who attended, as well as the WTCA Beijing Representative Office, for all their support in making this inaugural event a great success. We’re excited to continue our efforts to make this an annual event.

For more information on the AgMac Summit, please visit www.agmacsummit.com.
For more information on WTC Harbin, visit www.hhjygroup.com.