Report from Our Visit to Weifang in China and Lely's Opening Ceremony

Two weeks ago, our Agricultural Counsellor Wouter Verhey and Agricultural adviser Lily Zhang traveled to Weifang to have a meeting with the local government, and attend the opening ceremony of Lely's first automatic milking robot project.

Thursday, August 20

On Thursday morning, Wouter and Lily attended the long-delayed opening ceremony of Lely's first automatic milking robot sales. Afterward, they, together with a small group of Chinese clients of Lely and local officials visited the dairy farm where the robots were installed. Shandong, where Weifang is located, is one of the leading provinces in the Chinese dairy sector. It is therefore great that Lely was able to set foot on the ground in that very province.

In the afternoon, Wouter and Lily were accompanied by two colleagues of the Netherlands Business Support Office's in Qingdao and Jinan, Ming Eikelenboom, and Liu Peng, to a courtesy meeting with the Weifang government. During the meeting with the vice mayor and the director of Weifang Foreign Affairs, the Chinese side emphasized the long term and mutually beneficial Sino-Dutch relationship in the field of agriculture. And this is especially the case in Weifang and its province Shandong. In turn, Wouter discussed the possibilities for further cooperation as Weifang is the center of horticulture in China. In this regard, Wouter asked the vice mayor about government policies on the cold chain. The vice mayor explained the challenges in the cold chain in Shandong, especially in the first mile. Wouter proposed that the Dutch Network in China could also share knowledge and actively engage Weifang in organizing activities.

Agricultural Counsellor Wouter Verhey and the Vice Major of Weifang
Agricultural Counsellor Wouter Verhey and the Vice Major of Weifang

Friday, August 21

On the second day of their visit to Weifang, Wouter, Lily, Ming, Liu, and two members of Sioux Technologies paid a visit to Weichai Troup. Weichai it the top diesel maker in China. The company was founded in 1946 and now has over 90 thousand employees worldwide. With the annual revenue of more than 260 billion RMB in 2019, Weichai ranks the 87th among China’s top 500 enterprises and the 2nd among China’s machinery industry's top 100 enterprises. It was the first meeting between Sioux Technology and Wechai. Both companies were positive about possible future cooperation.

In the afternoon the the delegation visited Lovol Heavy Industry, a company that provides efficient and reliable services for global modern agricultural production and agricultural machinery. Lovol is also known in the Netherlands for their tractors, under de Lovol brand as well as under the ARBOS brand name.

Agricultural Counsellor Wouter Verhey delivering speech at Lely, Weifang