Intl agri ex­pan­sion boosts tech up­grade

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD - By ZHUAN TI

Lo­vol Heavy In­dus­try Co Ltd is reap­ing the har­vest of its bold ex­pan­sion abroad and enor­mous spend­ing on tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tion.

In 2014, the lead­ing Chi­nese farm ma­chin­ery man­u­fac­turer, head­quar­tered in Shan­dong prov­ince in East China, ac­quired Ar­bos, a cen­tury-old Ital­ian agri­cul­tural brand.

The move came just three years af­ter its over­seas re­search and de­vel­op­ment cen­ter was founded in Bologna, Italy in 2011, re­port­edly the first of its kind in China’s farm ma­chin­ery sec­tor.

Fol­low­ing its first over­seas ac­qui­si­tion, Lo­vol ac­quired an­other two Ital­ian agro­ma­chin­ery man­u­fac­tur­ers — MaterMacc and Goldoni — within two years.

To date, Lo­vol has more than 400 Euro­pean staff mem­bers and 300,000 square me­ters of pro­duc­tion fa­cil­i­ties.

The com­pany launched a new trac­tor se­ries in 2015. Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from 23 Euro­pean me­dia out­lets selected its Ar­bos 5130 for the silver prize in the Trac­tor of the Year con­test, un­der the cat­e­gory of “best util­ity”. It was the first international award given to a Chi­nese agro-ma­chin­ery man­u­fac­turer.

At this year’s con­test, the com­pany’s Goldoni trac­tor model was awarded silver prize in t he “best spe­cial­ized” cat­e­gory.

The com­pany links this eye-catch­ing per­for­mance to its con­tin­u­ous ef­forts in lever­ag­ing its global in­no­va­tion re­sources and in­creas­ing R&D ex­pen­di­ture.

Its to­tal R&D ex­pen­di­ture sur­passed 3 bil­lion yuan per­cent

of Lo­vol’s ex­ports are shipped to coun­tries and re­gions in­volved in the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive

($434.8 mil­lion) in re­cent years, with 3 to 5 per­cent of its an­nual sales rev­enue spent on tech­no­log­i­cal re­search.

The com­pany founded an en­gi­neer­ing and me­chan­i­cal R&D cen­ter in Ja­pan, seek­ing tech­no­log­i­cal break­throughs in key fields such as hy­draulic pres­sure and elec­tri­cal con­trols.

As a keen cam­paigner for the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive, a re­gional co­op­er­a­tion strat­egy pro­posed by Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping in 2013, Lo­vol re­ported that ship­ments to the coun­tries and re­gions along the tra­di­tional trade ro u t e s h av e co n t r i b u t e d more than half of its to­tal ex­ports.

The Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive has fa­cil­i­tated Lo­vol’s tech­no­log­i­cal up­grade and over­seas ex­pan­sion, said its Chair­man and Gen­eral Man­ager Wang Guimin.

“It has helped us to get into the global ma­chin­ery man­u­fac­tur­ing arena,” Wang said.

While Lo­vol is gain­ing grow­ing recog­ni­tion in the international mar­ket, it has al s o br o u g h t th e aw ar d - win­ning tech­nolo­gies back to its home turf in a bid to pro­mote China’s agri­cul­tural mod­ern­iza­tion and im­prove the do­mes­tic man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor along the whole value chain, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany.

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