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Farm friends' success

A SMALL farm founded in 1956 in Hebei Province has become a large group of more than 600 companies with total sales over 1 billion euro (US$1.2 billion).

The Sino-Czech-Slovakia Friendship Farm, a milestone of the friendship between Chinese, Czechs and Slovaks, is showcased in the Czech Pavilion until July 2.

The farm, established in a Hebei Province wasteland, received significant support from the former Czechoslovakia. It supplied 670 pieces of machinery to work the land and seven engineers to train Chinese peasants to use them.

The farm has been through a painful transformation during the reform and opening-up period, like many other companies. But it took advantage of available rich resources of oil and underground water to open many affiliated businesses.

It has transformed to today being an industrial zone with only two percent of revenue coming from agriculture. But it retained its original name out of respect for the friendship of the original tripartite owners. It is a frequent destination for diplomats and other government officials from the European partners during their visits to China.

The group has also been looking for new collaborations with companies from both countries. For example, a Czech beer brewery has recently agreed to open a factory in the industrial zone.

A documentary about the founding, transformation and current status of the farm is being shown in the Czech Pavilion.


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