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Adama yields success with Chinese ingredients

By Zhuan Ti ( China Daily ) Updated: 2017-03-21 06:54:59

Since the establishment of formal diplomatic relations between Israel and China 25 years ago, ties between the two countries have continued to grow stronger, especially in the areas of education, scientific research and industry.

Israel, the so-called "startup nation", is a hub of innovation and entrepreneurship in many fields, including chemistry, technology and agriculture, and it has positioned itself as a close partner of China in these areas.

In recent years, collaboration between the two countries has expanded significantly, as Chinese companies seek to invest in Israeli innovation and Israeli companies identify the vast potential in business partnerships with their Chinese peers.

The bilateral relationship has yielded many joint projects in the areas of science, education and research, such as the Guangdong Technion Israel Institute of Technology, a collaboration between Israel's scientific university, Technion, and Shantou University in Guangdong province.

Adama yields success with Chinese ingredients

Adama, a global crop protection company and a wholly-owned subsidiary of China National Chemical Corp, or ChemChina, is another good example of the close relationship that exists between Israel and China.

Since it was founded in Israel 70 years ago, Adama has grown into one of the leading companies in the global agrochemical sector. The name "Adama" means "earth" in Hebrew, marking the company's commitment to growers and agriculture.

The company offers a comprehensive portfolio of products for controlling weeds, pests and diseases to help farmers to improve the quality and quantity of their crop yields.

Adama employs 5,000 people and markets its products in more than 100 countries across the globe, with its average annual sales generating more than $3 billion. It strives to continually introduce advanced products into the market, leveraging its portfolio of 270 active ingredients to develop and bring value-added solutions to growers.

As a crop protection company, Adama plays a key role in the effort to increase food production to feed a growing world population, particularly in the face of dwindling resources. This, together with its know-how, global direct market presence, broad operational experience and best practices in environmental standards, prompted Chem-China to take control of Adama in 2011, said the Chinese company.

Adama was a natural fit for ChemChina, as the latter was looking to support and advance a critical element in the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20): Ensuring food security and improving agriculture, according to ChemChina.

The partnership between the two companies has proven to be highly successful. The appointment of Adama's then deputy CEO, Chen Lichtenstein, as CEO of ChemChina's wholly-owned subsidiary China National Agrochemical Corp in 2013, was a testament to the trust and understanding that exists between the management teams of both companies. Chen became Adama's president and CEO in 2014.

"There is much empowerment, thinking and creativity at ChemChina. With my background, it is a remarkable setting in which to operate," said Lichtenstein in a previous interview.

Adama has charted a consistent trajectory of growth since its acquisition by Chem-China, outperforming the market in recent years despite the challenging conditions of the global agricultural industry, reflected in low soft commodity prices.

The company is continuing to increase its profits and profitability and gaining additional market share worldwide.

"The 2016 results show that Adama is in the best position it has ever been," Lichtenstein said. "ChemChina is responsible for immense value creation amounting to billions of dollars for the company, having doubled the value of its investment in a very short time. This has brought great value to Adama and the State of Israel."

He continued: "Since Chem-China partnered with Adama, we have benefited from strategic and financial support, the likes of which we haven't seen for decades, and, coupled with our capabilities, the company has hit the fast-forward button.

"Since ChemChina acquired the controlling interest in Adama, the cash flow we have generated has been reploughed into the company. This allows us to deepen our investments.

"We re-invested $1 billion in the company in recent years - in operations, infrastructure, marketing, sales and research and development. We are breaking into the ranks of the biggest companies in the industry and outpacing them."

Yang Xingqiang, chairman of Adama and president of ChemChina, said: "Adama is now well positioned to capitalize on its unique strengths, from cutting-edge Israeli agricultural technology and global market access, to a powerful commercial and operational presence in China.

"We are confident this is just the beginning and we will see further growth moving forward".

zhuanti@chinadaily.com.cn

Adama yields success with Chinese ingredients

Two Chinese farmers pick tea leaves. Adama serves local farmers with its innovative agricultural technology and advanced crop protection solutions, which help them to invest less and harvest more. Photos Provided To China Daily

(China Daily 03/21/2017 page16)

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