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Texas and China tighten ties

Updated: 2014-11-20 10:32
By MAY ZHOU in Houston (China Daily USA)

Texas and China tighten ties

Diao Chunhe, chairman of China International Contractors Association, talks about plans for further cooperation between Texas and China in Houston on Wednesday.MAY ZHOU / CHINA DAILY

More than 90 people from Texas and China attended the China-Texas Investment and Trade Cooperation Forum on Wednesday at Greater Houston Partnership (GHP).

The high-profile Chinese delegation of more than 20, led by Diao Chunhe, chairman of China International Contractors Association (CICA), consisted of executives from Fortune 500 Chinese corporations and provincial-level business officials.

"We are here to fulfill our agreement with Texas Governor Ricky Perry," said Diao.

Perry visited China in September and signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Tianjin, Fujian, Shandong, Jiangsu and Sichuan, according to James Chen, Asia/Pacific regional director of the governor’s economic development and tourism division.

Texas and China’s Ministry of Commerce also established a joint task force to carry out further economic exchange activities to promote bilateral trade and investment.

"We have already made some plans towards establishing the goals of the task force," said Diao. "CICA will send a team to Texas to finalize some details in March of 2015. We will also set up a special Texas investment seminar at our Sixth International Infrastructure Investment and Construction Forum in Macao in June."

According to Diao, other plans include publishing a Texas investment guide, creating a website as a platform to facilitate information exchange and send an even larger delegation to Texas next September.

"We are here to learn more about Texas. For a lot of our delegation members, this is their first visit to Texas, and a lot of us realize that the cooperation potential is big," Diao said.

GHP president Bob Harvey made welcoming remarks at the opening and much information was exchanged in the morning forum. Representatives from the state, Houston and Harris County governments and the business community outlined the economic structure and applicable policies and laws in Texas, while members of the Chinese delegation described the focus of their businesses.

Kathy Walt, Perry’s chief of staff, welcomed the delegation on behalf of the governor. "The forum has given us some good ideas for future cooperation," she said, pointing out that Texas is trying to establish a leadership role in business and trade, and a close relation with China would certainly help Texas reach that goal.

Chinese Consul General Li Qiangmin applauded the forum as the official initiation of a trade and investment cooperation mechanism between Chinese provinces and Texas and laying the groundwork to carry out the recently reached agreement between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Barak Obama.

The Chinese delegation also held discussions with Houston’s US-China Partnerships in the afternoon and will tour NASA’s Johnson Space Center before leaving for South America.


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