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Chongqing catches California's attention

Updated: 2013-06-09 03:13
By Luo Wangshu and Tan Yingzi in Chongqing ( China Daily)

Like his great-grandfather's cousin Yung Wing — the first Chinese student to graduate from an American university, Yale College, in 1854 — Antonio Yung felt obligated to give something back to China.

Born and raised in Hong Kong, the 55-year-old American-Chinese brought a trade and education office representing Sacramento, the capital of California, to Chongqing, China's southwestern municipality, in May. The goal is to help expand trade and increase cultural and education exchanges between the two cities.

As an agent for Sacramento, where he has lived since 1976, Yung believes his mission goes deeper: to bring new knowledge and suitable value back to China.

"You (Americans) want to sell food to me (Chinese)? You show me your food standard. You want to sell your technology to me? Show me your core technology," he said, adding that Chinese should demand more than cheaper prices from their US partners.

Yung's staff of eight will focus on three main areas: food and agriculture, clean energy and education. Education is a two-way process, he said, and he enjoys showing the Americans how advanced China is.

The Golden State ranks No 5 in the United States in the value of investment from China. The state could attract as much as $60 billion foreign investment from China by 2020, according to estimates in October by the Rhodium Group, a consulting firm in New York that tracks Chinese outward investment.

The challenge: Americans and Chinese do business in a different way, Yung said.

"A big Chinese company can be the supplier, vendor, designer and sell the products on their own. But that's not what American businessmen do. A successful company in the US generally counts on the number of suppliers and vendors it has," he said.

"It is not either right or wrong. It's just different," Yung said. "What we do is to fill this gap and be the bridge. We will do matchmaking by promotional activities."

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