It’s all busi­ness at seminar in Seat­tle

China Daily (Canada) - - XI’S VISIT - By CHANG JUN and LIA ZHU in Seat­tle

China and the US are se­ri­ous about busi­ness, and that was on dis­play Tues­day in Seat­tle.

About 450 busi­ness lead­ers and gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials from the two na­tions gath­ered for the Chi­nese Prov­inces-US State Trade and In­vest­ment Co­op­er­a­tion Seminar, a key event dur­ing Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping’s visit to the United States, which started on Tues­day in Seat­tle.

It was co-hosted by the Min­istry of Com­merce of China (MOFCOM) and Washington state, and or­ga­nized by China’s Trade De­vel­op­ment Bureau (TDB) and Washington state’s Depart­ment of Com­merce.

Dur­ing the seminar, Mi­crosoft Co, based in nearby Red­mond, Washington, an­nounced part­ner­ships with China’s ma­jor smart­phone maker Xiaomi Co and Shaanxi province and also signed a Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing with Sichuan province.

By part­ner­ing with Xiaomi and Mi Cloud, Win­dows Azure, op­er­ated by 21Vianet based on Mi­crosoft tech­nol­ogy, will pro­vide cloud data syn­chro­niza­tion and backup ser­vices to Xiaomi users.

“Mi­crosoft has been in China for more than 20 years and we are ex­cited for the po­ten­tial that lies ahead as this coun­try en­cour­ages mo­bile In­ter­net and cloud in­no­va­tions to trans­form tra­di­tional in­dus­tries and raise pro­duc­tiv­ity,” said Ralph Haupter, cor­po­rate vice-pres­i­dent, chair­man and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Mi­crosoft Greater China Re­gion.

Un­der the MOU signed be­tween Mi­crosoft and Sichuan province, which cov­ers IT train­ing, the in­cu­ba­tion of startup com­pa­nies, cloud com­put­ing ap­pli­ca­tions and big data, the two sides will strengthen lo­cal eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment through cloud, mo­bile In­ter­net and in­no­va­tion.

In 2013, Mi­crosoft in­vested in Xix­ian New Area, a de­vel­op­ment zone in Shaanxi province, to pro­mote tech­nolo­gies and up­grade in­dus­tries. The two sides on Tues­day pledged to deepen their part­ner­ship to build the province into an in­for­ma­tion hub for China’s “Silk Road Eco­nomic Belt” ini­tia­tive.

The three-hour seminar also cov­ered agri­cul­ture, air­lines and rail­roads.

“Agri­cul­ture has al­ways been an im­por­tant part of Sino-US ex­changes and co­op­er­a­tion,” said Pan Gang, chair­man and pres­i­dent of the the Yili In­dus­trial Group, China’s di­ary pro­ducer in In­ner Mon­go­lia.

Pan re­called that Xi, in a 2012 visit to the US, had agreed with Pres­i­dent Barack Obama to deepen co­op­er­a­tion in eight pri­or­ity ar­eas, in­clud­ing food se­cu­rity, agri­cul­tural science and tech­nol­ogy.

China’s per capita milk con­sump­tion is only one-tenth that of the US. The di­ary in­dus­try in the US is ma­ture, but the mar­ket has be­come in­creas­ingly sat­u­rated, while the Chi­nese mar­ket is huge and con­sumer de­mand is strong.

“As per capita GDPs of many re­gions in China ex­ceeds $10,000, diver­si­fied and per­son­al­ized health food will be pop­u­lar, so there will be large room for Sino-US in­no­va­tive co­op­er­a­tion in agri­cul­ture and food,” Pan said.

“China has built 17,000 kilo­me­ters of high-speed rail­roads, tak­ing up 60 per­cent of the world’s to­tal,” said Yu Weip­ing, vice pres­i­dent of CRRC Corp Ltd. “In the US, the rail­way in­fra­struc­ture is out­dated, and tech­nolo­gies are out­moded. I be­lieve there must be great busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties for us.”

China’s air­line traf­fic has tripled in the past 10 years, and it is ex­pected to be dou­bled in years to come. One in three of Boe­ing 737s will be de­liv­ered to China this year, said Randy Tin­seth, vice-pres­i­dent of mar­ket­ing for Boe­ing Com­mer­cial Air­planes.

“The re­la­tion­ship with China is clearly about growth and jobs,” he said. “We will in­vest in China, with China and for China. In­vest­ment in China will al­low us to grow, and it’s good for our cus­tomers, sup­pli­ers and em­ploy­ees.”

The event also wit­nessed the es­tab­lish­ment of the Joint Work­ing Group for Trade and In­vest­ment Co­op­er­a­tion Be­tween Chi­nese Prov­inces and the US State of Washington, the sixth joint work­ing group on trade and in­vest­ment pro­mo­tion be­tween Chi­nese prov­inces and a US state or city.

Zhang Xiangchen, deputy China in­ter­na­tional trade rep­re­sen­ta­tive for MOFCOM, and Joby Shi­mo­mura, the Washington gover­nor’s chief of staff, co-signed an MOU that will al­low six Chi­nese prov­inces and mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties — Liaon­ing, Shang­hai, Hu­nan, Guang­dong, Sichuan and Shaanxi — to ex­pand trade and in­vest­ment co­op­er­a­tion with Washington state.

Con­tact the writ­ers at changjun@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

Lead­ers from the China Na­tional Nu­clear Cor­po­ra­tion and Ter­raPower from the US, in­clud­ing Bill Gates, pose for a group pic­ture af­ter the sign­ing of MOU be­tween the two sides in Seat­tle on Sept 22 at the Chi­nese Province-US States Trade and In­vest­ment Co­op­er­a­tion Seminar.

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