US states woo Chi­nese in­vestors

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSS AMERICAS - By CHEN WEIHUA in Washington chen­wei­hua@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

An­drew Lange, di­rec­tor of in­ter­na­tional busi­ness devel­op­ment at Job­sOhio, can’t tell you how proud he is about Fuyao Glass Amer­ica, a $360 mil­lion Chi­nese in­vest­ment in the state.

The Fuyao fac­tory is ex­pected to cre­ate some 2,000 jobs by the end of the year and will pro­duce glass for 4 mil­lion ve­hi­cles an­nu­ally. It is al­ready sup­ply­ing prod­ucts for Hyundai and Gen­eral Mo­tors.

Lange called Fuyao Chair­man Cao De­wang a “wise man to make that hap­pen.”

“It was a quick en­try. It was a great busi­ness cul­ture. He and the gov­er­nor and all the lo­cal gov­ern­ment and state, we all got along very well,” Lange told China Daily at the Job­sOhio booth in the ex­hi­bi­tion hall of the Selec­tUSA In­vest­ment Sum­mit held in Washington Hil­ton on June 19-21.

“We think the Chi­nese econ­omy and Ohio econ­omy are very sim­i­lar. We make things, re­ally good things,” Lange said. Job­sOhio is a pri­vate non-profit cor­po­ra­tion de­signed to cre­ate jobs and at­tract in­vest­ment to Ohio.

Ohio opened a trade of­fice in Shang­hai in 2006 and another in Bei­jing in 2008. China is the third­largest ex­port mar­ket for Ohio, trail­ing Canada and Mex­ico.

Lange said Chi­nese in­vestors are com­ing to Ohio for vis­its al­most on a monthly ba­sis and “we are hope­ful that we can have more nice in­vestors like Chair­man Cao.” A typ­i­cal for­eign in­vest­ment in Ohio cre­ates about 100 jobs.

Er­ron Smith, at the booth for the state of Con­necti­cut, said some Chi­nese del­e­gates at­tend­ing the sum­mit have talked to him about busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties in Con­necti­cut.

“We want to see if there’s any­thing we can find to fit their needs,” he said, not­ing that aerospace, de­fense, phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals and health­care are some of the strong in­dus­tries in the state.

Vin­cent Perez, project man­ager with Alabama’s depart­ment of com­merce, said some Chi­nese in­vest­ments in the state are do­ing very well. “We have great lo­gis­tics in the state, cen­trally lo­cated in the fastest grow­ing re­gion in the United States, all kinds of op­por­tu­ni­ties are in front of you in Alabama,” he said.

He also touted the state’s com­pet­i­tive tax struc­ture and one-stop en­vi­ron­men­tal per­mit­ting sys­tem.

Ti­mothy Kel­ley, pres­i­dent and CEO of Im­pe­rial Val­ley Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Corp in Cal­i­for­nia, said he has a full-time in­tern orig­i­nally from China work­ing for him.

He said Chi­nese in­vest­ment there has changed quite a bit over the years. Many in­vest­ments are now in re­new­able en­ergy, agri­cul­ture, hos­pi­tal­ity and man­u­fac­tur­ing.

Arlington, Vir­ginia, just across the Po­tomac River from Washington, also had a booth to at­tract for­eign in­vest­ment. Sindy Yeh, se­nior busi­ness am­bas­sador of Arlington Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment, said some Chi­nese del­e­gates asked for in­for­ma­tion, in­clud­ing about the schools.

“We have a won­der­ful school sys­tem,” she said. “We also have a lot of tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies if they want to in­vest in that. We are a prime lo­ca­tion, with the prox­im­ity to Washington.”

While Selec­tUSA is a fed­eral pro­gram that aims to draw for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment to the US, gov­er­nors and may­ors have also em­barked on busy trade mis­sions abroad, in­clud­ing China, to at­tract for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment into their cities and states.

CHEN WEIHUA / CHINA DAILY

Wu Xi (right), deputy chief of mis­sion at the Chi­nese em­bassy in Washington, chats with Max Bau­cus (cen­ter), the US am­bas­sador to China, at a re­cep­tion on Tues­day evening at the Chi­nese em­bassy in Washington for the Chi­nese del­e­ga­tion at­tend­ing the 2016 Selec­tUSA In­vest­ment Sum­mit held in Washington from Sun­day to Tues­day. Wu praised the bi­lat­eral eco­nomic and trade co­op­er­a­tion as play­ing the role of “bal­last” and “booster” in China-US re­la­tions. Bau­cus said he was to­tally con­fi­dent and bullish about US-China re­la­tions, who­ever gets elected as the next US pres­i­dent in Novem­ber.

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