US states woo Chinese investors
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.
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.