San Fran­cis­cans op­ti­mistic on deep­en­ing, ex­ten­sion of bi­lat­eral ties

China Daily (USA) - - PEOPLE - By ZHUAN TI

Chengdu in Sichuan province and San Fran­cisco have re­solved to fur­ther deepen friendly city re­la­tions, with greater col­lab­o­ra­tion among com­pa­nies on both sides and var­i­ous bi­lat­eral events be­ing staged.

The two cities signed an agree­ment to es­tab­lish a friendly co­op­er­a­tion re­la­tion­ship in Oc­to­ber last year, fol­low­ing the es­tab­lish­ment of for­mal ex­changes in 2013.

The two cities were first linked by a non-stop air route in June 2014, when United Air­lines launched the Chengdu-San Fran­cisco di­rect flight, the first di­rect flight link­ing China’s cen­tral and western re­gions to the US.

Ed­win Lee, mayor of San Fran­cisco, said his city at­taches great im­por­tance to co­op­er­a­tion and ex­changes with Chengdu, and he is op­ti­mistic about the bi­lat­eral ties.

“Both cities take in­no­va­tion as the en­gine for city devel­op­ment. And we share so many sim­i­lar­i­ties in fields such as sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy, ed­u­ca­tion and tourism,” he said.

Thanks to its open­ing-up in re­cent years, Chengdu has turned into a top desti­na­tion for in­ter­na­tional com­pa­nies to in­vest in western China.

It is home to 278 For­tune Global 500 com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing a num­ber of high-tech names from Sil­i­con Val­ley, such as Or­a­cle, In­tel, Hewlett Packard and Cisco. Lo­cal of­fi­cials in Chengdu ex­pect to draw more tal­ents, com­pa­nies, high-tech projects and cap­i­tal from San Fran­cisco to Chengdu as the two sides deepen co­op­er­a­tion, pro­vid­ing strong sup­port to build the Chi­nese western hub into a na­tion­ally cen­tral city.

Exchange events

aim to pro­mote the taste of lo­cal food to peo­ple around the world at the 2016 Chengdu

Todd Rowe, global man­ag­ing direc­tor for chan­nels sales at Google’s Global Mar­ket­ing So­lu­tions, said the food and cul­tural fes­ti­val held ear­lier this month has strength­ened ties be­tween the two cities and will open a gate­way for fur­ther co­op­er­a­tion.

“Chengdu is a dy­namic city. Its large tal­ent pool, com­pet­i­tive hightech com­pa­nies and huge eco­nomic scale cre­ate great devel­op­ment po­ten­tial,” he said, adding that the advanced flight net­works also add wings to Chengdu’s devel­op­ment.

Rowe said Google is con­sid­er­ing in­creas­ing its pres­ence in Chengdu by de­vel­op­ing its col­lab­o­ra­tion with the re­gion’s com­pa­nies over a wider range of sec­tors.

“Our tar­get is to es­tab­lish co­op­er­a­tion with 1,000 com­pa­nies in Chengdu,”he said, adding that Google is cur­rently helping small and medium-sized en­ter­prises in Chengdu to ex­pand in the over­seas mar­ket. The in­ter­net gi­ant has set up an ex­pe­ri­ence cen­ter in Chengdu and has co­op­er­ated with 25 com­pa­nies from the city.

Bart Fregoso, gen­er­nal man­ager for Cisco’s Asian Af­fairs, said his com­pany is look­ing to work more closely with Chengdu in sci­en­tific and tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tion.

“The food and cul­tural fes­ti­val is the first step for our staff to know Ed­win Lee, about Chengdu,” he said. Dur­ing the food and cul­ture fes­ti­val, Chengdu sent in­vi­ta­tions to high-tech com­pa­nies in Sil­i­con Val­ley, invit­ing them to co-or­ga­nize a char­ter flight tour to Chengdu.

The city also in­vited high-tech tal­ents from Sil­i­con Val­ley to at­tend next year’s Chengdu Global In­no­va­tion and En­trepreneur­ship Fair, an in­ter­na­tional plat­form that mainly pro­motes the exchange and trans­ac­tion of in­no­va­tive ideas and tech­no­log­i­cal achieve­ments.

Vaughan Smith, vice-pres­i­dent for cor­po­rate devel­op­ment at Face­book Inc, said he was in­ter­ested in at­tend­ing both ac­tiv­i­ties. “The fast-paced eco­nomic growth and pro­found cul­tural back­ground of Chengdu re­ally im­press me,” he said.

And we share so many sim­i­lar­i­ties in fields such as sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy, ed­u­ca­tion and tourism.”

mayor of San Fran­cisco

Zhang Jiao (right), deputy sec­re­tary of the Chengdu Cui­sine As­so­ci­a­tion, gives a panda gift to a rep­re­sen­ta­tive from pay­ment tech­nol­ogy com­pany Visa Inc dur­ing the event.

For­eign­ers take photos with a panda am­bas­sador dur­ing the event.

Top chefs from Sichuan province Food & Cul­tural Fes­ti­val.

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