State officials' trade trips yield deals with Chinese firms

Updated: 2013-04-25 11:01

By Chen Jia (China Daily)

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State officials' trade trips yield deals with Chinese firms

With China a top target for US cities and states seeking foreign investment, California Governor Jerry Brown brought home the bacon from his recent weeklong trip to the country.

The state could be a magnet for up to $60 billion in Chinese investment by 2020, according to New York-based consultancy Rhodium Group. Brown led a trade delegation that tried to tie deals to such sentiments.

On April 10 in Beijing, the governor announced a $1.5 billion investment in Oakland that involves two developers, China's Zarsion Holdings Group and locally based Signature Development Group. The two firms will cooperate on a 3,100-unit waterfront housing complex named Brooklyn Basin that also includes retail shops, parks and a marina.

Brown's visit also included meetings with potential investors in renewable energy, biology and chemistry, medicine and other sectors. The official reopening of California's foreign-trade office in Shanghai during his stop was enhanced by the announcement of four other deals between, bringing the total potential value of the gubernatorial visit to between $245 million and $295 million in Chinese investment.

Richmond, in Northern California, will get financing for a new pharmaceutical factory, thanks to a joint investment of $50 million from two Beijing-based companies, Joinn Laboratories and Staidson.

For Brown, a staunch supporter of alternative energy, environmental protection was also a priority in China. Two energy companies, China Coal Mengda's chemical unit and China National Coal, will invest $20 million to cooperate with McWong International and New Logic Research Inc for a zero-emission wastewater-treatment facility.

In Southern California, China Hongye Group will invest $100 million to Singpoli, a real estate investment firm in the Los Angeles suburb of Arcadia. The capital will finance research and development into renewable energy, biotechnology and real estate.

Other possible cooperation in offing involves Ningbo University and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, for a research program worth up $125 million.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee also visited China on a trade trip this month, but a plan to secure for the city a long-awaited $1.7 billion housing investment fell through.

That project called for China Development Bank to help finance two huge developments led by US-based home builde