California, Jiangsu strengthen ties

Updated: 2013-04-15 10:41

By Cang Wei and Song Wenwei in Nanjing (China Daily)

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Visitors from California signed an agreement with officials in eastern China's Jiangsu province on Sunday to collaborate on economic, technological and cultural exchanges.

Referencing a World Bank evaluation that Jiangsu would be the world's 17th-biggest economy if it were a country, provincial Party chief Luo Zhijun said: "Jiangsu and California have successfully collaborated in many areas since the two sides established a sister-state relationship in 2011, and the potential of cooperation can be enhanced in the future."

Jiangsu's GDP was 5.4 trillion yuan ($872 billion) in 2012, or 10 percent of the national total, according to official data. For its part, California is estimated to have the world's 12th-largest economy by GDP, irrespective of national status.

The provincial commerce department said that as of January 2013, Jiangsu-based companies had invested in 439 projects in the US, of which one-quarter, valued at $220 million, were in California. Also to that point, US companies had invested in 110,600 projects in Jiangsu with a total value of over $37 billion.

Trade between Jiangsu and the United States surpassed $78 billion in 2012, representing one-sixth of overall Chinese-US trade.

California Governor Jerry Brown, visiting the province on a weeklong trade trip to China, said Jiangsu has done well in protecting intellectual-property rights, a key concern for his state's entertainment and tech industries. That, Brown said, has given California confidence to bolster cooperation with Jiangsu.

He also said the state should work with local counterparts on developing renewable energy, environmental technologies and student exchanges.

Luo suggested a bilateral working panel be formed with the goal of establishing an industrial park in Wuxi, and that the joint Jiangsu-California economic committee set up in 2012 function more effectively to enhance trade.

According to Jiangsu's foreign-affairs office, a California center will be established in June in the Suzhou Industrial Park to promote products and technologies from the US state.

In the second half of this year, provincial representatives will host a series of events in Los Angeles to promote tourism to Jiangsu and its culture, the foreign-affairs office said.

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(China Daily 04/15/2013 page8)