California draws up more deals with China

Updated: 2013-06-06 12:19

By Yu Wei in San Francisco (China Daily)

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 California draws up more deals with China

Governor Jerry Brown shakes hands with Vice-Minister of Commerce Wang Chao on April 10 in Beijing after signing an agreement to bolster economic ties between California and China. Provided to China Daily

If California Governor Jerry Brown was able to meet President Xi Jinping and US counterpart Barack Obama during their two-day meeting this week in Southern California, one thing the Golden State governor could proudly mention is his recent fruitful visit to China.

Brown and several California business leaders went on a weeklong trade mission to China in April in a bid to attract investment from the world's second largest economy.

Brown's trip produced several concrete deals, including a $1.5 billion investment in the Brooklyn Basin waterfront development project in Oakland, California, and a $20 million contract for a zero-liquid-waste discharge project in China.

The 65-acre Brooklyn Basin project will feature 3,100 homes, retail space, parks and a marina, and is seen as a boon for the Northern California city's already hot real estate market.

The project is being done by Beijing-based Zarsion Holdings Group and Oakland, California-based Signature Development Group.

Groundbreaking on the project, which has already received all the necessary approvals, is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2014.

"The project is moving forward according to plan and the partnership has been formed," said Michael Ghielmetti, president of Signature.

"Our expectations for the project are to create a firstclass waterfront neighborhood in Oakland," he said.

Climate policy and energy investment were also on the agenda during Brown's China visit. Another one of the contracts announced was for a zero-liquid-waste discharge project, which was signed by Shanghai-based McWong Environmental and Energy Group, a subsidiary of California-based engineering company McWong International, and Inner Mongolia ChinaCoal Mengda New Energy and Chemical Industry, a subsidiary of China National Coal Group.

Margaret Wong, president of McWong and a member of Brown's delegation, said her company had been active in China's environmental sector for more than a decade and the new project will be a welcomed addition.

"We have many projects of this kind," Wong said. "Our expertise is in providing wastewater-treatment system solutions, from design and engineering to equipment and technology."

This new project stands out because its technology - zero-liquid-waste discharge - is new to China and should have a wide market potential, according to Wong.

"There are only two or three companies worldwide that can implement this kind of technology," Wong said, "so it is important that we showcase it properly and make it a success." Wong added that zero-liquid-waste-discharge could be applied to many projects across China.

"We have a few more projects in the pipeline," she said, "and two of them are looking particularly good."

The zero-liquid-waste discharge technology is adopted from California-based New Logic Research, Wong said. "We have three engineers coming from China next month to New Logic to master the details of the technology, because it is very complicated," she added.

Another deal that involves green energy is a $100 million investment from Wuhai, China-based Hongye International Investment Group, to the Arcadia, California-based firm Singpoli Capital. A spokesman for Singpoli, however, said details of the contract were a trade secret that could not be disclosed.

Other potential cooperative efforts announced during Brown's trip included a $50 million fund from two Beijing-based companies, Joinn Laboratories and Staidson, to build a new pharmaceutical factory in Richmond, North California, and a $125 million joint research program between Ningbo University and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego.

Investment from China is crossing the Pacific to California, home to the US' largest Chinese-American community. China is the third-largest export destination for US and California exported $14 billion in products to China in 2012, more than any other state in the US, according to US Census Bureau data.

(China Daily USA 06/06/2013 page9)