Hebei-Iowa bonds heighten cooperation
Updated: 2013-10-18 13:03
By Zhang Yu (China Daily USA)
Delegation to hold series of events in the US state
Hebei province will expand its relationship with Iowa in the United States to boost mutual development as they mark their 30th anniversary of cooperation, said a senior official.
Zhou Benshun, Party chief of Hebei, said both sides should seize the opportunity to deepen bilateral cooperation and establish long-term partnerships.
"The relationship between Hebei and Iowa will be a role model for Sino-US cooperation at the local level," Zhou said.
"Over the past 30 years, Hebei and Iowa have made big strides in education, culture and tourism,"said Zhou, adding that the two have highly complementary economic structures.
He said Iowa has its own advantages in technology, education and culture.
At the same time, Hebei has great potential in cooperation with Iowa in the sectors of agriculture, manufacturing and modern services.
Zhou said delegations from Hebei will hold a series of events in Iowa from Oct 21 to 23 including a symposium on strategic cooperation, a contract-signing ceremony, a forum on sustainable agricultural development, a photo exhibition and other cultural activities.
Twenty-one companies and schools from Hebei will participate and sign agreements with their Iowa counterparts.
In 1985, Xi Jinping, then Party chief of Zhengding county of Hebei, visited Iowa.
In 2012, Xi attended a seminar on agriculture in Iowa.
Bilateral relations have maintained a good momentum of growth since then, Zhou said.
"More efforts should be made to enhance exchanges at a higher level."
Hebei has now established ties with 62 states and cities in 23 countries and regions around the world.
"It helps Hebei to bring in more advanced technology and managerial experience in various sectors," said Zhou.
As a vital regional hub in North China, Hebei lies at the heart of the Bohai Economic Rim, China's third-biggest economic zone after the Pearl River and the Yangtze River deltas.
Neighboring Beijing and Tianjin, Hebei enjoys geographic advantages to serve the two big cities by using its rich resources.
Hebei is also included in the nation's 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15) to build "the capital economic circle" based on its solid foundation in financial industry and human resources, according to the local government.
The development plan of Hebei coastal region has been upgraded to a national strategy.
Zhou said the province is a national leader in iron and steel, petrochemicals and manufacturing.
Its GDP ranks sixth among provinces in China. It is also a major agriculture province, strong in the production of cotton, eggs, vegetables, milk and fruit. Hebei should pay more attention to promoting the application of technologies with appropriate methods, he said.
"Hebei has made great efforts to attract foreign business and investment in the past few years.
"We are striving to improve its investment environment and the efficiency of administration and services."
Terry Branstad, governor of Iowa, met with Hebei Party chief Zhou Benshun in April to further strengthen cooperation. Photos Provided to China Daily
(China Daily USA 10/18/2013 page20)