ChinaSF celebrates 6th anniversary
Updated: 2014-11-19 03:24
By LIAN ZI In San Francisco(China Daily USA)
Ed Lee, mayor of San Francisco, delivers opening remarks at the sixth anniversary celebration party of ChinaSF at Crystal Jade Jiang Nan restaurant in San Francisco Monday night. Lian Zi / China Daily
It was, in part, a celebration of success in numbers: six, 300 and 50.
The sixth anniversary of the opening of ChinaSF, which promotes business and trade between China and the San Francisco Bay Area, was celebrated on Monday evening by Edwin Lee, mayor of the city, Song Ru'an, Chinese deputy consul general in San Francisco, other government officials and business leaders.
"That was a really great idea to start our China program and office in 2008," said Lee. "San Francisco is proud of its strong relationship with China, having established the first US Sister-City relationship with Shanghai more than 30 years ago."
ChinaSF is an economic initiative of the city in close partnership with the San Francisco Center for Economic Development. With offices in Beijing and Shanghai -- and one that will open next year in Guangzhou, Guangdong province – ChinaSF also builds ties between people in the two countries, which Lee said is part of the city's long-term agenda of creating a strong relationship with China.
He said ChinaSF's focus on economic development with cities throughout China has affirmed San Francisco as the gateway to the Pacific.
Darlene Chiu Bryant, executive director of ChinaSF, reviewed numbers for the evening's guests: ChinaSF has recruited over 50 companies from China to the San Francisco region and created more than 300 jobs. “We look forward to continuing to work with our partners from China and the US, because ChinaSF is all about making deals happen," she said.
The companies represent a range of industries, including Chinese real estate giants Oceanwide, Genzon and Country Garden and rising tech stars Pingwest, Palmwin and Alibaba Group Ltd and the Crystal Jade Jiang Nan restaurant where Monday's event was held. Tuesday was opening day for the $14 million, 20,000 square-foot restaurant at the Embarcadero Center. It is the first US project from Crystal Jade, the Singapore company that operates 22 dining concepts in 21 Asian cities.
Song congratulated ChinaSF on behalf of the Chinese consulate in San Francisco. “I have seen the dedication they put into developing and maintaining relationships between Chinese and American firms," he said.
ChinaSF has done an excellent job in accelerating exchanges between the world's two largest economies, said Song. He said ChinaSF has more to do especially after the announcement by presidents Xi Jinping andBarack Obama that both countries would extend the terms of multiple entry short-term tourist and business visas to 10 years from one year. Student visas would be extended to five years from one year.
The change is expected to boost US tourism. In 2013, 2 million Chinese citizens traveled to US and contributed $22.1 billion to the economy.