Innovation is talk of summit on investment

Updated: 2015-03-24 12:42

By Hua Shengdun in National Harbor, Maryland(China Daily USA)

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Expect more cooperation on innovation between US, China, a US government official said Monday.

"The level of cooperation on innovation is not going to increase lineally; I actually think it's going to increase extensionally," said Vinai Thummalapally, executive director of the SelectUSA Investment Summit, a program that promotes business investment in the US.

He spoke to China Daily at the press conference for the summit at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor in Maryland.

Thummalapally, a former US ambassador, said it was "bullish" to see China spotlighting innovation, which could be a "virtuous cycle" for the bilateral cooperation.

The summit, part of the International Trade Administration of the US Commerce Department, drew more than 2,500 businesspersons from nearly 80 countries, doubling the size of the inaugural summit in 2013. China topped the list of delegates with more than 150 attendees.

Innovation is talk of summit on investment

"The US IT industry is a pioneer in the world, especially in terms of its innovation capacity, R&D ability and the strong talent pool," said Sun Jiong, vice-president and special assistant to the CEO of Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. Sun said Alibaba has set up some offices tackling investment and R&D issues in the US.

Eric Waller, CEO of MD America Energy, an oil and energy company in Fort Worth, Texas, said the company is seeking a network for technological cooperation since it was purchased by Hangzhou-based Meidu Energy Corp last year.

"In the US oil and gas industry, because we have to invest so much capital and the risks are so high they generally created an atmosphere for innovation; for example, the new technology of horizontal drilling," Waller said.

He said the company has "an absolutely wonderful relationship with the parent company, which is so supportive about growing the company in the US" and tripled the number of employees to 60 since the purchase.

Major Chinese enterprises have shown great interest in innovation investment in the US in recent years. Huawei, a Shenzhen-based telecommunications equipment and services company, invested about one fifth of its US revenue into local R&D, creating hundreds of jobs in the US.

It also invested in partnerships with US universities, including Harvard, Yale, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Calfiornia-Berkeley, which totaled $10 million in 2010, according to the company.

Sheng Yang and Chen Weihua in Maryland contributed to this story.