Deals inked to jumpstart forum
Updated: 2011-07-15 11:51
By Tan Yingzi (China Daily)
From left: The Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries Vice-President Li Xiaolin, Anhui Governor Wang Sanyun, Utah Governor Gary Herbert, Zhejiang provincial Party secretary Zhao Hongzhu, Yunnan Governor Qin Guangrong and Qinghai Governor Luo Huining are attendees of the China-US Governors Forum. Photos by Chen Bei / China Daily
Above: John Culver, president, Starbucks Coffee International,and Liu Minghui, chairman of Ai Ni Group in Yunnan, sign an agreement on Thursday. Below: Officials and business people are under the spotlight in Salt Lake City on Thursday.
States, provinces take opportunities to bring businesses together
SALT LAKE CITY- At least 20 agreements were inked between local governments of China and the United States at a grand signing ceremony Thursday at Little America Hotel.
Officials from Zhejiang, Qinghai, Yunnan and Anhui provinces made deals across different sectors, from trade to education, to environmental protection, culture and people-to-people exchange.
East China's Zhejiang province and the state of Delaware agreed to have more friendly exchanges. Small and medium enterprises from the rich coastal province, which boasts the most active private sector in China, will work with the Delaware Department of International Trade and Development to further explore more business opportunities in the US.
Two companies from Zhejiang also signed agreements with their US partners in energy and resources, and in the auto industry.
The remaining three Chinese provinces focused more on green technology and environmental protection.
Northwest China's Qinghai province, which is very similar with the state of Utah in terms of geography, will work with Pacific Millennium Holdings Corp on the International Forum and Joint Development of Ecology and Carbon Sink of Qinghai. The province's Huanghe Hydropower Development Co Ltd and SunPower Corp will work together in new energy development. Asia Silicon (Qinghai) Co Ltd also plans to work with GT Solar Inc.
The Wuhu Economic and Technological Development Zone in East China's Anhui province reached a deal with NuvoSun on a project for thin film solar cells.
Southwest China's Yunnan province, which is famous for its ample natural resources, will partner with the US Nature Conservancy on bio-diversity protection.
After last November's announcement to work with the Yunnan Academy of Agricultural Science and the city of Pu'er to help local farmers promote sustainable coffee-growing practices and develop high-quality coffee locally, US coffee chain Starbucks signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Ai Ni Group, one of the province's most established coffee operators and agricultural companies.
Starbucks and Ai Ni Group plan to form a joint-venture company that will purchase and export high-quality arabica Yunnan coffee beans, as well as operate dry mills in Yunnan province.
The Seattle-based company will make a "significant" investment in Yunnan as a long-term commitment to China's market, which is the second-largest market outside the US, said John Culver, president of Starbucks Coffee International.
By 2015, there will be more than 1,500 stores on the Chinese mainland, almost triple from the current number of 450, he said.
More deals have yet to materialize from the forum as participants from across the Pacific meet and explore potential markets.
Alana Metcalf, a businesswoman from a local small enterprise developing fuel technology, is learning about the Chinese market and seeking a business partner at the trade exhibition on the sidelines of the China-US Governors Forum.
"I have never been to China, but this forum gives me a good opportunity to know about the market and the people, which I believe has a big potential in green technology," she told China Daily.
The first China-US Governors Forum is held July 15 in the Salt Lake City, the United States.
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China kept its export quota at almost the same level as last year.