SF trade group is off to China
Updated: 2013-10-10 10:51
By Chen Jia (China Daily)
In order to learn more about business opportunities in China and meet potential partners, about 80 business leaders in the San Francisco Bay Area paid a $6,000 participation fee to join a trade delegation that San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee will lead to China next week.
Sources told China Daily on Tuesday that the number of delegates had doubled since the initial announcement.
"I am very excited about the trip to build relationships with transportation delegates and assist with building relationships with China's transportation agencies and industry leaders," Walter Allen, president and CEO of Acumen Building Enterprise, told China Daily at a send-off on Tuesday night.
Yuan Nansheng, the consul general of China in San Francisco, hosted the reception for the delegation and Mayor Lee.
The group will arrive at China next Monday and stay until Oct 20, including two days in Beijing and four days in Shanghai.
"San Francisco has more than 25 percent Chinese residents, we have a strong historic relation with China's sister city," Lee told China Daily at the reception. "The China-US relationship is one of the most important relationships in the world."
As the first Chinese American mayor of San Francisco, Lee says he hopes to "expand the relationship, especially at the time I believe it's in our mutual interest to create jobs and reach environmental goals".
One of Lee's goals is to promote the sport business. The Golden Gate Warriors - San Francisco's NBA team - will take two games to Chinese basketball fans - one in Beijing, one in Shanghai - on Oct 15 and Oct 18 respectively.
"We will be with the Golden States Warriors basketball team. That's important because everybody knows Yao Ming, so I think we will have an exciting following," he said adding that this would be his "very first visit to Shanghai as mayor of San Francisco".
"We will promote economic trade through ChinaSF and Shanghai sister city, both are very important for San Francisco," he said.
In a move to vie for opportunities in the world's second-biggest economy, California reopened a trade office in Shanghai in April after a 10-year shutdown.
Kimberly Brandon, vice-president of the Port of San Francisco, told China Daily that she looks forward to participating in Mayor Lee's delegation visit to Shanghai to "greet old friends and foster new relationships in China".
She noted the Port of San Francisco has been a "Friendship Port" with the Shanghai Municipal Transport and Port Authority since 2007.
"Our two ports have exchanged ideas and information of cargo shipping as well as the growing international cruise industry market that has been seeing exceptional growth in Asia," she added.
"The Shanghai-San Francisco Sister City relationship is strong as it has been built up for over 30 years. The mutual respect and admiration of these two cities for each other is a clear indication that there are many more opportunities in the future," Thomas Escher, chairman of the Red and White Fleet (San Francisco Cruises), told China Daily.
"This Sister City relationship is continuing to build stronger ties between China and the USA with cultural, educational, business and social exchanges not only for the benefit of our two countries but also for the world," he said.
Boe Hayward, partner of Goodyear Peterson, a San Francisco-based public affairs consultancy, said he plans to leave for Beijing on Wednesday morning as he wanted to be there a few days ahead of the delegation.
"China is a priority market for many of our clients in San Francisco, which is a primary US gateway to the Pacific Rim," he said.
(China Daily USA 10/10/2013 page2)