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2004 US-China Business Matchmaking (Hunan) Conference

2004 US-China Business Matchmaking (Hunan) Conference was inaugurated in Changsha Rongyuan Hotel on June 23. Mr. William Spitler, Director of New York Center of US DOC, Dr. George Wang, President of USCEA, eight US mayors and over 50 US company executives attended the conference. The Vice Governor of Hunan Province Mr. Zheng Maoqing met the US guests and gave his welcome speech.

Co-organized by USCEA, US DOC and US SBA, the conference laid emphasis on promotion of bilateral investment and trading cooperation between US and Chinese cities and SMEs. At the morning's opening ceremony, the Vice Governor Mr. Zheng Maoqing remarked, "This conference held in Changsha will undoubtedly strengthen the US-China friendship, exchange, and cooperation, and will greatly promote Hunan's business environment and accelerate its economic construction. Today, Hunan people are dedicated to improving its business environment and opening more industries to foreign businesses and businesspersons, and thus an overall and multi-level opening structure covering most industries is becoming a reality. There are great potentials for cooperation between Hunan Province and the United States, and more and more businesspersons are coming to invest here." Some once monopolized industries and public utilities are gradually opened to foreign companies. So are the industries of banking, insurance and telecommunication. Hunan saw 9.6% year-over-year growth in 2003, and 11.6% in the first five months of 2004.

The opening ceremony was followed by business environment briefings given by the cities of Columbia, Florence, San Ramon, and Hawaii County of United States, as well as Shaoyang City and Xiangyin County of Hunan Province. The both parties shared views on their economic cooperation and other exchange activities. At the end of the meeting, Shaoyang City and Xiangyin County signed economic cooperation agreement with the City of Columbia and Hawaii County, respectively.

Later in the afternoon, more than 50 US entrepreneurs had a fruitful talks with Chinese company executives regarding trade, manufacture, investment, distributorship, and technical cooperation opportunities. The two sides signed over 20 LOIs, worth about 15 million US dollars.