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2004 Guangzhou-United States Economic Cooperation Conference

Co-organized by Guangzhou Municipal Government, US Department of Commerce, USCEA, Guangzhou BOFTEC, and Guangzhou International Investment Advancement Center, 2004 Guangzhou-United States Economic Cooperation Conference was held in Guangzhou Garden Hotel from June 25 through 28.

At the beginning of the conference, Mr. Chen Mingde, Vice Mayor of Guangzhou Municipal Government, met with some US attendees including Mr. William Spitler, Director of New York Center of US DOC, Dr. George Wang, President of USCEA, Mr. Robert Goodman, Chairman of Sino-America Trade Development Association, Mr. Ken McGuire, Director of Massachusetts Manufacturing Advancement Center, Ms. Dana Eidsness, Director of Maine International Trade Center, and 8 US mayors. Mr. Chen extended his warm welcome to the US trade mission and expressed his gratitude towards the entire job DOC and USCEA had done. He sincerely hoped and believed that this conference would provide a great opportunity for the economic cooperation between Guangzhou and United States and strengthen the bilateral exchanges.

The 8 US cities/counties and more than 50 US companies brought a wide range of business interests in manufacture, trade, consulting services and other areas. Key officials from Guangzhou Municipal Government and Guangzhou BOFTEC, as well as more than 100 companies from Guangdong Province attended the conference. The one-on-one meeting between US and Chinese companies were productive with a batch of LOIs signed.

The theme of this conference was the business cooperation between US and Chinese SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises), which form the majority of business community in both China and United States. SMEs constitute 99.8% of all companies in China, and 99% in United States, each providing 70% employment opportunities of their countries' total. Some giants such as HP, Cisco, and Wal-Mart were all originally small firms. A simple fact is, however, that most SMEs in New York, New Jersey, and California have little knowledge about the China market despite their wide industries coverage in electronics, bioengineering, electric machinery, IT, communication, and software industries. Neither have Chinese SMEs had much contact with US companies. Under such circumstances, business cooperation conferences have been proved to be one of the most effective ways to promote the exchanges among SMEs and cities between both countries.

During the conference, the US trade mission also took a business tour in Guangzhou Fanyu District, Zengcheng City, and Nansha Economic Development Zone, and were very much impressed by the business environment and economic growth there.

In addition, 6 districts/cities signed economic cooperation agreements with the attending US cities:
Yuexiu District of Guangzhou City vs. San Ramon, California
Haizhu District of Guangzhou City vs. Vallejo, California
Huangpu District of Guangzhou City vs. Hawaii County
Fanyu District of Guangzhou City vs. Azusa, California
Zengcheng City of Guangdong Provicne vs. Columbia, South Carolina
Guangzhou Economic Development Zone vs. Davis, California