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2006 US-China Business Matchmaking (Sichuan) Conference

Supported by Sichuan Provincial Government and US Department of Commerce, and co-organized by US-China Exchange Association, Sichuan Provincial Investment Promotion Bureau and China Chamber of International Commerce Sichuan Brunch, the 2006 US-China Business Matchmaking (Sichuan) Conference was held in Jinjiang Hotel, Chengdu City, Sichuan Province on May 24.

This is the first time ever for China's western region to host such a pageant on US-Sino economic exchanges, which is also an important part of the Western China Expo. The distinguished US attendees include Mr. Alain de Sarran, Deputy Director of East Asia and Pacific Office of US DOC, Dr. George Wang, the President of USCEA, Mr. Joseph Jen, the former Assistant Secretary of US Department of Agriculture and 7 US mayors who led executives from 48 US enterprises in finance, machinery, pharmaceutical, textiles/clothing, decoration articles, metal raw materials, electricity, mining, jewelry, and traveling. On the conference, Mr. Huang Xiaoxiang, the Vice Governor of Sichuan Province, delivered the keynote speech. Meanwhile, other leaders from the Sichuan provincial and municipal governments, together with more than 400 Sichuan local enterprises also attended the conference. Mr. Lewis, the Senior Secretary from US Embassy to China, also attended the conference.

According to Mr. Huang Xiaoxiang, Sichuan Province has made a series of reforms to quicken the economic development. For example, the province has witnessed an annual 11.2% growth of GDP. In 2005, it reached 738.51 billion RMB, increasing by 69.8% compared with the one in 2000. The sound business, political and living environments have made Sichuan an ideal place for foreign investment. According to Mr. Jiao Weixia, Director General of Sichuan Provincial Investment Promotion Bureau, Sichuan will persist in strengthening itself by developing its industry during the 11th Five-Year Plan. So he warmly welcomes the US entrepreneurs to invest in Sichuan in various forms, especially in the fields of hydropower, agricultural byproducts and mine.

At the conference, 7 pairs of US and Chinese cities signed the letter of intent on economic cooperation with each other. They are: Mianyang City vs. St. Charles, Mianyang City vs. Bluffton, Yibin City vs. Columbia, Neijiang City vs. Hartford, Longquanyi Region vs. Orlando, Pengzhou City vs. Corpus Christie, and Shuangliu County vs. Denver. According to the statistics byl the end of 2005, Sichuan Province has established economic and trade cooperation with nearly 200 countries and regions in the world, the actual FDI has reached USD $6.465 billion and 114 companies among the World Top 500 have established their offices in Sichuan, all of which marveled the US mayors and aroused their interests in cooperating with other cities in Sichuan.

During the conference, Sichuan Provincial Government also held the Sichuan Small and Medium City Recommendation Conference, on which some experts from both China and US introduced some overseas investment opportunities and approaches to the Sichuan local entrepreneurs, and the representatives from the cities signing cooperation contracts with their US counterparts also gave an introduction of their industrial strengths. According to Dr. Joseph Jen, the former Assistant Secretary of US Department of Agriculture, the purpose for his attending the US-China Business Matchmaking Conference is to have a better understanding of the Sichuan local enterprises and he hopes to bring the processing strengths of agricultural byproducts in Sichuan into full play.

The "Go Out" Strategy for Private Enterprises Seminar was also held on the sideline of the US-China Business Matchmaking Conference. The enlarging scale of agricultural byproduct processing, the key product chain formed in manufacturing industry and the development of hi-tech industry in Sichuan make the US delegation members cast their eyes on the promising business opportunities in Sichuan. Meanwhile, as the world economic center and the country with the highest international trade volume, USA will attract more and more Chinese companies to set up their brunches in US, which will surely enable them to make full use of the preferential US international trade policies to expand their business to the whole world. Mr. Huang Xiaoxiang made a high remark on this "Go Out" Strategy.

On May 25th, the US delegation was also invited to attend the 7th Western China Expo. On May 26th, they visited the cities and regions that signed cooperation agreements: Shuangliu County, Longquanyi District, and Mianyang City.

On this conference, 228 local Sichuan enterprises made a one-to-one business talk with their US counterparts. With the 2-day business conference, the US-Sino companies signed 52 LOIs, involving about USD $200 million.

The 2006 US-China Business (Sichuan) Conference gives a fresh impetus to the economic development of the Western China!