A Chinese trade delegation is leaving Thursday for the United States to explore trade and investment opportunities, close on the heels of a similar mission to Europe in February, according to sources.
The team will visit San Francisco, Washington and Chicago from today to May 1st, according to an initial schedule of the mission seen by China Daily.
The mission is intended to promote bilateral trade relations and improve trade balance, according to an announcement on the website of China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products, or CCCME.
CCCME said in the announcement that the team will sign purchase contracts, visit famous US enterprises, and forge other cooperation agreements during the trip.
The buying trip comes only two months after a commerce minister-led trade mission to Europe, where Chinese enterprises signed deals worth more than 13 billion U.S. dollars in four countries.
The delegation is also seen as a precursor to the strategic and economic dialogue between China and the US in summer.
President Hu Jintao and US president Barack Obama announced during the G20 summit held in London earlier this month that the two countries have agreed to set up a "strategic and economic dialogue" mechanism, an upgraded version of the Strategic Economic Dialogue, or SED, a bi-annual event initiated by Hu and former US president George W Bush in 2006.
Beijing dispatched similar missions to the US before each year's SED. During such trips between then and 2008, Chinese enterprises purchased technologies, goods and services worth 62.4 billion U.S. dollars.
The shopping missions set a good example for other countries, and are conducive to a better global trade environment, according to Feng Lei, a researcher on international trade with Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a top think tank.
"The current crisis is, to a large extent, a crisis of confidence. Buying trips by China will help restore confidence of enterprises and consumers both in China and other countries," he said.
Zhou Shijian, a senior researcher on China-US relations at Tsinghua University, said the move shows that China is committed to free trade while many countries are trying to protect their domestic industries amid the global economic downturn.
Source: China Daily