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Trade agreement signed with California

By DING QINGFEN  (China Daily)

08:54, April 11, 2013

Six local Chinese govts commit to growing links with Golden State

Despite various restrictions put in place by the United States federal government, China's investment into the country is expected to pick up in years to come, especially in the new energy and infrastructure sectors, after six Chinese local governments and California signed an agreement on Wednesday to increase trade and investment links.

The Ministry of Commerce will help promote Chinese investment in the US, and business exchanges between China's local governments and the US states, said Vice-Minister of Commerce Wang Chao during a meeting in Beijing.

The two countries have signed an understanding to establish the China Provinces and US California Joint Working Group on Trade and Investment Cooperation.

The six Chinese provinces and municipalities involved in the working group include Shanghai, Jiangsu, Shandong, Guangdong and Chongqing.

According to the Asia Society of the US, Chinese cumulative investment in California is worth $1.4 billion, the highest of any state in the US.

"California could get new investment worth hundreds of billions of US dollars from China by the end of 2020," said Wang.

The two-way understanding is a direct result of an official visit last year to California — the biggest state economy in the US — by then Vice-President Xi Jinping, during which the two sides pledged to strengthen bilateral trade and investment and explore new ways to strengthen China-US relations.

"It (the working group) is an important part of implementing the consensus that the two countries reached during that visit," Wang said.

More than 70 US companies from California and around 100 Chinese entrepreneurs attended Wednesday's business exchange conference.

But the new understanding also comes at a time when Chinese companies have been continuously challenged by investment barriers put up by the US federal government, for what it claims are political and national security reasons.

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