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US and Chinese local govts boost investment

By Ding Qingfen (China Daily)

15:28, May 07, 2013

Top officials from provincial and city levels in both countries continue to strengthen efforts aimed at closer cooperation between the world's two largest economies, reports Ding Qingfen

After news of Chinese investment proposals being turned down in the United States and called threats to US national security, the prospects of Chinese investment in developed nations might seem to be worrisome.

But some positive signals have appeared over the past few weeks, and China is expected to herald a new wave of investment in the world's largest economy, given the strong commitment that Chinese local governments and US states have made to push for closer economic ties.

Since early April, a slew of governors from US states have visited China, leading large-scale business delegations. Their purposes were the same: to promote investment from Chinese provinces in their own states.

And they, of course, got a warm welcome from both the central and local governments in China.

One of those states is California. The largest US state in terms of economy organized a large business team in mid-April, consisting of more than 75 US firms, which traveled to major Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

The eight-day trip was fruitful. California Governor Jerry Brown was welcomed by the Chinese president and premier. As a key part of the journey, Brown also witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding to establish the China Provinces and US California Joint Working Group on Trade and Investment Cooperation, in a bid to promote Chinese investment in the US. Six Chinese provinces and municipalities are involved in the program.

"I want to encourage trade and investment exchanges during the trip and deepen economic relations with China," Brown said during his official meeting with Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing.

The newly elected premier responded warmly to Brown's overtures. "California has the longest history in the US in economic relations with China. ... I expect that your visit will promote bilateral economic ties, especially those between Chinese provinces and US states," Li said.

The governors of Iowa, Wisconsin and Virginia also came to China. And they all attended the second China-US Governors Forum, held in Tianjin on April 15 and 16.

During his meeting with the governors, President Xi Jinping said China encourages more frequent exchanges at the China-US provincial and city levels, saying such exchanges have recorded an "unprecedentedly good momentum", adding the two country's local economies complement each other.

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