Silicon Valley mayors eye opportunities in China

(Xinhua) 14:28, May 25, 2024

CHONGQING, May 24 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese metropolis of Chongqing and Silicon Valley in the United States have a lot to offer each other, and their future exchange and cooperation will be mutually beneficial, mayors of Silicon Valley cities told a conference in Chongqing.

The Chongqing International Friendship Cities Cooperation Conference 2024 was held from May 22 to 23, attracting mayors and representatives of 48 cities in 31 countries, as well as diplomats from 14 countries and delegates from international organizations, multinational corporations and business associations.

Mayors of the Silicon Valley cities of Antioch, East Palo Alto, Morgan Hill, Oakley, San Carlos and Saratoga attended the conference.

How to build green cities was among the key topics at the meeting held on Guangyang Isle, which is known for an ecological restoration project that has been listed as a good practice by the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration this year.

"The climate change is having a real impact on my city. We are building a desalination plant because of the coming salt water intrusion and the ice caps in North America melting," said Lamar A. Hernandez-Thorpe, mayor of the city of Antioch, adding that China's efforts to restore ecology could serve as a guide.

He said that Antioch is shifting its vehicles to zero-emissions models and curtailing the consumption of fossil fuels. "We need to be partnering to ensure that we are protecting the planet from climate change to reduce its impact in any possible ways."

The mayor also hailed Chongqing's infrastructure, saying that he was very impressed with the number of bridges and the development in Chongqing city proper.

"Logistics, transportation... These are things that are very important to us," said Anissa Williams, mayor of the city of Oakley, which has access to major highways and rail lines in the United States.

Oakley is also testing autonomous cars and drones, she said, adding that to build supporting infrastructure, the city needs partners with technological advancements that can help complete its systems.

The mayors expressed their willingness to bring Chinese investors and entrepreneurs to their cities, while also boosting investment in China.

"I think the relationship between China and Silicon Valley is unique because China is very fast-forward in thinking for innovation and startups, and this is just what Silicon Valley is known for," said Marilyn Librers, vice mayor of the city of Morgan Hill and president of China Silicon Valley, a non-profit organization.

This year, Librers' organization supported the Gansu Economic and Trade Promotion Conference, during which seven enterprises from northwest China's Gansu Province inked eight foreign trade agreements worth of 30.2 million U.S. dollars with U.S. companies. Another two cooperation agreements were signed to attract foreign investment of 5 million U.S. dollars.

"By my organization and friendships in China, we were able to help people invest in both countries," said Librers. "We sponsor delegations to come to Silicon Valley so they can learn our business practices. In return, we also bring delegations here to learn China's business practices, and this helps both nations and the entrepreneurs to grow."

John Dugan, mayor of the city of San Carlos, said he has full confidence that there will be an abundance of opportunities for Chinese and U.S. cities to work together.

"I suppose people of Silicon Valley and Chongqing are all thinking about the future," said Dugan, noting that their future exchange and cooperation will be both educational and beneficial.

(Web editor: Tian Yi, Liang Jun)


Related Stories