|Consul General Hong Lei Meets Illinois Governor Rauner|
On July 25, 2016, Consul General Hong Lei paid a courtesy call on Bruce Rauner, Governor of Illinois State, in Chicago.
Consul General Hong Lei said that he is very delighted to meet Governor Rauner on the very first workday upon his assumption of office, which fully demonstrated that Governor Rauner attached importance to Illinois-China relationship. Consul General Hong Lei valued Governor Rauner’s work and dedication in promoting sound relations between Illinois and China as well as trade and investment cooperation.
According to Consul General Hong Lei, China has become Illinois’ second largest trading partner, second largest source of import and third largest export destination. Currently, more than 16,000 Chinese students are studying at universities and colleges across Illinois, with 5,000 plus at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign alone. In fact, there is a solid foundation for the development of Illinois-China relationship. In the next five years, China will import commodities of 10 trillion dollars totally, invest 500 billion dollars in foreign countries, with 100 to 200 billion in the United States. More than 500 million Chinese citizens will travel across the globe. There will be great opportunities in enhancing cooperation in the areas of trade, investment, education and tourism between Illinois and China. The Chinese Consulate General is ready to work with Governor Rauner and the State Government to broaden and deepen bilateral friendly cooperation and exchanges.
Governor Rauner welcomed Consul General Hong Lei’s arrival in Chicago. Governor Rauner said that he considers China-US relations crucially important and attaches great significance to Illinois-China relationship. He believes that cooperation with China would be helpful to Illinois in promoting its economic growth and improving its business environment. As Illinois has rich economic strength and world-class universities, he is very proud to see that more and more Chinese companies were investing and doing business in Illinois and more and more Chinese tourists and students were coming to Illinois. He hopes that he can visit China as early as possible so as to deepen bilateral cooperation in trade, investment, culture, etc., which would benefit both peoples.
Sean McCarthy, Director of Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity; Jim Schultz, CEO of Illinois Business and Economic Development Corporation and Kelley Folino, Deputy Chief of Staff at the Office of Governor Bruce Rauner were also present at the meeting.