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CGCC Chicago 2017 Annual Gala Held in Chicago
2017/06/30

On Thursday, June 29, China General Chamber of Commerce Chicago (CGCC Chicago), in partnership with China Investment Promotion Agency of the Ministry of Commerce PRC and the World Business Chicago, hosted the CGCC Chicago 2017 Annual Gala "New Era-Opportunities & Challenges in U.S.-China Economic Cooperation" in Chicago. Minister of Commerce of the People's Republic of China Zhong Shan, Chinese Ambassador to the USA Cui Tiankai and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross sent letters of congratulations. Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago; Eric Branstad, the Senior White House Commercial Adviser; Hong Lei, Chinese Consul General in Chicago; Zhu Hong, Chinese Minister for Commercial Affairs in Washintong D.C..; Liu Jianmin, Deputy Mayor of Qingdao; Li Yong, Deputy General Director of Investment Promotion Agency of Ministry of Commerce of China; Ni Pin, Chairman of the CGCC Chicago Chapter and President of Wanxiang America Corporation and other guests made keynote speeches at the Gala. Bruce Rauner, Governor of Illinois; Rebecca Kleefisch, Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin; Steve Koch, Deputy Mayor of Chicago; Bob Holden, the 53rd Governor of Missouri and Chairman of Midwest US-China Association; Mark Kirk, former Senator of Illinois; Xu Chen, Chairman of CGCC, President & CEO of Bank of China USA and so on, attended the Governors and CEOs Roundtable on Trade and Investment Cooperation of Annual Gala and delivered speeches. In addition, Mark Peterson, Secretary of Economic Development, Illinois; James Schellinger, Secretary of Commerce, Indiana; Mark Hogan, CEO & Secretary of Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation; Mike Downing, Director of the Missouri Department of Commerce; Jeff Malehorn, President of World Business Chicago and representatives of Chinese local business departments such as Tianjin, Wuhan, Qingdao and Dongying, introduced their local investment policy at the Gala. More than 800 government officials and business leaders from China and the United States joined the event, including commercial and business affairs officials from the Chinese Embassy in the U.S., U.S. federal agencies, state governments in the Midwest and the city government of Chicago, CGCC Chicago members and partners, and the Chinese delegation coming over from China. Deputy Consul General Liu Jun and Commercial Counselor Zou Xiaoming were also present at the Annual Gala.

U.S. Midwest-China Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum

Minister Zhu Hong delivered the congratulations messages from Minister of Commerce of China Zhong Shan and Chinese Ambassador to the United States of America Cui Tiankai. Zhong Shan, in his letter, said that at the successful Summit held in Florida in April, the President of China and the President of America reached an important consensus, which gave a clear direction on how to further develop Sino-US relationships. They concluded that local exchange and partnership are key aspects to this growth. In recent years, 25 provinces and cities in China have formed several working groups of trade, investment and cooperation with seven States and cities in the United State such as Chicago, Iowa, and Michigan, etc. With the promotion of these groups, there is a growth in new partnership projects, trade and investments are increasing, and personnel exchange is becoming popular. I hope by continuing to leverage both China and the US's local economy potentials, the economic and trade between China and the US will expand and further strengthen. For this, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce is willing to continue to play a proactive and positive role in strengthening these ties. CGCC-Chicago is the most important commerce organization in the Midwest that represents Chinese enterprises. I hope CGCC-Chicago continues to play a positive role as a liaison between both sides by promoting the communication between the Chinese enterprises and the American local governments and its enterprises. In addition, CGCC-Chicago aims to not only promote the economic development in the Midwest and the United States as a whole, but it also aims to promote a win-win cooperation and situation between Sino-US economy and trade.

 U.S. Midwest- China Trade and Investment Cooperation Luncheon

Cui Tiankai said in his letter that the nine Midwest states have always been the promised land for China-US economic and trade cooperation. The annual trade volume between China and Midwest states has exceeded $90 billion. More than 200 Chinese enterprises have invested here, creating jobs and benefiting local communities. They serve as friendship envoys that promote exchanges and cooperation between China and the U.S. CGCC Chicago, as an important platform for communication, coordination and mutual assistance for both Chinese and US enterprises, has played an important role in facilitating Chinese enterprises to develop in the U.S., bringing together the business communities of our two countries and promoting bilateral economic and trade relations. I want to thank you for your hard work and remarkable achievements.President Xi and President Trump had a successful summit in Mar-a-Lago, Florida in early April. It charts the course and set the tone for the future development of China-US relations. With the concerted efforts of both sides, a 100-Day Plan for economic cooperation is moving forward smoothly and delivered early harvest. The two sides will also host the first Comprehensive Economic Dialogue soon. These positive developments will inject new impetus and open up new horizons for China-US economic and trade relations. I am confident that, with the joint efforts of the business communities of our two countries, China-US economic and trade relations at the new starting point will move forward, riding the wind and cleaving the waves, and deliver more that benefit the people of both countries and the world at large.

Regional Trade and Investment Introductory Session

Vice Chairman of CGCC Chicago Liang Pubin and Partner of Katten Muchin Roseman LLP Xue Feng

Senior White House Commercial Advisor Eric Branstad delivered the congratulations messages from U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and the warm greetings from U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad. Wilbur Ross said in his letter that the US government, led by President Trump, has been working to promote the economic growth and job creating for the US. With the joint efforts of both sides, the US-China "100-day Plan" has made positive progress and we have also established mid-term and long-term goals to ensure US-China trade relations more balanced and mutually beneficial.

Deputy Mayor of Chicago Steve Koch and Chairman of CGCC Xu Chen

Consul General Hong Lei said in his speech that in April this year, the heads of China and the United States met in the Mar-a-Lago summit which has laid the foundation for a clear direction for economic and trade cooperation between the two countries. Under this situation,CGCC Chicago Chapter determined the theme of this year's Annual Gala as "Opportunities and Challenges - A New Era of US-China Economic and Trade Cooperation " and invited political and business participants from both China and the United States for in-depth exchanges on deepening US-China economic and trade cooperation which has achieved positive results.

Governors and CEOs Roundtable on Trade and Investment Cooperation

Hong Lei said that the current US-China economic and trade cooperation presents a new development trend featured by mutual benefit. First, Chinese companies invest more in US. According to Rhodium data, in 2016, the investment of Chinese enterprises has increased by twice in the United States compared to 2015. As of the end of 2016, the accumulative direct investment of Chinese enterprises in US has reached 110.1 billion US dollars, meanwhile direct employment of US employees 14 million. In the nine states of Midwest in the United States which the Chicago Consulate General covered, Chinese companies have invested $ 20 billion over the past 16 years and created 45,000 jobs. Chinese companies are also increasingly focusing on social responsibility and contributing to local communities. Second, US exports to China are accelerating. US-China trade in 2016 amounted to 519.6 billion US dollars, increased by 211 times compared with the beginning of diplomatic relations. At present, China is the largest trading partner and the third largest export market of US. China is also the fastest-growing market for US exports, with US export goods to China growing by 114% from 2006 to 2015, while to other countries 51%; US export service to China growing by 301%, while to other countries 91%. It is expected that up to 2030 US exports to China will reach 520 billion US dollars. Third, the investment of US companies in China is still prosperous with good profits. According to Rhodium data, as of the end of 2016, more than 1,300 US companies invested nearly 230 billion US dollars in China and employed more than 1.6 million Chinese employees. The vast majority of these companies are profitable, thus China becomes their strategic market.

Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel and Senior White House Commercial Advisor Eric Branstad

Hong Lei said that at present, US-China economic and trade relations face new opportunities. After the successful meeting of the two leaders of our countries in Florida, the economic and trade cooperation between China and the United States is more stable. Under frequently exchange and close cooperation, the two sides have launched a "100-day Plan" of economic and trade cooperation to further open the market and encourage investment in more fields, which now has achieved initial success. we believe that US-China economic and trade cooperation will continue to be pushed forward and bring more benefits to Chinese and American people. Meanwhile the development of the two countries is the opportunity for each other. China is promoting national revival with flourishing national construction. The United States is committed to becoming even greater. The common development of the two countries will surely create a broader space for economic and trade cooperation between the two countries.

Chinese Minister for Commercial Affairs in D.C. Zhu Hong and Consul General  Hong Lei

Deputy Mayor of Qingdao Liu Jianmin and Deputy General Director of Investment Promotion Agency of Ministry of Commerce of China

Hong Lei said that as the world's two largest economies, bilateral economic and trade cooperation between China and the United States is not only related to our fundamental interests, but also the prosperity and stability of the world economy. China and the United States should continue to strengthen cooperation for the benefit of the two countries and the people of the world. On one hand we hope that Chinese enterprises can aim high and grow stably, expand their business and contribute to the community in the market of the United States to strengthen US-China economic and trade cooperation. On the other hand we hope that the US companies can grasp the development opportunities during China's new economic period, strengthen cooperation with Chinese enterprises, nurture and develop new industries and share new dividends. At last we hope that the economic and trade promotion agencies of the two countries at province and state level can strengthen exchanges, increase understanding and explore opportunities to promote more economic and trade cooperation.

Chairman of CGCC Chicago Ni Ping and the 74th Secretary of the Treasury of USA Henry M. Paulson

Mayor Emanuel, Mr. Eric Blandstad, Deputy Mayor Liu Jianmin, Deputy General Director Li Yong and Chairman Ni Pin, all said in their speeches that in the context of continued development of US-China economic and trade relations, bilateral investment and trade cooperation between China and US Midwest is more promising.

Export Council Announcement

Henry M. Paulson, the 74th Secretary of the Treasury, won the only individual award of the evening-Outstanding Contribution to US-China Relations-for his significant contribution to U.S.-China economic and trade cooperation. Minister Zhu Hong presented the award. "There is no bilateral relationship that is more important today than U.S. and China relations. I look forward to hearing more about the important work that CGCC is doing and I will continue my part in working to develop a bilateral relationship that is better balanced and more productive for both sides", said Paulson in his acceptance speech.

Three company rewards were given out at the gala to recognize exceptional Chinese and U.S. companies for their excellent business performance and great contributions to the society. Wanxiang America Corporation was honored as The Best Chinese Company for Community Service 2016, The Boeing Company as The Best Export Company 2016, SAIC USA as The Best Chinese Company for Innovation 2016. Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Deputy Director General Li Yong, and World Business Chicago President & CEO Jeff Malehorn presented the awards, respectively.

Last but not least, as the highlight of this year's Gala Dinner, Consul General Hong Lei announced the establishment of Export Council of CGCC Chicago and presented certificates to the council members: the Boeing Company, Cummins, Smithfield Foods, ADM, Mead Johnson Nutrition, and Microsoft. Hong Lei hoped the council could give new push to U.S. export to China.

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