|Houston, Texas) A press conference was held Wednesday, October 5, 2010, at the studios of International Television, Channel 55.5, to formally announce the upcoming Texas China Business Summit at the International Trade Center Houston and also in Washington, D.C.|
The press conference was chaired by Wea H. Lee, Chairman of Southern News Group. He was joined by U.S. Congressman Al Green, ITC President Gezahgen Kebede, and Gary Randazzo, Co-Chairman of the International Trade Center.
In his opening remarks, Chairman Lee stated that the Texas China Business Summit is being sponsored by the International Trade Center with the support of both governmental and private enterprises. Lee said the theme of the Summit is "Important Issues in Texas and China Relations” and the purpose of the Summit is to initiate mutual public and private partnerships and promote economic growth integration and free trade between Texas and China.
“We want to provide Texas' small and middle size companies with information and contacts to penetrate and expand into the Chinese market. At the same time, we are giving Chinese companies a platform to explore investment opportunities in Texas. Participants will meet potential business partners and learn about the China business policies under the Obama administration.”
Congressman Al Green formally announced the Texas China Business Summit and pointed out that a business summit of this magnitude, as well as the previous Texas Africa Business Summit sponsored by the ITC last February, is the direct result of the stewardship of Mr. Lee and his staff over the past three years in developing the International Trade Center and the many international business meetings held there.
Congressman Green stressed that he believes the “business-to-business” approach between Texas and China is the best way to attract foreign business and partnerships simply because China is clearly a leading economic force in the world today and will be into the future and cannot be ignored.
Congressman Green stated that, “if there’s one message I want to get out there today, it is that the U.S.A is open for business –with China--as well as with the rest of the world.”
“The U.S. offers free and fair trade to the entire global business community, and this Summit exemplifies a great starting point,” Green pointed out.
ITC President Gezahgen Kebede told reporters that that the mission of the Texas China Business Summit, a first of its kind business summit, will focus on important issues in Texas-China relations: energy, finance, trade investment, health, education and communication and will target small to medium-sized companies/organizations both in Texas and China.
Kebede pointed out that total trade between Houston and China has grown by more than $8.4 billion since 2000, totaling $10 billion in 2009, and represents a compound annual growth rate of 23.2 percent over that period. China is Houston's second largest air cargo trade partner, and imports from China increased 34.4 percent, from $7.4 billion in 2007 to $9.9 billion in 2008. Houston is China's eighth largest seaborne trade partner in the United States by value, and fifth largest by weight. Houston ranks as China's 10th largest trading partner.
In addition, Texas exports to China grew from $1.4 billion in 2000 to $8.9 billion in 2009, and include chemicals, computers and electronics, machinery (except electrical), crop production and waste and scrap, he pointed out.
ITC Co-Chairman, Gary Randazzo, stressed that the global business presence of China represents opportunities for local, national and international development for small and mid-sized companies. He pointed out that the emerging growth of China’s middle class
means that what progress we make today with China, will also go a long way toward the establishment of long-term business relationships with China into the future.
In closing, Chairman Lee announced that since the Summit had been announced, many Chinese companies have inquired about the meetings and requested additional information. Lee sees this clearly as a positive sign.
“Actually, one of these contacts, a wood floor company from China, visited our office on Tuesday of this week and the result was that this company has decided to establish a 50,000 square feet factory within the International District to manufacture wood flooring. This will immediately create more than 50 jobs. This is the type of results we are looking for and know we will achieve with the Texas China Business Summit.”
The Texas China Business Summit will be hosted by the International Trade Center(ITC) in collaboration with the Texas Governor's Division of Economic Development & Tourism, the City of Houston, Rice University, Jones Graduate School of Business,
the University of Houston Asian American Studies Center and leading American and Chinese business corporations. It will be held from October 25-27, 2010 in Houston and October 28-29, 2010 in Washington, DC.
For more information on the Texas China Business Summit contact Debra Bann, Summit Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 832-448-0524 or 713-771-6786.
(L-R) Gezahgen Kebede, Wea H. Lee, U.S. Congressman Al Green, Gary Randazzo