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Houston to benefit from huge delegation to China

By May Zhou in Houston | China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-12-26 15:14
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In Shenzhen, Mayor Turner and officials of CIMC-TianDa Airport Support Ltd (CIMC-TianDa) signed a memorandum of understanding under which the company could develop a base of operations for manufacturing in Houston.

CIMC-TianDa, which specializes in airport and seaport equipment, is seeking a facility in the US to support its operations in the Western Hemisphere.

Based on the MOU, the Houston City Council will consider options for CIMC-TianDa to lease or purchase real estate lease at or near George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

"Houston and our airport system have the infrastructure to accommodate CIMC-TianDa as it seeks a platform to compete for business across the Americas," said Turner. "Our air cargo facilities, combined with our port system, provide the logistics infrastructure to support the development, manufacturing and transport of large-scale equipment wherever world-markets take them. We believe the jobs this business would create represent a good growth opportunity for Houston."

CIMC-TianDa says the business would provide as many as 80 new jobs in the Houston area.

"The Houston Airport System has experienced phenomenal development in all phases of international travel and commerce," said airport system Director Mario Diaz. "This negotiation provides an opportunity to add to the commercial base that will support Houston's projected future growth."

Houston and China already enjoy a close relationship. According to data provided by the city, 39 Houston businesses operate 113 subsidiaries in China, most of them in the energy, law and shipping sectors.

In turn, 16 Chinese firms operate 18 subsidiaries in the Houston area. These businesses contribute to the annual $15 billion in import-export trade between China and Houston.

"I think it's important for Houston to raise a flag there in China. I have encouraged the mayor not to think of this as a one-time trip and said to him that he should go to China every year. We should think of setting up an office in China," said Charles Foster, chairman of US-China Partnerships, who also joined the mayor on the trip.

"I think it helps to reach out to the Chinese government to remind them that we are here, that Houston is a great place for them to set up operations. It also provided opportunities for us to understand each other's needs," Texas state Representative Gene Wu echoed Foster.

"We talked about issues we're both concerned about such as an aging population, healthcare needs and energy," Wu said. "We talked about exchange of human capital. At the end of day, everything is about people. We can work together to have better quality of life for both Americans and Chinese."

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