Seattle Week in Chongqing
Business Delegation Overview
March 16 – 26, 2012
At thirty-two million people, Chongqing is the world’s largest, most populace municipality and has been Seattle’s sister city since 1983
The photo above is the confluence of the Jialing and Yangtze Rivers, just off of Chongqing’s central business district. This image represents the perfect metaphor for Chongqing; a city of immigrants, where a river of rural people migrate into the urban mainstream to hopefully blend-in, in pursuit of a better economic future. The allure of the bright lights from this big city are not limited to just China’s countryside, as international corporations find themselves drawn to the city and the promise of new markets. Chongqing in fact, has developed bold new socioeconomic models to train, employ, and house these new arrivals while improving the living standard in both urban and rural areas. The consumer economy is booming here.
Chongqing is the centerpiece in Southwest China for the national Western Development Policy, dating back more than a decade. The cityscape evokes more of a “Manhattan” feel then that of “hinterlands and in no small way is that difference fueled by the billions and billions of yuan pumped into the Chongqing economy by the central government.
What does that mean to you as a business person in Seattle? The organizers of Seattle Week in Chongqing think, as Chongqing’s oldest sister city in North America, it means access to information and ultimately to business opportunities. Key to China’s economic reform policy is the economic development of selected parts of the country. The success of this policy is strikingly clear in China’s coastal cities. However, these coastal cities cannot absorb another 100 million people in search of work. The solution is to grow the interior economy and to that end; in June 2010, with the establishment of the Liangjiang New Area, Chongqing became China’s third, state-level new economic development zone and the only such zone inland.
During Seattle Week in Chongqing, business delegates will have the opportunity to meet senior Chongqing officials and to learn the city’s plans for the future and how Seattle companies can compete for a piece of this new business. Our delegates will also meet with Seattle and Washington State companies doing business in Chongqing (as well as other American companies) to hear about their experiences and lessons learned from doing business on the ground. The forum for this “reality check” briefing is closed to the public and will only consist of our presenters and business delegation members.
What is different about this delegation and this trip to Chongqing? The short answer is “everything.” The more considered answer is that American business people now have three decades of experience doing business with China to draw upon, including ten years since China entered the WTO. China’s policy makers, the business people, the means to conduct business and the opportunities in China are all more sophisticated. Likewise, trade promotion incentives and subsidies to qualified foreign companies are also more sophisticated. One example of how Chongqing has become a more sophisticated actor in the global economy; HP was the first high-tech electronics company to open up a production facility in Chongqing, HP now has two facilities there (laptop and desktop) and the operate a call center to service their domestic and global customers.
It is the goal of Seattle Week in Chongqing organizers to qualify what opportunities exist for us in Chongqing and then provide our business delegates with information on:
1. The Policy – what foreign companies are the allowed to do, what opportunities are available and;
2. The Result – where and/or how have foreign companies been successful in Chongqing.
Business delegates will have the opportunity to meet and network with their Chongqing counterparts and/or prospective clients. Lest you fear that this March delegation is a “one-off’ business venture, the organizers behind Seattle Week in Chongqing would like you to know that, collectively, we see March 18 to 23rd as the beginning of a new business model for leveraging resources and experiences, a regional approach, if you will, to our China business model.
Seattle Week in Chongqing is an opportunity for each of us to expand on our China portfolio and we hope to continue to leverage opportunities in both Chongqing and Seattle, for our community, local companies, members and supporters.
The cost to attend Seattle Week in Chongqing is; $3,520. For more information, please download pdf files for the tour itinerary, the Terms and Conditions information and registration form.
President, Washington China Center LLC