Huang Ping, Chinese consul general in New York, delivers a speech at the forum in New York, the United States, Sept. 18, 2019. Central China's Hubei Province and some American companies signed over a dozen business agreements here on Wednesday, exploring new opportunities to further cooperation. A delegation from Hubei held a trade and economic cooperation forum, which was attended by more than 300 guests and business representatives from across the United States. (Xinhua/Zhang Mocheng)
NEW YORK, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- Central China's Hubei Province and some American companies signed over a dozen business agreements here on Wednesday, exploring new opportunities to further cooperation.
A delegation from Hubei held a trade and economic cooperation forum, which was attended by more than 300 guests and business representatives from across the United States.
"We wish to advance our exchanges and cooperation with our American friends in order to seek business opportunities and common growth," said Zhao Haishan, vice governor of Hubei.
Major opportunities are arising from various mega-projects concerning Hubei, which include the Yangtze River Economic Belt, the China (Hubei) Pilot Free Trade Zone and the Wuhan East Lake High-tech Development Zone, or the "Optics Valley," he said.
With advantages in transportation, industry and science and education, Hubei has witnessed rapid economic expansion in recent years and has attracted over 1,000 foreign companies, including some 300 top global enterprises, to set up shop in the province, according to Zhao.
Hubei is a pioneer of China-U.S. collaboration as it was bonded with the eastern U.S. state of Ohio as sister states in 1979, the first of its kind since the two countries established diplomatic ties that year. Over the past four decades, the total trade volume between Hubei and the United States has exceeded 7 billion U.S. dollars, he noted.
During the event, a Memorandum of Understanding on intellectual property right protection was signed between U.S. glass and ceramics maker Corning Incorporated and Wuhan, the capital city of Hubei.
Corning Inc., a world-leading specialty glass and ceramics producer located in the state of New York, has built 19 factories in China with over 5,000 Chinese employees, and Hubei is now facilitating a 1 billion-dollar investment by Corning to produce its state-of-the-art generation 10.5 black glass used for LCD panels, according to Timothy Regan, a senior vice president of Corning.
"Over the last three decades, Corning has brought its technology, manufacturing and products to China. Why? Because China has made us feel welcome," said Regan.
The entrepreneur agreed with Zhao on Hubei's advantages, "and most importantly, Hubei officials are always willing to help when problems arise," he added.
Huang Ping, Chinese consul general in New York, spoke highly of the efforts made by local governments and businesses from both sides to keep promoting China-U.S. economic ties despite squabbles and tariff pressures from the ongoing trade disputes.
"It's really delightful to see our sub-national exchanges yielding so many fruitful outcomes," he said. "I think they are the soil and basic fabric of China-U.S. relations, sustaining our connections in the most practical and pragmatical way."
The diplomat also vowed to fully support cooperation between Hubei and the 10 eastern U.S. states in the future.
The event was hosted by the Hubei provincial government, and co-organized by the U.S.-China Business Council and the China General Chamber of Commerce-USA.