According to a Chinese proverb, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” The Charleston Regional Development Alliance took that step by recently hosting a group of Chinese investors contemplating U.S. investment opportunities.
The Society of China Civil Entrepreneurs, a Beijing-based group of private sector entrepreneurs representing numerous industries – biotechnology, energy, finance, and tourism industries – visited multiple cities on a nine-day tour facilitated by the Charlotte-based Carolinas Chinese Chamber of Commerce. The delegation met with numerous business, education, and elected officials as they looked to discover some of the reasons South Carolina ranks first among all states for jobs created by international firms.
The delegation’s Charleston visit included a market overview by CRDA, tour of the Port of Charleston, a presentation by a group of local entrepreneurs, and a walk on the Battery and a shopping excursion on King Street. Dinner at Fish Restaurant with local business leaders and economic development officials capped off their visit.
The dinner provided the opportunity to plant the seeds for future relationships as each person (American and Chinese), through an interpreter from the S.C. Department of Commerce, shared interests and perspectives on Charleston.
The CRDA and SC Department of Commerce shared with the group that China is South Carolina’s #1 export partner, with $6.4B+ (U.S) in exports to China last year, including vehicles, aircraft, machinery, rubber, plastics and other commodities.
Attracting and supporting foreign direct investment (FDI) is a foundational element of our region’s global competitiveness and Charleston Metro FDI Plan. Opportunities like this Chinese visit represent another step in our journey. The members of the Minshang delegation and our Charleston representatives walked away with a greater sense of how we can both benefit by putting aside perceived differences and looking for ways to collaborate. Hopefully this is the start of more opportunities for the Charleston region.
Brent Jonas | Director, Stakeholder Relations
843.760.4523 | firstname.lastname@example.org