Seven local officials, including five members of NLC's International Council, returned from China after participating in the 2006 U.S. Trade Mission to China, organized by the U.S.-China Exchange Association (USCEA) in cooperation with NLC and the Department of Commerce.
The International Council members who attended the trade mission, which took place May 20-30, included: Council Chair Melody Cooper, councilmember, Corpus Christi, Texas; Patti York, mayor, St. Charles, Mo.; Daisy Lynum, commissioner, Orlando, Fla.; Doug Linkhart, councilmember, Denver; and Ted Ellis, mayor, Bluffton, Ind. Other NLC members participating in the trade mission included E.W. Cromartie II, councilmember, Columbia, S.C.; and Veronica E. Airey-Wilson, councilmember, Hartford, Conn.
The local elected officials were joined by a number of American business people and government officials on the trade mission, which took place in four Chinese cities--Shanghai, Chengdu, Harbin, and Beijing. All the participants attended and spoke at several conferences and business matchmaking sessions designed to foster relationships between leaders of both countries and explore further trade opportunities.
In Shanghai, the group attended the U.S.-China Business Corporation Forum. The elected officials had the opportunity to address the forum attendees and also participate in two business matchmaking events, hosted by leaders of the Shanghai government and China's Ministry of Commerce.
A second business cooperation forum was organized in Chengdu, in the Sichuan Province in western China. The keynote speaker at the forum was Vice Governor Huang Xiaoxiang. The U.S. local government delegates also spoke at the opening of the conference, along with Dr. Joseph Jen, former assistant deputy secretary of the Department of Agriculture. Later in the conference program, several Sichuan municipal officials made presentations. Another matchmaking program followed.
The highlight of the visit to Chengdu was participation in Western Expo, the largest trade …