Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Trade with China Entices Area Officials Delegation Returns from 8-Day Journey

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Trade with China Entices Area Officials Delegation Returns from 8-Day Journey

Article excerpt

As members of the recent St. Louis trade mission to China compared notes on jet lag Monday, they sounded enthusiastic about the opportunities they saw in a nation of 1.2 billion people hungry for U.S. products.

"Everywhere we went in China, we saw construction cranes and buildings going up," said Mayor Freeman Bosley Jr. "There are great opportunities for our corporate citizens to get in on the ground level."

Most of the 48-member delegation returned Friday night after visiting Hong Kong; Nanjing and Beijing, China; and Taipei, Taiwan.

The trip was timed to commemorate the 15th year of St. Louis' sister-city relationship with Nanjing, the first between a U.S. city and a Chinese city. But the timing also was right for Bosley and other city officials to appear on behalf of the many St. Louis companies already operating in China and to introduce many others.

For example, the city of Nanjing is developing its own airline. McDonnell Douglas, which has operated in China for several years, relied on Bosley for introductions to key aviation officials in Nanjing.

L. Herbert King Jr., whose company has developed a new kind of weatherproof wire connector, was practically giddy contemplating the market for his product in a country the size of China, just entering a building boom.

"The market potential is incredible," he said. "If we can get our foot in the door, this will grow lots of jobs for St. Louis."

The communist leaders of China have in recent years opened the country to forms of free enterprise and foreign investment, while maintaining strict political control.

Participants noted that China's economy is developing explosively. The nation is building its first highway system, which will bring a demand for foreign construction products, and later cars. A network of power plants is being built and will bring electrical power to millions households for the first time. …

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