Oregon China Sister State Relations Council (OCSSRC) carried out a successful November 2017 Trade Mission to China, led by Secretary of State Dennis Richardson. The itinerary spanned seven cities and three provinces, included 16 official meetings, numerous tours and four official ceremonies. The highlight of the mission was the grand opening of OCSSRC’s “Best of Oregon” booth at Tianjin’s International Sister City Pavilion in Tianjin’s Port Free Trade Zone.
OCSSRC President Jin Lan explained, “In order to enhance e-Commerce and trade relations between Oregon and China, especially relations in the fields of agriculture, export, tourism, investment and sustainable development, OCSSRC has organized this trade mission to China to study large infrastructure development, to establish e-Commerce offline exhibition space and attract investment to Oregon.”
When the OCSSRC delegation visited China’s capital city of Beijing, the OCSSRC delegation was welcomed by the Chinese People’s Association of Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC). On the same day the group met with the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China and the Ministry of Commerce, where Vice Minister Yu Jianhua asked OCSSRC to bring Oregon businesses to the China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai in November 2018.
A few days later, Secretary of State Richardson and the delegation were graciously received by Vice Governor Li Dejin of Oregon’s Sister State Fujian Province.
The delegation also had meetings with officials from Jiangsu Province, the provincial-level city of Tianjin, the central-level cities of Nanping and Dalian, and leaders in Guanyun County and Dongtai City. Additionally, the group was guided on tours of most of these cities by city leadership.
Tianjin International Sister City Pavilion Grand Opening to display “Oregon’s Very Best” products
Secretary of State Richardson and OCSSRC officials participated in the historic Grand Opening of the Oregon booth at Tianjin’s International Sister City Pavilion, a key objective of this mission. Director of Port of Tianjin’s Free Trade Zone Administrative Commission Bao Jian and Vice Director General of Tianjin’s Foreign Affairs Office Chen Wei Ming, welcomed the delegation and expressed their appreciation and friendship for Oregon as a Sister State to Tianjin since 2014.
The Port of Tianjin and the Tianjin Foreign Affairs Office have granted Oregon three years of free display space in the International Sister City Pavilion. The one-thousand-square-foot Oregon booth is constructed of Oregon softwood with all the materials and construction donated through the efforts of the Softwood Export Council (SEC) headquartered in Portland, Oregon.
During the Grand Opening ceremony, Secretary Richardson emphasized that the State of Oregon had been offered, with this booth, an opportunity to display products of the state’s small and medium-sized enterprises as part of the “on-line, off-line (O2O)” efforts led by OCSSRC to increase Oregon exports to China’s growing middle class consumers, which is estimated to reach 550 million by 2020.
People’s Daily interview, Foundation-laying at Guanyun County’s Rose Garden, Peking Opera, world class calligraphy exhibit and visits to local schools
China’s official media, People’s Daily Online, interviewed Secretary Richardson after a meeting and tour of their headquarters in Beijing with the Oregon delegation.
In Guanyun County (Jiangsu Province), Clackamas County’s Sister County, the delegation participated in a “Foundation-laying” ceremony at the spacious 1700-acre rose and flower garden, which is a counterpart to Portland’s famous Rose Garden.
In Tianjin, the delegation met with the Tianjin Chamber of Commerce of Import and Export, whose officials, led by Chamber President Li Shengli, had visited Oregon in July 2017 and met Oregon’s Governor Kate Brown. The OCSSSRC delegation spent part of a day touring the Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area (TEDA) hosted by Vice Inspector of the Administrative Commission of TEDA, Zhang Jun.
The delegation also visited the Tianjin New Generation Peking Opera whose actors have performed at Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Green Show. Internationally-known calligrapher,Ma Wenhui of Tianjin, who has visited Oregon a number of times and donated a beautiful museum-quality book of calligraphy to Portland State University, hosted the group for a tour of his Chinese calligraphy display.
The Cathay Future Art Primary School in Tianjin hosted the delegation with the inclusion of the school‘s students, whose lovely singing, dancing and instrumental performances were enjoyed by all.
In Dalian, Liaoning Province, they visited BSH – Online Business School in Dalian — which partners with CollegeNet in Portland, Oregon.
Plans for OCSSRC November 2018
OCSSRC is planning its October/November 2018 Trade Mission to attend the China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai and the Oregon China International Conference in Nanping. OCSSRC will also hold the one-year anniversary celebration event at the Oregon Booth in Tianjin and visit Beijing, Fujian and Jiangsu Provinces as part of the tour.