In April, President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping met at Mar-a-Lago, Florida and agreed the 100-day plan to improve the trade ties and boost cooperation between the United States and China.
To achieve the goals set at the Summit, on Thursday, June 29, China General Chamber of Commerce – U.S.A. Chicago (CGCC Chicago), in partnership with China Investment Promotion Agency of the Ministry of Commerce PRC and the World Business Chicago, hosted the CGCC Chicago 2017 Annual Gala “New Era – Opportunities & Challenges in U.S. – China Economic Cooperation” in the City of Chicago. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Minister of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China Zhong Shan, and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to the United States of America Cui Tiankai sent congratulations letters. Held at Sheraton Grand Chicago, this whole-day event consisted of 8 sessions—U.S. Midwest – China Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum, U.S. Midwest – China Trade and Investment Cooperation Luncheon, Regional Trade and Investment Introductory Session, B2B Matchmaking Session with Chinese Companies, Exhibits Showcasing the Midwest States and Companies, Governors and CEOs Roundtable on Trade and Investment Cooperation, Gala Cocktail Reception, Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony.
Governor of the State of Illinois Bruce Rauner, Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin Rebecca Kleefisch, Mayor of the City of Chicago Rahm Emanuel, Deputy Mayor of the City of Chicago Steve Koch, the 53rd Governor of Missouri Bob Holden, Minister for Commercial Affairs at the Chinese Embassy to the United States Zhu Hong, Consul General of the Chinese Consulate General in Chicago Hong Lei, and Deputy Director General of Investment Promotion Agency of the Ministry of Commerce of China Li Yong delivered remarks at the event. More than 800 government officials and business leaders from China and the United States joined the event, including commercial and business affairs officials from the Chinese Embassy in the U.S., U.S. federal agencies, state governments in the Midwest and the city government of Chicago, CGCC Chicago members and partners, and the Chinese delegation coming over from China.
Hosted by Liang Pubin, Vice-Chairman of CGCC Chicago and Managing Director of Hainan Airlines North America, the forum started with the opening remarks by Deputy Mayor of the City of Chicago Steve Koch and Deputy Director General of Investment Promotion Agency of the Ministry of Commerce of China Li Yong. Subsequently, Chairman of CGCC and President and CEO of Bank of China USA Xu Chen, Partner of M&A Tax Services of Grant Thornton Chris Schenkenberg, and Partner/Chair of China Practice of Katten Muchin Rosenman Xue Feng gave keynote presentations on topics “Chinese Investment in U.S.”, “Insights on U.S. Tax Considerations in Inbound Investment and Expansion” and “Unique Legal Considerations to Establish, Acquire, and Operate in the US”, respectively. Xu Chen thanked CGCC Chicago’s great efforts in connecting U.S.-China business communities in the Midwest, and shared some findings of the CGCC 2017 Annual Business Survey Report On Chinese Enterprises In The U.S.
The luncheon was moderated by World Business Chicago President & CEO Jeff Malehorn and attended by Senior White House Commercial Advisor Eric Branstad, who delivered a keynote speech titled “New Era – Outlook of U.S. – China Economic Cooperation”. After the luncheon, State commercial and business affairs officials from the Midwest and the Chinese delegation had heated discussion on regional trade and investment topics. It is worth mentioning that this year’s program featured a special roundtable discussion on “U.S.-China trade and investment cooperation” bringing together governors and senior state officials from the Midwest and a group of CEOs from well-known U.S. and Chinese companies.
The anchor of ABC 7 Judy Hsu hosted the gala dinner. Chairman of CGCC Chicago Ni Pin sincerely welcomed all the guests and thanked them for their support along the way.“A healthy U.S.-China relationship will help out the nation, will help out the community and will help out this world”, said Ni Pin, “With more constructive dialogue, fair compromise and candid discussion, I believe next year we will have more friends, more partners and more businesses at this event.”
Mayor of the City of Chicago Rahm Emanuel warmly welcomed all the guests to Chicago. He encouraged everyone to explore Chicago’s advantages in resources, education, work force and many other areas and invest in Chicago.
Minister for Commercial Affairs at the Chinese Embassy to the United States Zhu Hong delivered the congratulations messages from Minister of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China Zhong Shan and Chinese Ambassador to the United States of America Cui Tiankai.
Senior White House Commercial Advisor Eric Branstad delivered the congratulations messages from U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and the warm greetings from U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad.
Henry M. Paulson, the 74th Secretary of the Treasury, won the only individual award of the evening—Outstanding Contribution to US-China Relations—for his significant contribution to U.S.-China economic and trade cooperation. Minister Zhu Hong presented the award. “There is no bilateral relationship that is more important today than U.S. and China relations. I look forward to hearing more about the important work that CGCC is doing and I will continue my part in working to develop a bilateral relationship that is better balanced and more productive for both sides”, said Paulson in his acceptance speech.
Three company rewards were given out at the gala to recognize exceptional Chinese and U.S. companies for their excellent business performance and great contributions to the society. Wanxiang America Corporation was honored as The Best Chinese Company for Community Service 2016, The Boeing Company as The Best Export Company 2016, SAIC USA as The Best Chinese Company for Innovation 2016. Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Deputy Director General Li Yong, and World Business Chicago President & CEO Jeff Malehorn presented the awards, respectively. Two students from Chicago public high schools, who were the beneficiaries of the Chinese Summer Language, Culture and Technology Initiative (CSLCTI) program sponsored by Wanxiang, accepted the award on behalf of the company.
Last but not least, as the highlight of this year’s Gala Dinner, Consul General of the Chinese Consulate General in Chicago Hong Lei announced the establishment of Export Council and presented certificates to the council members: The Boeing Company, Cummins，Smithfield Foods, ADM, Mead Johnson Nutrition, and Microsoft. Hong Lei hoped the council could give new push to U.S. export to China. Hong also gave the closing remarks of the event.
The CGCC Chicago 2017 Annual Gala was sponsored by Grant Thornton, Katten Muchin Rosenman, BOC Chicago, SAIC USA, Wanxiang America Corporation, Wanda Chicago Real Estate, Hainan Airlines North America, RSM US, Hepalink USA, CAIGA US, China General Chamber of Commerce – U.S.A., Nanshan America Advanced Aluminum Technologies, CCIC Chicago, Goldwind USA, Nexteer Automotive, TEDA U.S. Office.
China General Chamber of Commerce – U.S.A. (CGCC) is a nonprofit organization representing Chinese enterprises in the United States. CGCC Chicago covers nine states in the Midwest – Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin. Until 2016, over 1,500 Chinese companies have established their presence in the U.S., and many of them are nation-wide leading corporations. In 2016, Chinese companies invested $ 45.6 billion in the United States, creating over 130,000 local jobs. In recent years, the Midwest is growing into an important region for Chinese investment in the United States. Up until 2016, Chinese companies have invested over $ 20 billion in the nine states of the Midwest, creating over 45,000 local jobs.