Chicago region booms with Chinese investment

Updated 2016-11-25 14:02:19

The Chinese Consulate General in Chicago is making an effort to boost economic and trade cooperation in the U.S. Midwest.

Direct investment by China in the U.S. reached billion in 2015, with almost 13,000 jobs created.

According to the 2015 IBM Global Location Trends report, the Chicago metropolitan area leads the United States in foreign direct investment (FDI) for the third year in a row. The report also noted that FDI in Chicago created 4,800 jobs, the second- highest number among all U.S. metropolitan areas.

From 2000 to 2015, Chicago has attracted total investment of more than billion from China.

"Chinese investment has made a great contribution in creating jobs and increasing tax revenue, which plays quite a positive role in boosting the local economy," said Hong Lei, the 10th consul general of China in Chicago, who took office in July.

The Chinese Consulate General in Chicago covers nine states, most of which are in the Midwest: Colorado, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin.

Hong has visited all nine states and said he is glad to see the relationship between the consular region and China is strong, and that exchanges and cooperation on the economy, trade, culture and education have yielded substantial results.

In 2010, China Aviation Automotive Systems Holdings Ltd (AVIC) completed the acquisition of Nexteer Automotive in Michigan by taking a 100 percent stake jointly with PCM China.

After the acquisition, Nexteer shares were successfully listed in Hong Kong in 2013. The employee ranks have increased from 3,000 at the time of acquisition to 5,000. Factory output is also expanding.

Hong affirmed the growth of Nexteer during his visit to the company in August. He said Nexteer has made a contribution to the economic development of Michigan, and it demonstrates the mutual benefit and win-win scenario of Sino-U.S. economic and trade cooperation.

In November, Hong visited Nanshan America (an aluminum casting and extrusion facility in Lafayette, Indiana), which was a greenfield investment made by China in 2011. The company has since provided more than 200 jobs in the state.

"I have met several American workers in their plants, and they told me they really enjoy working in the plant," Hong said.

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