U.S. mid-West states and China now enjoy a "good momentum of economic ties" as the trade volume of nine states with China hit 90 billion U.S. dollars last year, said a senior Chinese diplomat.
"The close economic ties between U.S. mid-West and China are examples of the boosting cooperation between the two countries at a local level," Hong Lei, China's Consul General to Chicago, said in a keynote speech at the U.S.-China Think Tank Symposium Luncheon held in Des Moines, Iowa on Monday.
Hong said it is one of the new features in China-U.S. economic and trade relations that economic cooperation between states and cities of China and the United States has become even more vibrant.
Since 2012, 25 Chinese provinces and cities have established the Joint Working Group on Trade and Investment Cooperation between Chinese provinces and U.S. States with seven U.S. states and cities, including California, Chicago, Iowa, Texas, Michigan, Washington and New York.
From 2000 to 2016, Chinese companies have invested nearly 15 billion dollars, creating 36,000 new jobs, in the nine states the Chinese Consulate in Chicago covers, namely Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana and Iowa, Hong said.
After being acquired by China International Marine Containers (CIMC), Indiana-based Monon company, which had been on the brink of bankruptcy for three times, finally made profit thanks to optimized process and reduced cost. It currently has a revenue of 500 million dollars with 500 local employees.
When purchased by a Chinese company in 2011, Michigan-based Nexteer had 3,000 employees. Now the number has risen to 5,000. Yanfeng, a Chinese company making car interiors, employed 4,000 people in Michigan and another 1,000 in Missouri.
Many multinationals in these nine states have also increased their investment, expanded operation and set up new factories and research centers in China, harvesting great success and rich dividends, Hong said.
"Head of the Eli Lilly company which headquarters in Indiana told me that China has become the largest source of foreign employees of the company," Hong added.