The U.S. city of Houston and China have reached "a golden moment" of mutual economic advantage, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said Monday, commenting on his recent visit to China.
Chinese leaders told him they are eager to expand business dealings with Houston companies and institutions in the fields of health care, energy, engineering, education, finance, aeronautics and other key areas where the city has unique expertise, Turner said in a release from the mayor's office.
"We are in a golden moment where Houston is the uniquely positioned supplier of goods and services that China needs to meet the growing demands of its booming nation as its president, Xi Jinping, spurs his nation to increase its interactions with the rest of world," said Turner.
"Expanded trade with China -- already our second largest international trade partner -- brings more jobs and more investment capital to Houston," he added.
China conducts import and export trade with Houston worth more than 15 billion U.S. dollars every year, surpassed only by Mexico.
Chinese visitors to Houston spend an average of 5,000 dollars per trip. As one of the most diverse cities in the United States, Houston has at least 67,000 residents born in China and at least another 100,000 Chinese descents, making the city an ideal destination for Chinese visitors.
Seeing mature opportunities for more trade, the Greater Houston Partnership, a business organization based in the city, organized a delegation of about 70 business leaders to accompany the mayor on Dec. 2-9 to the Chinese cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, official sister cities of Houston.
This was Houston's largest-ever trade delegation to a foreign country.