On December 7, 2011, Consul General Xu Erwen visited Austin, capital of the State of Texas. During an exclusive interview by the Economic Growth and Redevelopment Services Office of Austin, Consul General Xu shared her thoughts on how to promote exchanges and cooperation in economics, trade, and other areas between China and the United States, with Austin and Texas in particular.
Consul General Xu remarked that China-U.S. relationship is one of the most important and dynamic bilateral relationships in the world. Currently, the two sides are working closely together in building a cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit, as laid out by the two heads-of-state. China and the U.S. are strongly complementary to each other in economy, and their trade ties serve as an important basis and strong impetus for the overall bilateral relationship. China-U.S. economic and trade relationship enjoys great opportunities of further development. First of all, the two countries are both in the process of adjusting their economic structures. In the next five years, as China further increases its domestic demands, its import volume is expected to exceed 8 trillion USD, which means a vast market for all foreign enterprises, including U.S. companies. Secondly, FDI from China to the U.S is growing so rapidly that in 2010 alone, Chinese enterprises invested more than 5 billion USD into the U.S., which exceeded the grand total of all investments made in previous years. Meanwhile China continues to welcome investment from the U.S. Thirdly, more and more new growth points emerge in bilateral economic cooperation. China and the U.S. are complementary to each other in such areas as new energy, bio-pharmacy and infrastructure construction, etc. and therefore enjoy robust needs for cooperation. Fourthly, sub-national cooperation is having in-depth growth. In the past 10 years, 47 U.S. states have seen three-digit increase rates in their exports to China. This year, the two sides jointly launched the China-U.S. Governors Forum and have successfully held two rounds of dialogues with fruitful results, which strongly promote the bilateral practical cooperation in economic, trade, investment, tourism and other areas.
Consul General Xu applauded the importance of Texas in the development of China-U.S. relationship since the two countries established diplomatic relations 32 years ago. She recalled the historic visit to Houston by late Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping in early 1979 and the subsequent establishment of the Chinese Consulate-General in Houston—China’s very first Consulate General in the U.S. Consul General Xu said, for decades, China and Texas have continually made new progress in economic, trade and cultural exchanges and cooperation. According to U.S.-China Business Council, Texas’ exports to China increased by over 600% in the past 10 years, and the trade volume exceeded 40 billion USD last year. Besides, Texas ranks No. 1 among all U.S. states in absorption of Chinese investment. Such successful Chinese investments as the one by the Tianjin Steel Pipe Group have created sizable job opportunities, promoted the development of the local economy, achieved win-win results on both sides, and been widely welcomed by the local community. The Chinese side will encourage more and more Chinese enterprises to develop in Texas in the future. At the mean time, China also welcomes more and more Texan enterprises to invest in China.
Consul General Xu said that she was impressed by Austin’s diversified economy and its dynamic and rapid growth. She appraised the multicultural harmony, high-tech edge and favorable investment environment of the city, saying that these advantages are very appealing to potential Chinese investments. China is already the 4th largest export market of Austin, the bilateral trade and investment ties are sure to become closer and closer.
Consul General Xu concluded that the Chinese Consulate General in Houston is looking forward to working together with all friends of Texas and Austin to further develop the bilateral exchanges and cooperation in economy, trade and culture etc.