A delegation from the Hubei Province of China was welcomed Monday by Riverside County and city leaders including Murrieta Mayor Rick Gibbs for a meeting to discuss the opportunity of bilateral trade between the county and its 28 cities.
The Chinese delegation was led by the Honorable Wang Jianhua, of the Economic Development Commission of Hubei. Four other Chinese officials from the Hubei government were also present: Fu Shijie, Su Zhengyao, Peng Zonghua and Lu Weihong.
This first bilateral meeting addressed topics ranging from trade to technology, increasing exports, tourism, education, medical technology partnerships and the development of a bilateral trade agreement between the county, interested cities and the Province of Hubei.
Hubei has a population of 60 million, more than 100 universities, and has a steel manufacturing industry, robust agricultural industry, and information technology rounds off its top three industry sectors.
Riverside County officials Robert Field, Tom Freeman, Richard Dozier and Tauna Mallis were joined by Gibbs as well as Lalit Acharya, director of the Riverside Mayor's Office of International Affairs.
The biateral meeting lasted 90 minutes and efforts are underway to establish other meetings in the near future.
Riverside County is one of the few counties or regions in the nation that enjoys a trade surplus (AG) with China. China purchases some 22 percent of all agriculture exports from Riverside County, ranking China second only to Japan as a destination for ag products around the globe.
The Riverside County Board of Supervisors, county executive officer and trade officials meet regularly with Chinese leaders from various provinces, government agencies and Chinese business investors.
Riverside County has also benefited from job creation driven by Chinese investors via the EB 5 Visa program supported by the Board of Supervisors as a method to create jobs and investment in the region.
Gifts received from international delegations are on display in the county Office of Foreign Trade-EDA for guests to enjoy.
Since January, the nations of Bosnia, Mexico, China, Canada, Croatia, South Korea and the Philippines have met with county officials in the interest of bilateral trade promotions, tourism and bilateral trade agreements.
—News release submitted by Tom Freeman, commissioner for County of Riverside Economic Development Agency-Office of Foreign Trade