BEIJING, CHINA — Kicking off California’s trade and investment mission to China, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. met with China’s Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng today and signed a landmark agreement with the Ministry of Commerce to bolster economic ties and cooperation between California and China.
“While California seems relatively small compared to the vastness of China, the innovation, the creativity of Silicon Valley, our medical advances, the internet and various other technologies make California, I believe, a very valued partner for China,” said Governor Brown in the meeting with China’s Minister of Commerce. “I see the meeting today as just another step in a long history of increasing mutual understanding and collaboration.”
The agreement, the first-of-its-kind between a subnational entity and the Ministry of Commerce, establishes a joint working group that includes California, the Ministry of Commerce and leaders from six provinces—autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government—Jiangsu, Inner Mongolia, Shanghai, Shandong, Guangdong and Chongqing, representing more than 350 million people.
The working group is the product of talks between the Governor and President Xi Jinping during his visit to California in February 2012. The two leaders identified a need for enhanced cooperation and communication between California and China to advance mutual interests in trade and investment.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) establishing the working group was signed at a ceremony attended by dozens of business and government leaders from California and China who met to discuss trade and investment opportunities.
“You can be sure that over the next several years that this union will have been the beginning of a lot of creative energy and output and production that will improve the lives of millions of people,” said Governor Brown in remarks at the signing ceremony.
The working group’s activities will include: a regular exchange of information, annual seminars on trade and investment cooperation, trade missions and the formation of strategic relationships between cities in California and China. The MOU also identifies nine key sectors for cooperation, including infrastructure, biotechnology, information technology, agriculture, energy, manufacturing, tourism, environmental protection and exhibitions.
China’s Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Mechanic and Electronic Products and the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development will participate in the working group as representatives of the business community.
The Governor’s trade and investment mission follows more than a year of significant diplomatic and business exchanges between the State of California and China. In February 2012, Governor Brown welcomed His Excellency Xi Jinping, then-Vice President, and now President of China, to California. During the visit, Governor Brown announced his intention to visit China, open a trade and investment office and form a China-California Joint Task Force to drive more collaboration, investment and trade between California and China. Later in 2012, the Brown administration convened the inaugural Joint Economic Committee between California and China’s Jiangsu Province, hosted a Chinese delegation led by the Vice Minister of China’s Ministry of Commerce and met with a Chinese delegation led by Deputy Governor Xia Geng of China’s Shandong Province.
This week and next, the Governor will meet with Chinese government and business leaders, highlight bilateral trade and investment opportunities between the two regions and open a new trade and investment office. In addition to Beijing, the trade and investment mission will include events in Shanghai, Nanjing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen through Tuesday, April 16th.
Joining the Governor on the trade and investment mission is a delegation organized by the Bay Area Council that includes approximately 90 business, economic development, investment and policy leaders from throughout California. Senior administration officials are also accompanying the delegation.
Full text of the MOU is copied below:
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING ON ESTABLISHING “CHINA PROVINCES AND US CALIFORNIA JOINT WORKING GROUP ON TRADE AND INVESTMENT COOPERATION”
The Ministry of Commerce and relevant provinces of the People’s Republic of China and the State of California of the United States (hereinafter referred to as “the Two Parties”), through friendly consultation, have decided to establish the “China Provinces and US California Joint Working Group on Trade and Investment Cooperation” (hereinafter referred to as the “Working Group”), and reached the following understanding:
The objectives of the Working Group are to expand trade and investment cooperation, strengthen communication, enhance trust, boost economic growth, and create jobs so as to implement the consensus reached between China’s then Vice President Xi Jinping and Governor Jerry Brown when then Vice President Xi visited the US in February 2012.
The Working Group is, on the Chinese side, led by the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), with Jiangsu, Inner Mongolia, Shanghai, Shandong, Guangdong and Chongqing as its members. The commerce authority in each of these provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government) will be responsible for the coordination. On the side of California, the member is the Governor’s office. The Two Parties will take in more members under appropriate circumstances in the future.
China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Mechanic and Electronic Products and the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development join the Working Group as representatives of business community designated by the Two Parties respectively. Other government bodies, chambers of commerce or business associations can be invited to certain activities.
The Two Parties respectively designate the Department of American and Oceanian Affairs of MOFCOM, and the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development of the State of California as contact points for communication and information exchange, and recipients of any notice required to be given under this MOU.
The Two Parties will set up an annual meeting mechanism in the forms of video conference or meeting in person. The time of each meeting will be decided by the two parties through consultation.
The Two Parties are committed to creating an enabling environment for and providing necessary assistance to businesses. Cooperation can be conducted in the following ways:
• To summarize experience on regular basis and discover and work in a timely manner to solve concerns and difficulties Chinese and American businesses have in cooperation;
• To exchange information on a regular basis about trade and investment projects and exhibitions;
• To promote key projects of trade and economic cooperation;
• To hold an annual seminar on trade and investment cooperation in Chinese provinces and the State of California in turns;
• To organize exchanges of trade missions and help companies seek business opportunities;
• To organize delegations of entrepreneurs to attend economic and trade fairs held in China and the State of California.
• To promote Chinese cities like Chongqing and Qingdao to develop strategic cooperation relations with California Cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco.
The Two Parties will support companies to cooperate in the following key sectors:
• biological pharmaceutics
• information technology
• environmental protection
This MOU will become effective on the date of signature. Either of the Two Parties may terminate this MOU by giving the other party in writing 90 days prior to the intended termination date.
The Working Group mechanism referred to in this MOU shall work together with other established and future mechanisms between relevant Chinese provinces and the State of California.
This MOU is done in duplicate in the Chinese and English languages, both texts being equally authentic.
Vice Minister of China’s
Ministry of Commerce, Wang Chao
For the Provinces of the People’s Republic of China
Dated: April 10, 2013
Governor of California, Edmund G. Brown Jr.
For the State of California of
the United States of America
Dated: April 10, 2013
(1/3) Governor Brown Signs MOU with Vice Minister of Commerce, Wang Chao
(2/3) Governor Brown Meets with China’s Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng
(3/3) Governor Brown Delivers Remarks at the MOU Signing Ceremony