Dothan Mayor Mike Schmitz is pleased to announced that the City of Dothan, Alabama has been selected as the host site for the first U.S.-China Manufacturing Symposium to be held in November of 2013. The event’s co-sponsors, the SoZo Group and the Asian Manufacturing Association (AMA),?announced Dothan as the host City on June 12, 2013 at a meeting before the legislative delegation in Washington, DC. Several cities were bidding to host the symposium.
The U.S.-China Manufacturing Symposium is an ambitious conference, expected to draw over 800 participants, including over 350 Chinese enterprises from China, with the goal of bridging the gap between Chinese manufacturers, their counterparts in the U.S. and economic development agencies.
The U.S.-China Manufacturing Symposium follows a collaborative effort between AMA and the SoZo Group at AMA’s 6th Annual Conference in Beijing, China last December, during which SoZo delivered live dialog sessions between the Chinese delegates and U.S. Congress.
In 2012, the SoZo Group also produced two highly successful Alabama China Partnership Symposiums - focused on bridging the business and culture gap in recruiting Chinese investment in the U.S. The U.S.-China Manufacturing Symposium is a natural continuation of those symposiums which promoted American-Chinese political and commercial exchanges designed to facilitate both increased trade opportunities as well as direct investment from China to the U.S. The symposiums received rave reviews and international media coverage in North America, Asia, and Europe.
The U.S.-China Manufacturing Symposium will be another ground breaking initiative to explore mutually beneficial opportunities. Conference sessions will focus on the nuts and bolts of how international manufacturers make investments in the U.S. and how the American communities attract investments from China, in addition to the latest advances in manufacturing and best practices.
Raymond Cheng, CEO of SoZo Group, says many states, especially in the American South, are actively recruiting Chinese manufacturing enterprises to visit and make investments. He also said the views about Chinese enterprises from the Americans are changing. “In some ways, the two countries’ manufacturing sectors are complementary,” said Cheng. “We see a growing opportunity for the two countries to work together to resolve challenges and for the next phase of global economic growth.”
Mayor Schmitz significantly raised Dothan’s profile among Asian companies looking to locate in the North American market when he completed an historical 8 days, 7 cities, 25,000 miles mission to China this past May with the SoZo Group. “During my time in China, I made it very clear that Dothan has a great workforce and local government that would be proud to work with Chinese companies,” said Schmitz. “Dothan is very business-friendly with low taxes and a good infrastructure. There are some successful manufacturing businesses in our city, and we intend to increase that number in order to provide more jobs for our citizens.”
In the world's largest economy, cash-strapped U.S. cities and towns are endeavoring to attract foreign investments that can bring jobs and increase local government revenues, as the national unemployment rate still hovers at 7.6 percent. Experts said in past years, more Chinese manufacturers have been establishing their factories in the U.S. to stay close to their customers and save on transportation and energy costs.
Jun Luo, CEO of AMA, says that a good relationship between China and the U.S. is a blessing to the world. “With so many misunderstandings between these two countries, our organization hopes to serve as a catalyst to bring business and government decision makers together to build relationships and explore mutually beneficial opportunities,” said Luo.
The Asian Manufacturing Association (AMA) is an authoritative think tank and chamber of commerce for the Chinese manufacturing industry. Located in Beijing, It promotes dialogues among the manufacturing industries of China, Asia and the world. The Association has held six Annual Conferences – the Asian Manufacturing Forum – and four Annual Conferences of China Manufacturing Forum, which were attended by more than 4,000 enterprise leaders, economists, universities leaders and government officers. Members of the association include the Aviation Industry Corporation of China, China Aerospace Science and Industrial Corporation, Baosteel Group and Shougang Group.
SoZo Group is an investment advisory and economic development company focusing on sustainable development. Located in the U.S. and Hong Kong, it is passionate about creating jobs. SoZo Group served as the lead consultant for China’s Golden Dragon Precise Copper Tube Group Inc. on its project to build their first U.S. plant in the United States; that plant is currently under construction in Alabama. The project is one of the largest greenfield investments ever from China in the U.S. The SoZo Group is also the brainchild behind two successful Alabama China Partnership Symposiums which attracted nearly 300 Chinese entrepreneurs from China.