October 14, 2013

Leggett Mission to China Advances County Business & Investment Aims

County Executive Ike Leggett and Governor Jiang Liang renew a Memorandum of Understanding to increase economic cooperation between Montgomery County and Shanghai.

County Executive Ike Leggett returned recently from a 10-day, 4-city trip to China aimed at advancing Chinese jobs and investment in the County and opening doors for County businesses there, as well as establishing a “Sister City” relationship with the city of Xi’an, with eight million residents and home to the famous Terra Cotta Army.

Packed with visits to businesses and high-tech centers, educational institutions and hospitals, as well as government meetings, the delegation’s itinerary reflected the mission’s strong focus on education and business development. Multi-level partnerships were developed on education, healthcare, and business fronts.

The visit was featured prominently in The China Daily, the official English newspaper for all of China: http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/epaper/2013-09/24/content_16989823.htm

“I was very pleased with the Mission,” said County Executive Leggett. “It will result in more jobs and investment in Montgomery County and more business for County companies in China. Our County is competing, especially in biotechnology and health sciences, with other states, cities, and counties that are also looking to tap into the Chinese market. For a tiny investment, we have made a significant impact.”

Sponsors of this mission trip include Marriott International, Choice Hotels International, the Mid-Atlantic Petroleum, US Pharmacopeia, the Chinese Biopharmaceutical Association, and the Maryland China Business Council. Law firms Shulman Rogers and Linowes and Blocher sponsored two information sessions prior to the trip.

All Montgomery County government employees on the delegation, including the County Executive, paid all their own expenses for the Mission and took vacation time, except for Department of Economic Development director Steve Silverman, Mission lead organizer Lily Qi, Director of Special Projects in the Office of the County Executive, and a bilingual assistant. The total for travel, food, and lodging costs paid by Montgomery County was $7,500.

Read more details on the mission.

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