It was the second and biggest ‘invest-in-the-United-States’ summit put on by the US Commerce Department, and the 150-member Chinese delegation among the 2,600 attendees was clearly a main target, DONG LESHUO reports from Washington.
Wearing a headset to listen to an interpreter, Li Zheng, a private entrepreneur from Sichuan province in China, sat at his table in a spacious ballroom of a hotel complex overlooking the Potomac River five miles from the US capital.
On a stage 100 feet away, the most prominent resident of that capital explained to Li and 2,599 others from around the globe why there has never been a better time to invest in the United States.
“America is the safest, strongest, smartest place for you to invest,” President Barack Obamatold the audience. “The companies that invest in America have access to the largest market in the world – and it’s a market that is strong and stable, and growing.”
It was Obama the salesman and the event was the second SelectUSA summit, the US Commerce Department’s initiative to promote and facilitate investment in the country.
On Monday and Tuesday, 2,600 people gathered at the second summit at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention center in National Harbor, Maryland. The number of attendees was double the number at the first summit 17 months ago.
Besides Obama, the US put forth a bevy of current and former US officials, including Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, Secretary of State John Kerry, US Ambassador to China Max Baucus and former US Ambassador to China Gary Locke, also a former commerce secretary.
There also were prominent US business executives, and a video-tape message from the “Sage of Omaha”, Warren Buffet, chairman, and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. who encouraged foreign investors to join the success of his company in the future. He noted that the US economy and the investment climate serve as tailwind for the company.
“There’s more to come. So join in with us. Berkshire Hathaway is going to do well in the years ahead,” said Buffett.
He said Berkshire Hathaway has achieved a large part of its success because it has been operating in the US, and he noted several US advantages, including equality of opportunity, encouragement for innovator and the rule of law.
Though the meeting was for business people from around the world, there was a definite emphasis on China and its delegation of 150, the largest.
Downstairs from where Obama spoke, representatives from states and businesses promoted their attractiveness to foreign investors at about 100 booths in an exhibition hall. The many brochures and billboards in Chinese language showed that the Chinese delegation was clearly a target – and with good reason. CONTINUE READING>>
Written by Dong Leshuo for China Daily on March 27, 2015