Washington, DC—Today, Mayor Vincent C. Gray announced that he and key members of his economic development team will travel to China in late June.
"To build a diversified New Economy for the District that is less dependent on the federal government, we must increase the District's profile in the global marketplace," said Mayor Gray. "This trip will help our local businesses better compete around the world and create jobs here at home."
The trip will include local government officials and business leaders. While in China, the District will renew its Sister City relationship with Beijing. Attendees will also take part in the 2012 INFORMS International Conference on Sustainability. Officials will also create a new economic partnership agreement in the technology, education, sustainability, and tourism sectors with the city of Suzhou.
Some of the primary goals of the trip include matching District businesses with potential Chinese partners as well as meeting with potential foreign investors about opportunities in the District's booming real estate market.
The work being done on this trip is expected to generate millions of dollars in revenue for the District through the public and private partnerships developed.
The delegation is expected to number 25 individuals in total. Five District officials, including Mayor Gray, will take part. Other District officials slated to participate include: Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Victor L. Hoskins, Director of Business Development David Zipper, Director of the Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) Harold Pettigrew, and Director of the Office of Planning Harriet Tregoning.
A critical element of the trip will be promoting DC businesses' exports to China through the District's ExportDC program. Participating businesses in the program will be invited to take part. Increased exports to China will also generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for the District.
The city of Beijing and other potential sponsors are helping to underwrite the cost of the trip. Details on associated expenses and trip sponsors will be shared publicly one they are finalized. The trip's itinerary will include the cities of Beijing, Shangha and Suzhou.
Business leaders interested in joining the delegation will be expected to pay their own way. They should express their desire to participate to the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development by emailing email@example.com or calling (202) 727-6365.
- Doxie McCoy (EOM), (202) 727-9691; Jose Sousa, (202) 340-6318