China Trip 2013 - Shanghai
Last week Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett embarked on the first part of a mission to China, visiting Shanghai, the economic and financial hub of the country. The delegation consisted of business leaders from Maryland’s biotechnology, information technology and health sectors. Also representing Montgomery County were elected officials, including County Council members Hans Reimer and Roger Berliner, as well as educators such as superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools Dr. Starr, County's Director of ICT Sonny Segal, and President of Montgomery College Dr. DeRionne Pollard.
In Shanghai, the China’s largest city (a population of 23 million), the delegates visited the Pudong New Area. With its distinctive skyline that was nonexistent 20 years prior, Pudong has an estimated GDP of US$54 billion and contains the largest free trade zone in Mainland China. As part of the visit, the Montgomery County mission visited the Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park, known as China’s Silicon Valley and home to 110 research institutions and over 3,000 companies. Established in 1992, Zhangjiang specializes in life sciences, software, semiconductors, and information technology. The County Executive and Montgomery County delegates toured the park and met with Jin Qi, Ph.D, Vice President of Zhangjiang Development Co. to discuss partnership opportunities between Montgomery County based businesses and those operating out of Pudong.
Following the visit to hi-tech park, the Mayor of the Pudong Jiang Liang hosted the Montgomery County delegates at his offices to discuss economic cooperation and progress made since the County Executive’s previous visit to Pudong. After the meeting, the delegates renewed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Pudong government to build upon the existing ties and advance mutual interests in business, science, education, and cultures.
Later that day, the delegates attended a business roundtable in Pudong facilitated by Steven Silverman, Montgomery County’s Director of Economic Development. Montgomery County government partnered with the Maryland China Business Council and Maryland Center China, the first US state business incubator in China, bringing together local corporations to meet and consider business opportunities and to encourage mutually beneficial exchange.
Subsequently, the trip’s citizen ambassadors attended a Shanghai welcome banquet arranged by Maryland Center China. During the event County Executive Leggett honored Montgomery County based businesses already successfully conducting business in China. Then, after visiting the world famous Terra Cotta Warriors, County Executive Leggett visited a public Chinese hospital and United Family Hospital, a private hospital operated by Montgomery County headquartered Chindex Hospital Corporation.