The US-China Business Council’s (USCBC) 2011 Gala, held on December 7 at the Mandarin Oriental in Washington, DC, featured White House Chief of Staff William Daley as the keynote speaker. Nearly 400 people attended the event, which was co-sponsored by 38 USCBC member companies. Special guests included PRC Ambassador to the United States Zhang Yesui, Madame Ambassador Chen Naiqing, and Reps. Rick Larsen (D-WA) and Charles Boustany (R-LA), US-China Working Group co-chairs.

USCBC recognized the US Department of State’s 100,000 Strong Initiative as its 2011 honoree for advancing US-China relations. In presenting the award, USCBC Chair and Coca-Cola Co. Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent said: “Given the importance of the US-China relationship, and the need to support future leaders in both nations who can successfully manage the political and commercial relations between the two largest economies in the world, USCBC applauds the efforts of the US Department of State 100,000 Strong Initiative. The need for Americans to gain greater exposure to and understanding of China is clear: there is perhaps no more important or complex relationship in the world than that of the United States and China.” The 100,000 Strong Initiative is designed to dramatically increase the number and diversify the composition of American students studying in China.

USCBC also made a $15,000 contribution to The Five Project, which will allow the organization to broaden its reach by introducing on-site training in remote areas of northeastern China. The mission of The Five Project is to increase the capacity of autism and other disability organizations in China and to provide effective intervention services to support self-help and self-advocacy skills in Chinese individuals with disabilities and their families.

Board Hosts Bryson, Elects New Director

The US-China Business Council’s (USCBC) board of directors held its semiannual meeting on December 7, which included discussions with US Secretary of Commerce John Bryson and Governors Jack Markell (D-DE) and Bob McDonnell (R-VA). The discussions covered the state of US-China commercial relations and how to increase engagement between governors and mayors of the United States and China. The directors also elected Stephen B. Dobbs of Fluor Corporation to join the board.

At the meeting, Bryson discussed his first visit to China as US Commerce secretary. Bryson was among the top officials who led the US delegation to the US-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) meetings in Chengdu, Sichuan. This year’s JCCT included high-level discussions on US-China trade issues and promoting commercial relations.

With sub-national engagement increasingly important in US-China trade, Governors Markell and McDonnell spoke to the board about their states’ efforts to increase trade and investment opportunities with China.

Shanghai China Operations Conference 2011

The US-China Business Council (USCBC) brought together China operating and policy experts for its fall China Operations conference in Shanghai. Hank Levine, senior vice president of the Albright Stonebridge Group and former US Commerce Department deputy assistant secretary for Asia, delivered the luncheon address.

The event also featured Dr. Paul Armstrong-Taylor, professor of international economics at the Johns-Hopkins University-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies, who updated members on China’s economic outlook. FedEx Express Domestic Services Regional Vice President Jimmy Chen and American Society of Transportation and Logistics Greater China Chief Representative Chung Tam also discussed the policy developments and best practices for managing rising transportation and logistics costs.

Conference topics also covered multinational corporations’ human resources challenges in China’s tight labor market; Shanghai’s tax reform projects; US and PRC actions to prevent commercial corruption; employee ethics and compliance training; and best practices in managing local government relations.

Posted by Joseph Luk