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News: Brian Bonlender in Shanghai preparing Governor Inslee’s August trip to China

Brian Bonlender meets Yang Chao in Shanghai, Mar. 27, 2017. Source: Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce screenshot.By Wen Liu   April 3, 2017

Brian Bonlender, Governor’s Inslee’s State Commerce Director, was in Shanghai last week, along with Chris Green, Assistant Director, according to Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce.

The trip, as LawsValue news site posted, was part of the preparation for Governor Inslee’s trade mission to China this August, which will include a visit to Chengdu for a U.S.-China Governors Forum. Also under preparation was a U.S.-China Investment Seattle Forum to be held this fall jointly sponsored by Washington State and the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco.

On March 27, Bonlender met with Yang Chao, deputy director of Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce. The two talked in depth about the cooperation between Shanghai companies and Washington state companies, and bilateral trade and investment.

On March 28, LawsValue reported, Bonlender and his party attended a discussion titled “Government-Business Exchange: Shanghai and Washington State Innovation and Entrepreneurship” jointly organized by various Shanghai and Washington organizations, including Washington State Commerce, Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Washington State and China-U.S. Innovation Center in Seattle. The twenty some Shanghai companies at the discussion included those in science and technology, banking and venture capital. Topics included challenges and opportunities in U.S. and China investment and trade, American and Chinese personnel exchanges and cooperation, coordination in financial policy support and building of pilot bases for American and Chinese entrepreneurs to share services.

Bonlender in discussion in Shanghai, Mar. 28, 2017. Source: LawsValue.com screenshot.Bonlender was also in China to postpone something, according to Bloomberg News. With Governor Inslee’s August trip to China, a previously planned visit in June from Chinese provincial officials was now pushed back to September.

And there is more to the trip than meets the eye. According to LawsValue, Brian Bonlender said at the discussion session, “Even though there are a lot of uncertainties in U.S. China trade policies, Washington State will continue as always to welcome Chinese investors, innovators and entrepreneurs to come to Seattle and Washington, continue our low tariff or no tariff policies, and formulate policies that encourage and support Chinese investors in our state.”

Bonlender also expressed how he felt very encouraged by the increased outreach and engagement from the Chinese counterparts, with the "changing tenor of international engagement" under Trump, as Bloomberg reported.

After Shanghai, Brian Bonlender was reportedly also visiting Guangzhou and Shenzhen from March 29-30.

(For more information on major events in Washington state-China relations, go to WA China Chronicle.)