WA China Watch Digest Special!

News: Gary Locke, Chinese investors’ “Insider” advisor on American opportunities

Gary Locke in Guangzhou, July 2016. Source: NetEase news.By Wen Liu   Aug. 8, 2016

He may not be speaking as America’s top diplomat to China anymore, Gary Locke is still busy speaking in China, as the senior advisor and consultant for Davis Wright Tremaine and principal of his own Locke Global Strategies. He may no longer be the celebrity American ambassador of Chinese descent, Locke is still a celebrity in China, as an “Insider” advisor on business, education and investment opportunities in the U.S.

Yes, insider, that was the choice of word in this recent headline in NetEase news: “Views from ‘Insider’ Gary Locke.” Locke was being interviewed on July 9 in Guangzhou while attending the “2016 Europe and America Investment Summit Dialog,” an event organized by the Wai Lian Group. Locke was asked about the progress on the U.S.-China Bilateral Investment Treaty negotiations, the American presidential election, how Chinese companies could establish themselves quickly in the U.S., how the changing yuan-dollar exchange rates affect trade, EB-5 investment immigration, real estate investment, etc.

On business investment, Locke pointed out that there was no sector or industry in the U.S. off limit for foreign investors. Besides, energy consumption in the U.S. was lower while workforce education and skills level was higher. On education opportunities, Locke said that the American success in innovation and technology was not possible without the generations of immigrants from around the world. The more than 230,000 Chinese students in the U.S. today, he added, were the key to the advancement of science and technology of both China and the U.S. On Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, Locke said that a Trump presidency could negatively impact U.S.-China trade and lead to trade war.

Gary Locke in Shanghai, June 2016. Source: Jinghua news.In mid-June, Locke was in Shanghai, as Jinghua News reported. The event was “Ambassador Gary Locke Speech and Launch of 2016 Multinational, Small and Medium Enterprises Joint Forum on Investment,” organized by Jiulongdao International Brand Association and Global Alliance of SMEs. To the more than 400 business leaders, Locke said he was willing to be an “introducer and promoter” to build a direct, effective platform of exchange and cooperation between Chinese and American companies. Chinese investment in the U.S., he added, would benefit not only the Chinese and American economies, but global economy.

Locke in Beijing, May 2016. Source: Tencent news.On May 15, it was Beijing. The event title, as reported in Tencent news, said it all: 2016 Sino-U.S. Investment and Meet Ambassador Gary Locke,” the second part in Chinese was, in fact, “Zero Distance with Amb. Gary Locke.” The sponsor was GIS Global Investment Summit Organization. On the topic “new investment opportunities in the U.S.,” Locke told the audience, “I strongly believe that it will be win-win for Chinese companies to invest in the U.S.” He explained how U.S. environment for foreign investment was wide open and would remain so. The ROI rate might not be as high as in China, he said, but with right channels, investment in the U.S. would be safe investment. Locke also introduced to the potential investors an EB-5 project from New York called LinkNYC, a free public Wi-Fi project he had been promoting in China since early 2016.

Three investment promoting events in China in three months! There seems no doubt that no matter what office or position, public or private, he is in, be it U.S. ambassador to China or Secretary of Commerce or business consultant from Seattle, Gary Locke works to make China “SelectUSA.”

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