Gov. Beebe, Little Rock, Fort Smith On Chinese Delegation Tour

by Roby Brock ([email protected]) 23 views 

A few weeks ago, Arkansas Economic Development Commission director Grant Tennille said the Governor’s recent trade mission trip to China may soon yield results.

“Without getting too specific about the China trip, I will say that we have a number of companies that have scheduled visits, who will be here in the state in the next couple of months hopefully ready to take that next step,” Tennille said in the interview.

Looks like that will be in early October.

Our content partner, The City Wire, reports that Fort Smith will host a delegation from the Chinese city of Jining on Oct. 3 and 4. The announcement was made by Fort Smith Mayor Sandy Sanders at this week’s city board meeting.

Jining, homeland of the famous philosopher Confucius and located in the Shandong Province, is a large city (around 8.3 million people) with strong mining and manufacturing industries. Sanders invited the public to meet the Chinese delegates at 6 p.m. on Oct. 3 at the Fort Smith Convention Center (FSCC). The delegation will stop by Fort Smith following a visit to Little Rock, Sanders told the audience Tuesday night.

“At this time, there will be nine municipal officials from Jining. The delegation will be led by the vice-mayor of Jining. They will be touring the Bill Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, have lunch at the Governor’s Mansion with Gov. Beebe, and then they will come here the evening of Oct. 3,” Sanders said, adding that the delegation is sending “a special exhibit of Jining,” which will be on display at the FSCC event.

“This is a good opportunity for our city to establish some initial relationships with these officials with the hope that when they return to China, that they have manufacturing companies that are interested in facilities and employment opportunities in Fort Smith,” Sanders said.

Gov. Mike Beebe met with the Mayor of Jining and signed a memorandum of understanding with the Shandong Province during his trip to China in April. You can read more on the subject from The City Wire at this link.

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