Tuesday, October 30, 2007, 6:56 PM

Womble Carlyle Attorneys Address Duke University Sponsored China Conference

Former North Carolina Governor Jim Hunt and former Director of Economic Development for the Charlotte Regional Partnership John Hunter, both Womble Carlyle members, were the only attorneys invited to address a Duke University-sponsored “Going Global” conference, discussing investment by Chinese companies in the U.S., on September 21, 2007 in Durham, North Carolina.
Governor James Hunt & Liang Zhidong
(Liang Zhidong, Vice President, China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation, right)

Local business and academic leaders attended the conference, which was organized for the benefit of a thirty-two member Chinese delegation headed by China's Assistant Minister of Commerce Chen Jian. Mr. Chen is responsible for China's “Go Global” policy, which encourages, often with Chinese government financial assistance, overseas foreign direct investment by Chinese companies. His office also encourages companies to establish overseas economic and trade cooperation zones, which Chinese companies select as areas for establishing overseas operations based on market conditions and perceived investment opportunities.

The Chinese delegation was comprised of officials from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and government-backed private enterprises.

That evening, at a dinner banquet in honor of the Chinese delegation, sponsored in part by Womble Carlyle, North Carolina Department of Commerce Assistant Secretary for Business Development and Trade Anthony Copeland, on behalf of the State of North Carolina, signed a cooperation agreement with China.

This agreement committed the respective parties to explore opportunities for increased Chinese investment in North Carolina and to identify potential Chinese companies with which North Carolina-based companies can partner on business ventures in China.

Womble Carlyle's participation in the Duke-sponsored conference followed a May 10, 2007 private dinner, of which Womble Carlyle was the exclusive sponsor, to welcome China's Vice Minister of Commerce Madam Ma Xiuhong, and a delegation of over 100 governmental and business leaders on a multi-city tour for a buying mission to purchase U.S. products and services.

More than 170 guests, including Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, Georgia State Senator Judson Hill and Greg Pridgeon, chief of staff to Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, attended that dinner, which was the only one held in the Southeastern U.S. The delegation's visit to Atlanta was the second stop in a six-city tour, which also included San Francisco, Chicago, Detroit, Richmond and Washington, D.C.

Womble Carlyle was invited to host that dinner and participate in the Duke University conference as a result of the Firm’s growing China practice, which began with a two week business tour of China in March 2007. During the tour, a nine-member delegation met with Chinese business leaders and officials representing U.S.-owned companies in China, as well as Chinese companies operating in the U.S.


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