The second most powerful person in the Chinese Embassy was in the Palmetto State Thursday and met with Lt. Governor Andre Bauer.
Embassy Minister Guangyuan Liu says he was sent to South Carolina by the Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. “This is my first trip to South Carolina,” said Liu. “What impresses me is that the people are very hospitable and friendly and the scenery is very beautiful.”
Liu and Bauer discussed economic development and expanding Chinese business and investment in the state, as well as the importance of higher education.
China ranks in South Carolina’s top five export markets, with $790 million shipped there in 2008. Currently, South Carolina is the home of China’s first foreign manufacturing investment in the U.S.–Haier, located in Camden, which employees 225 people making refrigeration equipment and home appliances.
Liu says there will be more business opportunities with his country. “I wish to know what the Chinese Embassy could do for South Carolina,” he said. “And I wish to encourage relations between China and South Carolina and encourage our entrepreneurs and businessmen do more business here. This is my mission, and I want to have more friends in South Carolina.”
Bauer and Liu discussed the Port of Charleston’s potential as a hub for Chinese goods. Capital investment from China has brought $283 million to South Carolina and nearly 2,500 jobs since 1994.
We asked Minister Liu about South Carolina Universities, like the Masters of International Business Program at USC, programs at Clemson and even smaller colleges and universities. He said students in his country greatly value higher education, and South Carolina is on their map.
“More Chinese students are coming here, for post graduate and even doctorate degrees,” said Liu. “This is a good trend, because South Carolina is an important state and the education system here is good. And we encourage our Chinese parents to send their children here. It is good.”