Lani Wong, chairperson of the Atlanta chapter of the National Association of Chinese-Americans, has been appointed as a consultant for the promotion of trade with and investment in Wuhan, China.
“Wuhan is one of the major retail centers in China and there are many opportunities for Atlanta to develop economic cooperation with the city,” Mrs. Wong told GlobalAtlanta last week. Wuhan has more than 8 million people and is located in central China’s Hubei province.
A founder of the association’s Atlanta chapter in 1980 and president of the national association from 1990-94, she was appointed by the Wuhan agency when she visited the city after attending the Seventh National Congress of Overseas Chinese in July.
She was one of only 100 advisers from outside of China invited to the meeting in Beijing, which was attended by more than 1,000 Chinese officials from throughout China. Both China’s President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao were at the congress.
According to Mrs. Wong, the leaders underscored the important role that overseas Chinese have had in China’s development. She added that the officials acknowledged the importance of Taiwanese investment in the mainland, but were adamant that China and Taiwan be reunited and further separation would lead to disaster.
“Overseas Chinese, including the Taiwanese, have been a main force for modernization there and last year China received more foreign investment than any other country in the world,” she said.
In an effort to increase the ties between Georgia and Wuhan, she said that she would explore the possibility of arranging a Sister City relationship. She also said that she wants to develop educational exchanges including a nursing program and expand two-way investment.
“China needs many materials,” she added. “And Atlanta as a transportation center is very attractive to Chinese investors who will be coming more frequently to the U.S. in the future.”
While in China she visited in addition to Beijing and Wuhan the cities of Changzhou, Nanjing, Suzhou, Shanghai, Tienjing and Wuxie.
Mrs. Wong, who is on the board of trustees of Georgia Perimeter College, the treasurer of the Asian-American Chamber of Commerce, and a former member of the board of trustees of Leadership Atlanta, may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.