Yang JieChi, ambassador of China to the U.S., highlighted the similarities between his country and Georgia in a speech made to attendees of the National Association of Chinese Americans (NACA) dinner gala, held last week at the Hyatt Ravinia, Atlanta.

Both regions have made rapid economic progress over the past two decades, have a diverse economy and realize that a move forward must incorporate social, economic and cultural change, he said. 

Mr. JieChi also recounted that his most recent visit to Atlanta was, in fact, the third of his diplomatic career: he first visited the city as a junior translator in 1979 as part of a Chinese delegation accompanying the Chinese leader, Deng Xiaoping, and again in 1983 as an ambassador’s assistant. 

He encouraged the continuation of “cooperative attitudes” on the part of both China and the U.S., citing the more than 30,000 U.S.-owned or U.S.-Chinese joint venture businesses currently operating in China. 

China’s acceptance into the World Trade Organization (WTO) will open additional doors to trade, but will initially also be a challenge for the Chinese people, Mr. JieChi cautioned. 

Opportunities exist for U.S. companies looking to expand in China in a number of areas, including infrastructure development, banking, telecommunications and banking, he noted. He also urged U.S. companies setting up operations in China to take advantage of the as-yet-untapped labor and land resources of western China, in particular the country’s third-largest city, Chongqing.

The NACA dinner gala was co-hosted by Opportunos consulting firm, and the Southern Center for International Studies

Contact Lani Wong, president of the Atlanta NACA chapter, at (770) 394-6542 or SCIS at (404) 261-5763.  Contact Michael Horten at Opportunos at (770) 436-7834.