Less than a month after Wuhan, China-based Chinamex announced that it would bring more than 100 companies through a 15,000-square-foot showroom in Atlanta, another Chinese city is expressing interest in creating a similar center in the metro area.
Wuxi, just west of Shanghai, signed a pact on Aug. 8 with the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce to explore the creation of a joint venture helping Wuxi companies sell their products in North and South America.
The Gwinnett Chamber has agreed to consider the creation of special tax allocation districts, or TADs, that would eliminate or reduce taxes for Wuxi companies locating in Gwinnett. Wuxi is also considering establishing a showroom and distribution center there. Both sides also said they would “support businesses in import, export and expansion into each other’s communities.”
Nick Masino, vice president of economic development for the Gwinnett Chamber, said the showroom concept that Chinamex espouses and Wuxi is considering has become a trend for Chinese manufacturers seeking to cut the number of steps it takes for their products to get to market.
“A lot of the Chinese manufacturers believe that if they can remove the middle person, their profits will go up,” Mr. Masino said.
Including Chinamex, Mr. Masino said he’s met with three separate Chinese delegations interested in the showroom concept, one of which came from a region of China known for making all kinds of holiday decorations.
As China’s economy has grown and focused increasingly outward, more Chinese companies have the desire and the resources to expand internationally, Chinamex Chairman Hao Feng told GlobalAtlanta at the dinner announcing that the company’s Atlanta office would open in October. Read: More than 100 Chinese Companies Coming Through Atlanta
Chinamex has showrooms in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and Dubai that help Chinese manufacturers show their products to potential buyers.
The high-level delegation from Wuxi reciprocated a visit by Gwinnett officials during an Asia mission in June. Wuxi delegates initially planned to come to Georgia first but delayed their trip due to swine flu concerns.
Mr. Masino stressed that Gwinnett is still “at the building trust level” with Wuxi leaders and that these negotiations are still in the very early stages.
During their trip to China, Gwinnett officials spent three days with Wuxi leaders, who took them to see the Ling Mountain Buddha, which Wuxi leaders claim to be the world’s tallest standing Buddha figure.