Huntersville courting Asian business opportunities - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Huntersville courting Asian business opportunities

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HUNTERSVILLE, NC (WBTV) -

More proof can be seen that the Charlotte region is finding its way in a global economy.

This week, Huntersville Mayor Jill Swain is playing host to a delegation from China that has an eye on more investment in the Carolinas.

"The Chinese people are ready to build relationships they are intrigued by America," she said.

Ray Cheng is an advisor with the Sozo group located in China, and the local gathering with Mayor Swain isn't their first public encounter.

She and other mayors from Southeastern states traveled to Asia in recent weeks, and the locale as well as the climate this community offers peaked the curiosity of those who may have money to spend.

"Here it's finance," Cheng said." High technology so we see investors who are interested and belong to this high tech sector the service sector. This is the ideal place."

And other Asian investors may agree.

Several weeks ago, the Pactera IT firm based in China  announced that it would soon hire 200 people.

But as bright as the as the business picture appears may be there is still an X factor.

Case in point: the deal to sell Smithfield Foods to a Chinese company for nearly five billion dollars.

Cheng said, "Unfortunately because there is so much misunderstanding and lack of communication , there's a lot of fear. How can the purchase of a ham company have any security issues for example?"

The goal of trade exchanges like this is to break the ice and one memorable example came when Mayor Anthony Foxx traveled to China back in 2011.

Swain said,"I think there are opportunities here in America for the Chinese and vice versa."

Her wish is for exported goods to leave with words...Made in Huntersville.

The town will also host several events designed to attract Asian business partners over the next few months.

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