Days after re-election, Mayor Foxx leads delegation to China

Published: Nov. 10, 2011 at 5:59 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 10, 2011 at 5:59 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Just days after a successful bid for re-election as the Charlotte's mayor, Anthony Foxx and a delegation of local business and civic leaders have begun traveling to China.

The delegation will meet with Chinese government and business leaders in Beijing, Baoding, Langfang and Shanghai.

This is Mayor Foxx's first international visit since taking office in 2009.

The visit, which will last through next Saturday, will focus on economic development, including expanding investment in Charlotte, building on the City's new EcoPartnership with Langfang and highlighting Charlotte's emergence as a global energy hub.

During a sit-down interview with WBTV's Steve Crump on election night, Mayor Foxx said that he plans to focus on bringing jobs to Charlotte and introducing local businesses to corporations in the Pacific rim region.

"We want to create more ties to China, in particular, economically," Mayor Foxx said on Tuesday. "I want to see more Charlotte businesses have an opportunity to compete in that marketplace. When we get more pipelines to goods and services for Charlotte businesses that means that we create more demand for jobs right here."

Additionally, the delegation is hoping to grow the relationship between Baoding and Charlotte beyond that of a traditional Sister City.

"We have a 25-year anniversary of our relationship with Baoding, so we're going to go and renew that partnership," Foxx said.

Among the trip's highlights, the delegation will visit the energy facilities of Boading Tianwei, ENN Group in Langfang and Jetion Solar outside of Shanghai.

In July, Jetion Solar (a subsidiary of Jetion Solar China, Ltd.) opened the company's North American sales and service center in Charlotte.

"I want to see more Chinese firms investing here, like Jetion Solar, because again we have the capacity to create jobs here," Foxx told WBTV. "A lot of it is about jobs, the other pieces of it has to do with an eco-partnership we've engaged with Langfang where we are actually working to show which city can reduce its carbon footprint faster.

While in Shanghai, the Charlotte International Cabinet (CIC) and corporate sponsors will host a Business Networking Reception for the Mayor's delegation, representatives of Chinese companies with a presence in Charlotte and 15 members of the North Carolina General Assembly visiting China with a separate delegation.

"I'm very excited to go talk about Envision Charlotte and the wonderful vision that that casts," Mayor Foxx told WBTV. "That's another part of why we are going."