Ohio-Hubei Partnership

G1×7: Ohio, USA
Ohio ranks seventh in GDP among US States, and is positioned at the 1×7 slot within the G8x8.
G2×8: Hubei, China
Hubei ranks eighth in GDP among provinces of China, and is positioned at the 2×8 slot within the G8x8.

Amid rising trade tensions between China and the Trump administration, Chinese officials met with Ohio business leaders in Columbus on Wednesday for a business and policy luncheon.

The Greater Columbus Chinese Chamber of Commerce and JobsOhio organized the meeting, which was held at The Blackwell Inn, to discuss the business relationship between the U.S. and China.

Yumin Zhao, the Acting Consul General in New York, says they’re focused on collaboration in light of the escalating trade war with the U.S.

“The Chinese people did notice there are some differences compared to the past decades with the relationship between China and the United States,” Zhao says. “We do see it as a reflection of the average American people.”

He urged Americans and Chinese people to focus on how they can work together.

“We still think that only by cooperation we can overcome the difficulties. Not setting the barriers or lifting the tariffs and make the flow of people, flow of goods slower,” Zhao says. “That’s not our goal.”

Monica Xia, chair of the Greater Columbus Chinese Chamber of Commerce, says some Ohio businesses look to Hubei, China, for advancement in medicine and biotechnology.

“I think globalization cannot be stopped. I think that’s the message that we want our audience to take away,” Xia says. “Just let’s contribute positively to this globalization trend.”

Hubei, China, and Ohio have been sister provinces for almost 40 years.

Both of Ohio’s U.S. senators, and Gov. John Kasich, have raised concerns about the Trump administration’s trade policies. Ohio’s agricultural industry has been particularly hard hit by Chinese retaliation against soybeans and pork, though Trump has tried to offset some damages to farmers with subsidies.

Ohio exports $4 billion in agricultural goods to China every year.

Image and info source: http://radio.wosu.org/post/chinese-officials-discuss-trade-ohio-business-leaders

Uttar Pradesh Dust Storm

G7×3: Uttar Pradesh, India
Uttar Pradesh ranks third in GDP among Indian states, and is positioned at the 7×3 slot within the G8x8. In 2015, Uttar Pradesh contributed a GDP of 163.7 billion USD, which was 8.4% of the total of India. It was almost as high as the national GDP of Qatar, Algeria, or New Zealand.

More than 100 people died in dust storms and lightning strikes in parts of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan in the first days of May 2018. More parts of India will witness thundershowers accompanied by gusty winds, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) warned. Weather analysts said there is a fair amount of moisture incursion from the Bay of Bengal and from North India, which will lead to the formation of storm clouds and widespread thundershowers across East India, Gangetic plains, southern India and Central India.

Ten people were killed as heavy rains lashed Telangana and Andhra Pradesh on Thursday, officials said. While five people were killed in various rain-related incidents in Telangana, an equal number of deaths were reported from Andhra Pradesh. Delhi on the other hand may see strong surface winds during the day time towards Sunday, the IMD said. Delhi, that saw 14.4 mm rainfall over past 24 hours, recorded a mximum temperature of 35.2 degrees on Thursday, three notches below the season’s average. The minimum temperature was recorded at 19.8 degrees, five notches below the season’s average.

Rajasthan, which that saw at least 31 dead, with causalities reported from Alwar, Dholpur and Bharatpur districts,may see another spell of duststorm and rains over next few days. The regional weather office in Jaipur had issued a warning for dust storm, light rain and thunderstorm for Alwar, Banswara, Bharatpur, Dholpur, Dausa and Bhilwara.

Information and image source: WeForNews

200 Years of Illinois

G1x5: Illinois, USA
Illinois ranks fifth in GDP among USA states, and is positioned at the 1×5 slot within the G8x8. In 2016, it achieved a GDP of 791.6 billion $ and a share of 4.3 percent of the national total. Its GDP was slightly lower than that of Turkey and higher than the Netherlands.

Illinois became the 21st state of the United States of America on 3 December 1818. Governor Bruce Rauner authorized by executive order a year-long celebration to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the event, with a multimedia campain at its center. Motto: Every day in Illinois, amazing things are being born, built and grown. Citizens are encouraged to participate in the celebration by visiting the website www.illinois200.com. Partners, event and project managers planning and implementing activities between 3 December 2017 and 3 December 2018 are encouraged to be endorsed as official parts of the Illinois Bicentennial.

Points of Pride

The twitter hashtag #IllinoisProud lists reasons for citizens to be proud:

  • Illinois is where the nation’s greatest rivers meet (Illinois and Mississippi rivers).
  • It’s where the largest Native American city once thrived.
  • Where the most trains cross and daily flights soar.
  • Where automobiles and hard roads got a start.
  • Where sound movies began.
  • Where a nuclear chain reaction was first controlled.
  • Where the first transistor gave rise to the computer age.
  • Where the theory of superconductivity was born.
  • Where the biggest fair in the nation’s history was held.
  • Where the mail-order catalog and the warehouse of goods behind it got its start.
  • Where the Blues echo and comedy is king.
  • Where more than a quarter million men volunteered to fight to end slavery and save the Union.
  • Where the nation’s biggest plant helped make the world safe for democracy.
  • Where the biggest restaurant company, biggest makers of mining equipment, aircraft, and tractors are based and where hundreds of start-up companies each year keep the engine humming.

Image source: Visit Alton, information source: www.illinois200.com

London Economic Development Strategy

G5x1: London, U.K.
London ranks first in GDP among UK top level territories, and is positioned at the 5×1 slot within the G8x8. In 2015, it achieved a GDP of 378.4 billion £ (507.1 billion $) and a share of 22.7 percent of the national total. Its GDP was slightly lower than that of Sweden.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has launched on 13 December 2017 his new Economic Development Strategy as a draft for consultation. This draft is open for discussion for three months until 13 March 2018. Sadiq Khan is “keen for London to remain the best place to do business, but wants to put more emphasis on the general wellbeing, health and happiness of Londoners”. He invites Londoners and other informed stakeholders to tell him what they think of his plans.

His website at https://www.london.gov.uk includes a survey and discussion forums on

  • Would you like to be involved in the development of new technology?
  • What sectors do you think are most important to London’s economy and why?
  • What do you think the risks are to London’s economy in the coming years?
  • How can technology be used to make London a better city to live in?
  • What do businesses need to thrive in London? What are the challenges they face?
  • How do you feel about the idea of having a Good Work Standard in London?
  • How able do you feel to achieve your career goals in London?

Sadiq Khan unveiled his draft Economic Development Strategy at the Federation of Small Business’ Winter Reception. He explained how he wants to build on his manifesto pledge to be London’s most pro-business Mayor ever. “I want to create an economy that delivers for everyone and leaves none of London’s communities behind.”

London is one of the richest cities in the world, but also home to some of the poorest neighbourhoods in the country. The strategy sets out measures to address this fact.

Innovative Solutions for London

The Mayor has also challenged tech start-ups and medium-sized businesses to develop innovative solutions that address some of the big issues facing Londoners. These issues range from inequality to air quality and health challenges of an ageing population.  Using funding from the London Economic Action Partnership (LEAP), 15 companies will be selected to receive business support. Up to three of them will receive £15,000 to further develop their ideas. He will set out the exact terms of this initiative, known as the Mayor’s Civic Innovation Challenge, next year.

The overarching goal of the Mayor’s Economic Development Strategy is to boost competitiveness and create a business environment that is not only friendly – in terms of helping investment and growth – but also fair, where all companies play by the rules and where all Londoners stand to benefit.

By channelling investment into key areas, equipping Londoners with the skills, education and training they need to participate in the modern economy, and by investing in infrastructure and offering targeted support to certain sectors – such as tech, life-sciences, and the capital’s creative industries – the Mayor believes he can deliver on this vision at the same time as helping London’s businesses go from strength-to-strength.

Source: Mayor’s Website

Image source: City A. M.

London ranks first in GDP among UK top level territories, and is positioned at the 5×1 slot within the G8x8. In 2015, it achieved a GDP of 378.4 billion £ (507.1 billion $) and a share of 22.7 percent of the national total. Its GDP was slightly lower than that of Sweden.

World Internet Conference in Zhejiang

The fourth World Internet Conference, also known as the “Wuzhen Summit”, concluded Tuesday, 5 December 2017, in Wuzhen town of Zhejiang province after three days of discussions and exhibitions of cutting-edge internet products.

The World Internet Conference in Wuzhen is an annual gathering of internet officials and internet company executives as well as administrators from developing countries. The previous three conferences in 2014, 2015 and 2016 were not attended by top US tech executives, but this year, leaders of IBM, Oracle, and Google participated in the event, along with the CEOs of well-known Chinese internet giants such as Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, Huawei and Xiaomi.

The conference was also addressed by Chinese President Xi Jinping and Apple CEO Tim Cook. In his written congratulatory address, Xi said that online developments were raising many new challenges to sovereignty and security, and China was “willing to work with the international community to respect cyberspace sovereignty and promote partnerships”. Apple chief executive Cook’s presence indicated the importance of the Chinese market for the iPhone maker, even though Apple’s market share of China’s smartphone market is shrinking.

Will Google Return to China?

Google’s India-born CEO Sundar Pichai made a strong case for the search giant’s return to China, saying it is already helping Chinese companies gain global access. Google was shut down in China in 2010 following a showdown with the government over censor policies. Since then Google, Gmail, Youtube and its other products are banned in the world’s second largest economy. “A lot of work Google does is to help Chinese companies”, the 45-year-old Google CEO, who has a BTech degree from IIT Kharagpur, said at the conference.

“Many small and medium-sized businesses in China take advantage of Google to get their products to many other countries outside of China,” Pichai told the meeting, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported. After the ban, Google subsequently shifted its operations to Hong Kong. In its absence, Chinese firms like Tencent, Alibaba, Baidu and JD.com emerged most powerful players in China and abroad. Google and its products can be accessed in China through Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) over which Beijing has stepped up a crackdown in recent times. Apple this year agreed to the Chinese government’s requests to remove dozens of virtual private network (VPN) apps services that allow Chinese users to access blocked websites from its local App Store. Skype, the calling app, was removed from its mainland App Store this autumn. Pichai’s attendance at the state sponsored internet meeting came after China recently lifted the ban on Google translation services.

Besides Google, a number of global social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter remain banned in China over fears that their presence would open-up to millions of China’s social media users marginalising the official media. In his address, Cook said “the theme of this conference – developing a digital economy for openness and shared benefits – is a vision we at Apple share”, adding that Apple “is proud to have worked alongside many of our partners in China to help build a community that will join a common future in cyberspace”.

Info source: The Tribune, Image source: World Internet Conference

Zhejiang ranks fourth in GDP among Chinese provinces, and is positioned at the 2×4 slot within the G8x8. In 2015, it achieved a GDP of 549.8 billion € and a share of 5.9 percent of the Chinese total. Its GDP was higher than that of Argentina and Sweden, but slightly lower than that of Saudi Arabia.

Tokyo – London Collaboration

Yuriko Koike, Governor of Tokyo, and Charles Bowman, Lord Mayor of London, have signed and concluded the Memorandum of Understanding Between the City of London Corporation and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, on 4 December 2017. The Lord Mayor works closely with the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, although they have distinct and separate responsibilities.

The two cities have a long history of collaboration across many sectors which have contributed to the economic development and prosperity in their respective countries and in the world. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG), which is the administrative body of the metro area, and the Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO), are already working together on an agenda to revitalise Tokyo’s financial sector. The Financial Services sector is one of the key areas that continues to undergo transformation at an international level. In recognition of this the City of London Corporation (CoLC) and the TMG will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to further deepen their exchange and collaboration in financial services, so that the two international financial centres can mutually prosper and grow. In addition, TheCityUK, as the industry body for UK-based financial and related professional services, has launched a Japan Market Advisory Group (MAG) of industry experts and is taking forward a programme to strengthen collaboration between financial and related professional services in the UK and Japan and this practitioner activity will complement cooperation between the two cities.

Collaboration Objectives

Working toward this goal, while the CoLC and TMG will deepen their examination of concrete actions, both parties hereby agree to commence consideration on their cooperation in the following

  • Cooperation in financial sector meetings, forums and information sharing between both cities.
  • Cooperation in building a wider alliance programme in the education sector.
  • Cooperation in developing and promoting Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) investment and green finance.
  • Cooperation in conducting promotional activities as international financial centres.

Tokyo has sister city relationships with many capitals of the world, including

  • Beijing
  • Berlin
  • Cairo
  • London
  • Moscow
  • New York
  • Paris
  • Rome
  • Seoul

Information Source: Tokyo Metropolitan Government

Image Source: Bureau of Port and Harbor, Tokyo Metropolitan Government

Tokyo and London are both G8x8 territories. The former is ranking first in GDP among Japanese prefectures, placing it at the 3×1 position. London ranks first among top level areas of the United Kingdom to take the 5×1 field on the board. Tokyo takes a share of 18.3% of the total GDP of Japan. London posted a GDP share of 22.7 percent of the UK national total.

China Competence in Hessen

Ten years ago, two chambers of commerce and industry (IHK) of the German state of Hessen predicted extraordinary growth of their mostly small and medium-sized member enterprises’ China business. This would mean a growing demand for China specific services from the IHK. These two were the chambers of Frankfurt and of Darmstadt, and they decided to jointly establish a “China Competence Center” (CCC). They celebrated the 10th CCC anniversary on 27 November 2017 at IHK Darmstadt, reviewing quite a success story.

Sonja Mueller, general manager of CCC, and the chambers’ department heads of international affairs Martin Proba (Darmstadt) and Dr. Juergen Ratzinger (Frankfurt) confirmed the great acceptance of this service with regional small and medium-sized enterprises, even beyond Hessen. In just one decade, the CCC assisted 770 Chinese enterprises to settle down in the Rhine-Main Area. It received more than 100 Chinese delegations, organized 150 major events, answered 4,400 enquiries and published 40 articles.

Beijing correspondent Stephan Scheuer of the German “Handelsblatt” business daily described in his keynote speech some of the latest developments in China. He pointed out that some sectors were given priority and special support in Xi Jinping’s development strategy, opening new opportunities for German companies. “In some other sectors, however, China is already much ahead of Germany and even of Silicon Valley, such as digitalization and online services,” said Scheuer.

Sonja Mueller presented examples of good cooperation between Hessen and China in a panel discussion with regional business people and sports celebrities.

More info and image source: Deutsch-chinesische Allgemeine (in German).

Hessen ranks fourth in GDP among the German laender, and is positioned at the 4×4 slot within the G8x8. In 2016, it achieved a GDP of 269.4 billion € and a share of 8.6 percent of the German total. Its GDP was higher than that of Israel and Hong Kong, but slightly lower than that of Egypt.

Paris Opens 5000 Seats Congress Hall

One of the largest halls in Europe with 5,200 seats was opened on 22 November 2017. It is part of the Paris Convention Center which was inaugurated in the presence of Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris. Valérie Pécresse, President of the Île-de-France Regional Council, and Michel Cadot, Prefect of Police for Paris also participated.

Didier Kling, Chair of the Paris Île-de-France Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Christophe Cuvillier, CEO & Chair of the Management Board of Unibail-Rodamco, Michel Dessolain CEO of Viparis and Jean Pistre, co-founder of the Valode & Pistre architectural firm highlighted the many advantages of this exceptional venue. The Centre is located within the Porte de Versailles exhibition complex, which is undergoing a ten-year renovation project (2015–2025). It is the result of an extraordinary architectural effort, and was designed to host the very biggest international conferences. With Europe’s largest conference center, Paris will stay at the forefront of the business tourism market and retain its position as the world’s top destination for international conferences.

Paris Convention Center

The Convention Centre can accommodate very large national and international events. It is fully modular and its many amenities – including exhibition halls, meeting and conference rooms, permanent and mobile food stands, an event space, green roof and vast car park – means that it can be adapted to every imaginable situation. The airy and light-filled interior offers a view of the city. The plenary hall is the largest in Europe, and its glass roof means that conferences can be held in natural light. Every conference room is furnished with smart and adaptive speakers that offer high-quality sound and create an ideal acoustic environment for visitors. The Atrium conference rooms feature connected furniture and the latest audiovisual equipment.

“Paris Convention Centre will be a crown jewel in our efforts to boost the appeal of the region. The site has been renovated, reimagined and given a new identity to help the Greater Paris region at the top of the meetings and corporate events industry. This sector accounts for €5.5 billion in economic benefits for the region and more than €20 billion in turnover for exhibitors. With no public financing, Porte de Versailles will become the epicenter of the city’s ambitions in the field of conferences and trade shows,” said Didier Kling, Chair of the Paris Île-de-France Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Venues in Paris

Michel Dessolain, CEO of Viparis, explained: “We are especially proud to inaugurate Viparis’s newest venue, Paris Convention Centre. It is, quite simply, Europe’s largest conference centre. It is fitted with cutting-edge technology and its modularity means that it can fully customize any event. It also happens to be the only conference centre in the world with a breathtaking view of the Eiffel Tower. Paris, the top destination for conferences, will now be able to host the world’s largest gatherings.”

“Viparis is focused on introducing innovation and flexibility at our sites and bringing them into the digital age. We constantly strive to provide the best service per square meter. Our goal is to host 75 events at Paris Convention Centre over the next five years, including 55 conferences – 15 of which are already booked. This new venue will help bolster Paris’s influence and image on the world stage, and help the city retain its leading edge in the business tourism market.”

Info source: Paris Convention Centre, Viparis

Image source: e Turbo News


Paris Île-de-France ranks first in GDP among top level territories of France, and is positioned at the 6×1 slot within the G8x8. In 2014, it achieved a GDP of 649.6 billion EUR and a share of 30.4 percent of the national total. If compared with entire countries, the GDP of Paris Île-de-France ranks between Switzerland and the Netherlands.