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Levy Signs ‘Sister County Agreement’ in China as Step Toward Enhancing Business Opportunities in Suffolk

Making History: County Executive Steve Levy (seated, left) signs a Memorandum of Understanding encouraging economic development involving a province of China and Suffolk, which will continue working toward business and trade agreements that will advance both regions

County Executive Steve Levy issued this release:

Zhanjian City, China – Suffolk Executive Steve Levy and economic development chief Yves Michel recently traveled to Xuwen County, China, where Levy signed a ‘sister county agreement’ and continued forging relationships with top governmental and business leaders as part of his goal to bring new jobs to Suffolk.

“The trip confirmed our view that economic opportunities exist for Suffolk in the global marketplace, and that we should market our area’s benefits aggressively,” said Levy. “Our available real estate, our highly-educated workforce and our proximity to New York City make Suffolk a very attractive location and provide a tremendous competitive advantage for companies looking to establish themselves in the United States.”

The trip was set in motion by a recent meeting in Suffolk involving Levy, Michel and the New York City-based Asian-American Council. Top governmental and business officials in China had asked the council for advice about locating new business ventures in the metropolitan area, and the council suggested Suffolk after learning about the county’s foreign trade zone and other advantages.

The council made the China trip possible and assisted Levy and Michel throughout the trip’s duration. Meetings were held with high-ranking government officials and investors from regions including Hong Kong, Bejing and Xuwen.

Suffolk Economic Development Commissioner Michel noted, “This trip was an important step toward increasing our county’s presence in emerging global markets, and with our foreign trade zone (FTZ), we are in a great position to attract additional foreign investment to Suffolk.” Michel explained that FTZ benefits may include tariff relief, duty exemptions and some tax relief.

While on the trip, Levy signed a Memorandum of Understanding “establishing a relationship of cooperation and exchange” between Suffolk and Xuwen County, which is located in southern China. The document formalizes the parties’ intent to continue working toward business and trade agreements that will advance both counties.

Levy’s trip itinerary included numerous meetings and investment roundtable discussions with influential business leaders; a reception at Zhanjiang Port and World Geology Park; an official conference with the Xuwen County Executive and other top executives; an informational session at the “Forest Protection Zone,” and an exchange of ideas and business practices at the Giamya Industry District.

Suffolk officials are expecting to welcome at least one prominent Chinese investor in late July. County officials will provide a tour of various sites for potential opportunities.

See Highlights of Suffolk Executive Steve Levy’s Trip to China

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