SALT LAKE CITY, the United States, May 10 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. state of Utah will hold a forum on trade and investment with China on Saturday in Salt Lake City with an aim to build stronger links with the world's second largest economy.
The Utah-China Trade and Investment Forum, the first of its kind, will draw some 200 participants from both countries in such areas as energy, investment, tourism, culture, agriculture, food and information industry. The forum will focus on how to further tap potentials for future cooperation between China and Utah.
Delegates from China's Liaoning, Jiangxi, Jiangsu and Guangdong provinces will join the forum to seek closer local cooperation with Utah, said Zhao Zhenge, General Representative of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) in the United States, at a reception on Thursday.
Zhao told Xinhua that Utah, which has been left behind other American states over the past years, has great interest in expanding trade and investment cooperation with China.
The forum will help increase Utah's influence and popularity in China, and help Chinese business community to know more about the western U.S. state, he added.
"Utah expects to learn and understand China better, and hopes to see friendship and progress made," said Gregory Hughes, former member of the Utah House of Representatives.
Besides the forum, a series of events will kick off later this week to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the completion of the first Transcontinental Railroad in the United States, to which the earliest Chinese immigrants have made great contribution.
"China is a land of opportunity," said Xu Xueyuan, minister of the Chinese Embassy in the United States. The Chinese government is committed to reform and opening up, and has stepped up efforts to offer a more favorable environment for foreign investment, she said.
Xu said Utah leads in many areas including hi-tech, tourism, outdoor sports, mining and education. In particular, Utah has the greatest percentage of Chinese speaking population than any other state in the United States.
She called on business circles of both nations to work closely to explore more opportunities for future cooperation.
"We are working to connect with China in many significant ways," said Howard Stephenson, former member of the Utah State Senate.