ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- The World Trade Center St. Louis (WTC) on Thursday signed an agreement in China, Nanjing, to increase trade, investment, and people-to-people relationships between the two cities.
Signed by the WTC and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), the agreement outlines the commitment to increased trade, investment and cultural exchanges between St. Louis and China.
“This trip isn’t focused solely on business partnerships; it’s also about strengthening our cultural ties. We have a valued relationship with the citizens of Nanjing, our Sister City. Through that relationship we have increased our understanding of each other’s countries and how we can partner for future growth,” said Tim Nowak WTC St. Louis executive director.
St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley says the agreement paves the way for global expansion in St. Louis.
“We have seen strong export growth throughout Asia. You can tell by the list of companies and educational institutions that joined us on this trade mission how important it is to our regional economy. This is a job creator,” said Dooley.
The new trade pact was signed as part of a celebration held in Nanjing in honor of the two cities’ special relationship. St. Louis and Nanjing formed their partnership as part of Sister Cities International, an exchange program founded by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to help advance peace and prosperity through cultural, educational, humanitarian, and economic development efforts.
“The Sister City relationship between St. Louis and Nanjing will help build the kind of strong relationship between the United States and China we need to cut through the traditional political and cultural barriers that too often impede progress on global challenges,” said former U.S. Senator Kit Bond. “Cultural exchanges like these not only increase understanding between our countries but will also foster growth for both our countries.”
As part of the new collaboration, the WTC and the CCPIT will take steps to increase the exchange of information between government and business leaders and expand trade and investment activities.
Key initiatives to increase trade and investment will include a senior-level trade mission from China to Missouri, linking potential trade and investment partners in Missouri and China and new two-way invitations to trade and investment seminars.
The celebration in Nanjing is one of four stops on the trade mission to China led by the WTC, Bond with Kit Bond Strategies and Dooley.
The delegation has also participated in meetings with Chinese decision makers in business and government and high-level logistics symposiums in Hangzhou and Shanghai. The delegation will end their trip in China’s capitol city, Beijing.