Staff members with Two Rivers Fisheries do processing work at their plant in Wickliffe, the U.S. state of Kentucky, on Oct. 100, 2017. (Xinhua/Liu Yifang)
WICKLIFFE, the United States, April 13 (Xinhua) -- China is a focus market for the southeastern U.S. state of Kentucky, Erran F. Persley, commissioner of Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, has said.
By focus market, Persley means imports, exports and investment.
"It's like target market, where we're trying to attract more Chinese companies to come into Kentucky ... And also export to China as well," he told Xinhua in an interview on Friday.
Persley said agriculture is a big market in Kentucky and China is an important market, adding that with China's size, scale and investment, there should be 100 plus Chinese companies here in Kentucky.
Persley went to China with Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin for China International Import Expo in November 2018.
"Governor Bevin was the only governor from the United States who went to the expo. So we are actively working with different Chinese investors to attract them to come to Kentucky and being very proactive by going overseas to China to meet with investors and following up those investors throughout the year," he said.
Talking of the International Fisheries Industrial Park in Wickliffe, Persley praised it as an example of how Chinese provinces and the U.S. states can keep the momentum of business going at the sub-national level.
"So this investment is very important on many different levels, not only for the state, but nationally as well," he said.
Unveiled on Friday, the park will build a complete industrial chain from first processing to deep processing of Asian carp that has flooded in the Mississippi River and the Ohio River nearby, and further to waste recycling and reuse. Six Chinese enterprises signed agreements to enter the park on the same day.
"For the local people here, it's about creating jobs, opened up a new industry here in the area," he said.
Persley also admired the park's ecofriendly feature, saying "that's very important to the state as well."
"One thing we're focusing on right now is trying to get more of industries and supply chains together. This park is an excellent example of how that can work to have one anchor industry and your supply chain built around you in a very efficient and effective way," he said.
Persley disclosed that a U.S.-China governors' meeting will be held in Kentucky at the end of May. The purpose of the meeting is to try to bridge the relationship between the United States and China, and talk about how the two countries can work and collaborate together to move toward the future and generally to create that stronger friendship.
"This is the 40th anniversary of (diplomatic) relations between the United States and China. So to have that conference here during that 40th anniversary period of time, it means a lot for us," Persley said.
"All of us agree that relationships between China and the United States have to be better, which are the strongest economies in the globe right now. We have to work together and find ways we can work together and move both our countries and global commerce forward," he added.