Bingham McHale Managing Partner Toby McClamroch is visiting China as part of the trade delegation led by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. He will share his insights throughout the mission on the Bingham McHale blog.
On Monday morning, Indiana Secretary of Commerce Mitch Roob and I went to the Department of Labor and Social Security, which is in a high security government office building. We were greeted formally by Zhang Silin, who is clearly well regarded in the Chinese government. He is Vice Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National People’s Congress. He is the former head of the Department of Labor and Social Security, so he maintains his office there.
During our meeting, Mr. Zhang expounded on trade with Indiana and the United States. He reminded me of Senator Lugar. Mr. Zhang said the future of the relationship between the two countries must be based on
- Mutual understanding;
- Mutual trust;
- Mutual benefit; and
- A long term view.
Secretary Roob did a nice job of stating Indiana’s position. This was a very formal meeting and was necessary to establish a stronger trade relationship.
After the meeting we went to lunch at a Chinese barbecue restaurant on a beautiful lake just northwest of the Forbidden City. It was a huge meal and very good. At lunch, Secretary Roob signed an MOU with Qin Zhihui, the Director General of the China Centre for Promotion of SME Development of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. The MOU is to coordinate trade opportunities between China and Indiana. Chinese barbecue restaurants are not the ideal spots to sign formal documents, but Secretary Roob was able to sign without many smudge marks.
After lunch we traveled to a formal meeting at the investment promotion agency of the Ministry of Commerce. The meeting was led by Zhang Yingxin, the Deputy Director. Secretary Roob and Director Zhang have met several times. She is experienced and very articulate about trade issues and the differences between the investment climates of the various states. She talked to us about how the U.S. federal government is interfering in trade by not addressing immigration policies. She said she has and will continue to recommend Indiana to Chinese companies.
Also on Monday, Secretary Roob and I met up with Kun Ma, a resident of Indianapolis and the director of the initiative by IU Health to seek international opportunities. Kun is very impressive. After the meeting we traveled to East Beijing to visit Yanda International Health City. We toured the hospital and the nearby retirement and nursing facilities.
After the tour we met with Hui Li. He is the owner and developer of Yanda. IU is considering a relationship with Yanda that would include managing the hospital, training, and providing professional medical staffing. IU Health would leverage Indiana based health care companies to provide product, sponsorships and services.
China currently spends 4.5 percent of GNP on health care. The U.S. spends 17 to 18 percent. IU Health expects the percentage to grow over the next few years because that is one of the express goals of the current Chinese government’s 5 year plan.Go to blog homepage >>