Taking Planes to and Building Bridges with China
By Leslie Rylke
On May 15, a delegation from Chester County departed from the offices of the Chester County Economic Development Council (CCEDC) to begin their journey to China. This was the second time a group from our area made the trip with the goal of exploring business and cultural exchange opportunities.The delegation was spearheaded by Terence Farrell, Chester County Commissioner, and Mike Grigalonis, COO of the Chester County Economic Development Council and included Michael DeThomas of Levante Brewing Company; Chad Byers of Symmetrical Investments LLC; Jason Zhu of Eternity International Trading Co. Inc.; Janice Kelsey of Solar CITIES Inc.; Susan Hamley, executive director of the Chester County Conference and Visitors Bureau: Jingjing Lin, a graduate student at West Chester University; and Jiaying Wang, an associate with China-based Shimin Law Firm.
While the group did find time to see some sights such as the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor, famous for the Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses, and the Great Wall, the majority of their time was spent in business meetings to discuss their various projects.Mike Grigalonis noted that “I am truly energized by the success of our most recent trip to China. A number of opportunities have already emerged and I’m confident many more will arise from the seeds that we planted during our 11-day journey. Since the inception of the Chester County China Initiative, we’ve built a strong network throughout China as well as among our local with companies and individuals who have joined the initiative. It’s exciting stuff and I’m proud to be part of it.”
Likewise, Commissioner Farrell noted “Through the Chester County China Initiative we are providing a competitive edge for our companies here in Chester County and in China. I am honored to be a part of this group that is helping our local companies get a toehold or expand in China as well as exploring opportunities for Chinese investors to support projects in our area. I look forward to hosting future delegations from China as well as to returning there soon.”