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Business delegation from China introduced to Greer's global growth

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Wednesday, May 1, 2013

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Left to right: Greg Hall, President of Century 3,Su Yuesheng, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors for Dalian Chamber of Commerce in Jinzhou New District, and Greer Mayor Rick Danner.

Steve Owens Photo / City of Greer

Left to right: Greg Hall, President of Century 3,Su Yuesheng, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors for Dalian Chamber of Commerce in Jinzhou New District, and Greer Mayor Rick Danner.



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The Dalian business delegation listen to Mayor Danner welcoming them to Greer City Hall.

Steve Owens Photo / City of Greer

The Dalian business delegation listen to Mayor Danner welcoming them to Greer City Hall.



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The Dalian and Greer delegations pose for a group photo to mark the occassion.

Steve Owens Photo / City of Greer

The Dalian and Greer delegations pose for a group photo to mark the occassion.



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Business cards are exchanged during the reception for the Dalian delegation at Greer City Hall.

Steve Owens Photo / City of Greer

Business cards are exchanged during the reception for the Dalian delegation at Greer City Hall.



Mayor Rick Danner turned statesman today during a presentation with a visiting business delegation from Dalian, China.

Danner, city and economic leaders welcomed a delegation from Dalian, China visiting the greater Greer area and the upstate to explore business opportunities. Su Yuesheng, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors for Dalian Chamber of Commerce in Jinzhou New District, led the business owners and associates in a reciprocal visit Danner took with the Upstate Alliance last September to China and Japan.

“You have a very lovely city and it reminded me of home when I looked out at the mountains,” Danner told the visitors. “And we have another thing in common. You have a large (seaside port) and we are in the process of building an inland port.”

Danner, City Administrator Ed Driggers and Greer Development President Reno Deaton made a presentation illustrating the quality of life, economic, education and business value of greater Greer and its rankings in the state and nationally.

Danner explained to Su and his associates they only had to travel 2 kilometers to see the Inland Port that will service the region. About the same distance was Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport, with its 1,001-foot runway (305 meters), already receiving selected cargo shipments from Europe. And to emphasize Greer’s relevance in the world economy, Driggers noted Greer’s BMW Manufacturing Co. rank as the state’s No. 1 exporter of goods.

“China is the fastest growing customer of the South Carolina (Charleston) port,” Danner said. “While our languages may be different we have a common goal to create a better business life for our people.”

Driggers emphasized the region that includes Greer represents 26.4 percent of the total gross state product. “It is number 41 of all the nation’s top metropolitan areas. The economy of South Carolina and the Upstate region is very strong,” Driggers said.

Michelin, with its North American headquarters, in Greer’s backyard, Continental Tire and Bridgestone/Firestone give the state a No. 1 national ranking for tire exports.

Deaton said the region has targeted five industry clusters – automotive, advanced materials, energy, bioscience and aerospace. “We have a fully integrated system of partners – our education and training, work and development, and suppliers at Tier I and Tier II levels.”

“We are all impressed by the presentation,” Su said. “We are sure the economic growth in this area will now grow faster and faster. The Upstate has great infrastructure with the (inland) port and air system. We look forward to learn more about the upstate region and its natural beauty. We hope this will be a new start toward more progress.”

Su said he would like to know more about “land price, incentives from government and from the private sector.”

Greg Hall, President of Century 3, has played an integral part in cultivating China interests to the Upstate with five offices in China – Shanghai, Shenyang, Dalian, Xian, Chengdu – and one in Southeast Asia, Singapore. Century 3 occupies the former State Auto building on S. Main Street.

“I’ve been going to China for a long time building and watching China grow,” Hall told the delegation. “We are highly international. We know times have changed with many countries from all over the world coming to Greer.

“We want to reciprocate. We want to welcome you to our country and our home," Hall said.

Carter Smith, Executive Vice President for the Economic Futures Group in Spartanburg County, said the delegation’s visit is another plus for potential international growth. “A lot of economic development is relationships in business. I see this as a very positive sign.

“What I am hearing today is their sincere interest to learn more of the opportunities in our area. I think the goods shipping here from the (Charleston) port and inland is well positioned.”

Danner, after scores of photos taken, summed up the visit and presentation. “This has been beyond my expectations. This process of building relationships usually takes one to two years. We were able to demonstrate the growing part of our counties and we heard from their Chamber and seven different manufacturers.

“We zeroed in on some things and wanted to make the point we’re a global player. We are an international community with a diverse population.”

Behind the scenes

Mayor Danner got a laugh when he pointed out Greg Hall’s new location on S. Main Street. “Mr. Hall has a very beautiful office building for rent he would like to offer you. It would be a wonderful place to locate your office and we would welcome you.”

• Danner’s business cards exchanged with the China delegation are printed on one side in Chinese.

• The delegation is visiting Clemson Thursday and Danner took the opportunity to tout his alma mater. “You need to buy a Tiger shirt and Tiger hat,” Danner said.

Su Yuesheng, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors for Dalian Chamber of Commerce in Jinzhou New District, invited Danner and his wife to visit Dalian. “We would like for you to enjoy our beauty,” Su said.

China’s presence in Greer gained momentum last September when Lau Rubber and Plastics, of Guangzhou, China, located its North American sales and operations office in Greer.

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