Ten participants from the Charleston Area Alliance Business & Cultural Mission in China this evening met with representatives from the Hangzhou Economic and Technological Development Area (HEDA).
Jonathan Zhang offered a HEDA overview, noting the region was little more than a field in 1996, the year the zone was born. Zhang is managing partner of 5C Group, which helps companies hoping the locate in the region’s technology park traverse China’s complicated law and tax climate.
Hangzhou is a popular tourist attraction, featuring the famed West Lake, but it also features a skyrocketing GDP, a population of 3 million, 14 universities and more than 180,000 students. Those students are “taylor-made,” Zhang said, for the companies locating there. The area features strong automobile, energy, bio-genetic, bio-pharmaceutical and medical equipment industries.
One of the younger companies is AmpleSun. Hu Weiqian, sales manager, also presented to the Alliance delegation, explaining how his solar panel company hopes to make an impact in the U.S. According to the U.S. Ambassador’s Commercial Service, China is focussed on the green technology sector, which of course includes solar energy.
Some at the meeting noticed paralels between the Hangzhou park and South Charleston Education, Research & Technology Park.
The meeting ended with business card exchanges and promises of follow-ups.
Tomorrow, the Alliance’s tour moves from Hangzhou to Shanghai. Stay tuned.