County Executive Thomas P. Gordon is pleased to announce that an official Chinese government delegation and a group of businessmen are scheduled to visit New Castle County in late September to review the multitude of port development and related maritime opportunities that currently exist in the State of Delaware.
This meeting will represent the fourth exchange between County Executive Gordon and members of the contingent. This relationship commenced with NCCo’s sponsored visit to China in September 2015.
Chinese businesses and government officials are set to visit Sept. 23 through Sept. 30. Among them will be China Gezhouba Group Company Limited, which is a Chinese construction and engineering company ranked 33rd in the world in terms of revenue.
In a Sept. 1, 2016 letter, China Gezhouba Group expressed its interest in construction of the Port of Wilmington expansion project.
“We wish to devote … our experiences and expertise,” the letter states in part.
Additionally, the group will include representatives from:
• Shanghai Aoyol Network Technology• GEYA investment Holding Group• Aisen Import/Export• Zhijiantang Cultural Exchange Co.• Tangshan City Tian Xiang Science and Technology Co.• China Communications Construction Company• Chinese Ocean Shipping Company (China COSCO)
Chinese Ocean Shipping Company is one of the world’s top five container shipping companies. This diverse group represents the interests of finance, development, harbor, shipping, logistics and cargo. The group has exchanged formal letters of interest with regard to providing a host of potential services in developing and possibly operating the port and related transportation infrastructure in the State of Delaware.
Besides meeting with NCCo officials, the contingent will also participate in planned sessions with the State of Delaware and with officials from the Diamond State Port Corporation (DSPC).
County Executive Gordon noted that the Chinese delegation’s September visit would follow up numerous meetings with representatives of this group regarding the Riveredge greenfield facility over the last several months. He looks forward with optimism to discussing all of the marine terminal sites identified in the Diamond State Port Corporation’s Strategic Master Plan.
“The sites mentioned in the DSPC Strategic Master Plan include the existing DSPC facility, the conceptual Riveredge terminal, and the former Chemours site known as Edgemoor,” Gordon said. “In all, it simply boils down to the fact that Delaware is geographically blessed beyond comparison for maritime growth. Wilmington Mayor Dennis Williams and I have been behind this project because of the thousands of jobs that would be created as a result of these initiatives."
Added Mayor Williams: "I am pleased this Chinese delegation is coming to New Castle County to explore and research a variety of port development projects. Further development will create significant job opportunities for local residents. County Executive Gordon and I have been committed and will continue to be at the forefront of this effort."
The master plan was completed and adopted by the DSPC in June 2016.
International Longshoremen’s Association International Vice President William Ashe Jr. stated that the ILA fully supports the development of all of the sites.
“The continued expression of interest from the Chinese contingent is consistent with the reaction to other key maritime industry stakeholders,” Ashe said. “They want to see the capacity grown here in Delaware.”
ILA Local Union #1883 Business Agent Kimoko Harris commented that this visit of the Chinese delegation is “a direct product of NCCo’s and the City of Wilmington’s support of the port projects over the course of the last several months. Without New Castle County and Wilmington’s commitment to the funding of the port project, we wouldn’t be in the position of being able to meet with this formidable group.”
Among the other topics the Chinese delegation wishes to discuss are:
• Investment policies of Delaware as it relates to Chinese companies and helping Chinese officials open an office to help the state attract 80 to 100 Chinese companies/enterprises in manufacturing, logistics, finance, securities trading and international business• Labor conditions, financial services, warehouse, construction, infrastructure, regional logistics and other supporting services• Summer and winter camp project for Chinese exchange students in Delaware• Visit the Delaware Stock & Securities Exchange• Shanghai Aoyol Network Technology Co.’s wish to register an IT company in the U.S.