SHANGHAI, Sept. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Chamber in Shanghai (AmCham Shanghai) held its annual Doorknock visit to Washington, D.C. on September 16-18 to advocate on key issues impacting American companies in China and the bilateral economic and trade relationship between the United States and China.
Led by 2013 AmCham Shanghai Chair Robert Theleen and AmCham Shanghai President Kenneth Jarrett, the delegation of U.S. company executives in China had 50 meetings with Members of Congress and congressional staff, senior members of the Obama Administration and leading think tank representatives over a period of three days. During the meetings, the delegation discussed the business climate for U.S. companies in China, and expressed support for reaching a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) with China, support for U.S. small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and China's plans to launch a Free Trade Zone (FTZ) in Shanghai.
During the Doorknock, AmCham Shanghai held the official Washington launch of the SME Virtual Center; signed a Memorandum of Intent with the International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce; signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the U.S. Trade and Development Agency; and released two Viewpoints on U.S. Competitiveness in China: Opportunities and Challenges in America's Fastest Growing Overseas Market and Opportunities for U.S. Small and Medium Business in China.
China is the United States' third largest and fastest growing export market. In 2012, U.S. exports to China reached an all-time high of $110 billion and supported approximately 540,000 American jobs. "American companies are well positioned to take advantage of the market opportunities created by China's continuing economic transition from export and investment led growth to one sustained by consumption and value-added services," said Theleen. "The majority of the thousands of U.S. multinational companies, SMEs, entrepreneurs and service providers invested in China are in China for China - to penetrate the local market."
In response to the growing interest of U.S. SMEs in China as an opportunity to develop new export markets and increase sales, AmCham Shanghai launched the SME Center last November to be a bridge between U.S. SMEs and the China market. The SME Virtual Center will serve as an online platform for market and information resources to support SME exporters in the U.S. and facilitate two-way FDI by working closely with U.S. federal, state and local offices to identify and post investment projects.
"SMEs play a critical role in powering the U.S. economy. Although we are seeing more interest among U.S. SMEs in the China market, only a very small percentage is active internationally," noted Jarrett. "In the case of China, companies need help navigating a complex environment. Government and organizations like AmCham Shanghai need to work together to assist with that access and support American SME competitiveness in China."
AmCham Shanghai's SME Center is a prime example of how a private-led initiative can help bridge the gap in resources and partner with government agencies to effectively support U.S. SMEs and those seeking to export to China.
About AmCham Shanghai's SME Center
The SME Center was opened in 2012 to provide resources and referral services for business and service providers to help U.S. SMEs export to and compete in the China market, as well as an online SME Virtual Center platform to post and identify investment and service projects. The SME Center is a self-funded resource, with dedicated SME staff, providing a platform for subscribers to access resources such as research tools, databases, market information, briefings, tutorials, government programs and AmCham Shanghai member companies experienced in China market entry. For more information, please visit: http://sme.amcham-shanghai.org.
About AmCham Shanghai
AmCham Shanghai is known as the "Voice of American Business" in China, is the largest and fastest growing American Chamber in the Asia-Pacific region. Founded in 1915, AmCham Shanghai was the third American Chamber established outside the United States. As a non-profit, non-partisan business organization, AmCham Shanghai is committed to the principles of free trade, open markets, private enterprise and the unrestricted flow of information. AmCham Shanghai's mission is to support the success of our members by promoting a healthy business environment in China, strengthening U.S.-China commercial ties and providing high-quality business information and resources.
For more information on the MOI with the U.S. Department of Commerce: http://www.trade.gov/press/press-releases/2013/obama-trade-official-expands-collaboration-with-amcham-shanghai-091613.asp
For more information on AmCham Shanghai's Viewpoints: http://www.amcham-shanghai.org/AmChamPortal/MCMS/Presentation/Publication/PublicationCustomization/content.aspx?Type=1&HLLink=PAR_Publication&tb_Name=PublicationCustomization
SOURCE The American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai