A tale of two countries

INDUSTRY suppliers in West Virginia will be hosting an incoming group of delegates from the coal-rich province of Shanxi, China today, state officials said.
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West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin.

Donna Schmidt

The West Virginia Department of Commerce said Friday that 16 mining equipment manufacturing executives will convene in Charleston with the Chinese officials to discuss clean coal technology and safety initiatives.

The event, which will conclude with a luncheon hosted by state Governor Joe Manchin, will also include discussions on how the two groups can engage in cooperative efforts within the industry.

The WVDC said the delegation from China will include 10 business and government officials as well as two representatives of the Chinese Embassy located in Washington, DC. It will be led by Shanxi Vice-Governor Hu Suping.

During the gathering, the visiting group will show a video presentation on the China International Coal and Energy Industry Expo to be held in the province's capital city of Taiyuan this September and invite industry companies to take part in the opportunity to exhibit.

“This visit is part of an ongoing series designed to develop our relationships and identify business opportunities between our two major energy producing and exporting regions,” Manchin said.

WVDC secretary Kelley Goes added the fact that China is West Virginia's fourth-largest export market.

“Our sales to China were up 36 percent in 2007. We value our working relationship with China and the opportunities to expand our relationships there,” Goes said.

The visit is a continuation of efforts commenced by Manchin in November of last year, when he conducted a trade mission to China. He previously hosted delegations in the US in June 2007 and May 2006.

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