Special Representative for Global Intergovernmental Affairs Reta Jo Lewis will travel to Beijing October 17-21 to participate in and facilitate the second U.S.-China Governors Forum. This Forum serves as the reciprocal visit of U.S. governors to China as agreed to at the inaugural U.S.-China Governors Forum held July of this year in Utah. The U.S. delegation includes six governors representing: Georgia, Washington, North Carolina, Hawaii, Guam, and Northern Mariana Islands. The National Governors Association and the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries are jointly hosting this event, which will bring together U.S. governors and nine Chinese provincial leaders to discuss topics of mutual interest, including trade and investment, job creation, and economic development.
The Forum was established by a U.S.-China Memorandum of Understanding signed during President Hu Jintao’s visit to Washington in January 2011. The Memorandum of Understanding serves to strengthen cooperation at the subnational level by encouraging U.S. governors to visit China and Chinese provincial leaders to visit the United States; creating a better environment for realizing two-way business opportunities; increasing people-to-people exchanges; and establishing a more enduring relationship overall.
The United States and China have been cooperating at the subnational level for ten years through EcoPartnerships, university exchanges, and Sister-City and Sister-State relationships. The Governors Forum serves as a platform to promote peer-to-peer exchanges between U.S. state governors and Chinese provincial leaders. The Department of State envisions the Forum as merely one of a series of exchanges designed to facilitate greater people-to-people contact between our two countries. The goal of this reciprocal visit is to continue to foster direct interaction at the subnational level in order to promote economic growth; build on and expand existing cooperation by encouraging state and provincial leaders to share best practices; and formalize relationships between the leaders who are best placed to understand the economic, educational, and environmental needs of their respective states and provinces.
For press inquiries contact the Office of the Secretary’s Special Representative for Intergovernmental Affairs at GlobalInterGov@state.gov or call 202-647-7710.