Mayor Ed Murray announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Seattle and the City of Hangzhou to support the promotion of technology and innovation, e-commerce, trade, economic development and life sciences.
The agreement between Seattle and Hangzhou will help companies like Amazon expand business opportunities in Hangzhou and other cities in China. It was announced during a trade mission by a delegation of Seattle-area businesses and representatives from the Washington State China Relations Council to Hangzhou.
“The Cities of Hangzhou and Seattle have evolved into global technology hubs and are home to the world’s leading e-commerce companies,” Murray said. “Through this agreement, we can focus on our shared interests and create new opportunities for economic growth and innovation that benefit both of our cities.”
Today’s agreement is one of several announced during Murray’s five-day trade mission to China. Murray was joined in Hangzhou by representatives from Amazon, Blue Nile, Costco, and the University of Washington. The visit to Hangzhou was organized by the Washington State China Relations Council. Photos of today’s signing ceremony are available here.
“These agreements not only create new economic opportunities but also strong bonds between people in both cities,” said Kristi Heim, president of the Washington State China Relations Council. “This visit to Hangzhou has raised the profile of Seattle as a leading center for innovation with great companies and institutions. We are thrilled to support this new channel for cross-border business and city-to-city collaboration.”
The trade mission is part of an ongoing effort to encourage more foreign direct investment in Seattle, expand economic opportunities for local companies, and establish international partnerships. Murray also joined the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce for visits to the cities of Shenzhen and Hong Kong. In Shenzhen, Murray and delegation members met with government officials and business representatives during a Seattle Day Forum. Highlights include:
- China Vanke Co. announced its first investment in Seattle: Vanke, China’s largest real-estate developer, announced a partnership with developer Laconia on a 43-story tower planned for construction at 600 Wall Street.
- Agreement with City of Shenzhen on medical research: Murray and Seattle trade representatives met with their Chinese counterparts in the City of Shenzhen, culminating in the signing of collaborative biomedical research agreements between the City of Seattle and Shenzhen and the University of Washington and genomics firm BGI.
- Xiamen Airlines to offer direct service between Seattle and Shenzhen: The City of Seattle, Port of Seattle and the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce announced the first U.S. service by China’s Xiamen (pronounced sha’-mun) Airlines for direct connections to Xiamen and Shenzhen with Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, beginning September 26, 2016.