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San Francisco businesses confident of China's economic prospects Release date: 2020-02-20    Source:Xinhua


The U.S. business community in San Francisco is optimistic about China's long-term economic prospects despite a temporary impact of the novel coronavirus outbreak in the country, business leaders have said.

The current novel coronavirus epidemic in China is disrupting some air and train services in the country, but the Chinese government is able to overcome the challenge in the long run, Del Christensen, chief of Global Business Development for the Bay Area Council (BAC) in San Francisco, told Xinhua.

"I'm confident that eventually they're gonna find a cure and they're going to figure out how to fight this terrible disease, so it's only a matter of time," Christensen said Monday evening when BAC, a non-profit group that promotes economic growth in the San Francisco Bay Area, was holding its celebration of Chinese Lunar New Year of the Rat.

The fact that the virus outbreak has halted some flights between China and the United States has shown that a connection from China to the Bay Area of California and the United States is going to be even more important, as it would give American companies access to the Chinese market in the future, he explained.

Compared with the epidemic in China, "I'm more concerned about the trade war (between China and the United States), to be honest, and I would like to have these markets open. I'd like to be selling California products to China," he said.

He hoped the trade tension between the two sides would "die down soon" so that Chinese investors could be brought into the Bay Area and California.

BAC president and CEO Jim Wunderman, who hosted the special event, hailed the council's 10th annual celebration of the lunar Chinese New Year as "a phenomenal experience" as BAC's link with China has grown a lot in the past decade.

He said the council has helped lots of home-grown American companies find business opportunities in China, citing its leading role in bringing those companies to the China International Import Expo (CIIE) held in Shanghai last year.

John Robins, project manager of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, which has a global office in the Silicon Valley, said he saw with much optimism the growing business opportunities in China.

"We see the innovation that is happening in China, it is expanding by leaps and bounds, and there is new technologies coming out from there," he said.

The coronavirus outbreak in China is not going to have a huge negative impact on the country's long-term development, he said.

"There are people who are scared and anxious, but I don't think that in the long term that disease will have a major impact on the economy itself in China," he said.

George Lee, president and CEO of Orient Bank Corporation, a San Francisco-based private bank, said the financial group has a subsidiary in the southeastern Chinese city of Xiamen, and the virus epidemic is having a very limited impact on China's economy.

The Chinese government has done a superb job in containing the spread of the infectious disease, he said.

"No other countries except China in the world can build two large hospitals in just 10 days," he said. "It's really wonderful to see both the central government and local governments in China are working closely to fight together when a major disaster like the coronavirus emerges."