"Guangzhou and Los Angeles have had a sister city partnership for 37 years and the exchanges between the two are fruitful," said Fredrick W. Hong, a Chinese American lawyer and former president of the Los Angeles-Guangzhou Sister City Association (LAGSCA) in an interview with Guangzhou Daily.
He recollected the exchanges and cooperation between the two cities in culture and trade and gave thumbs up to the fruitful results brought by reform and opening-up.
He said that the reform and opening-up was a catalyst for the partnership between Guangzhou and Los Angeles. In the social context of the 1980s, many Chinese enterprises sought business cooperation with their American counterparts, and LAGSCA served as a platform from which Chinese delegations could attract investments from overseas.
From a cultural perspective, what impressed Fredrick most is that the association helped get a $300,000 donation from the International Baseball Federation in 1990. The money was used to build a baseball stadium in Guangzhou as an eloquent testimony to the friendship of the two cities.
In the early 1990s, China's service sector was expanding quickly. Fredrick saw the business potential and decided to open a branch of his law firm in China.
"The reason why I chose Guangzhou is that the city has an attractive business environment," he said.
Many foreign-funded companies like Amway and Nike set up factories in Guangzhou, which gave rise to a demand for legal services for multinational companies. Also, thanks to his experience in LAGSCA, he built up an extensive network which was good for his law firm business.
In Fredrick's opinion, with the deepening of reform and opening up, China's law system is becoming more viable and fairer. He suggested that the Los Angeles-Guangzhou partnership should extend to cover the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area to benefit more people. He added that the platform will facilitate cooperation in many areas including artificial intelligence, new energy, advanced manufacturing, finance, environmental protection, cultural tourism and the film and television industries.
Fredrick W. Hong, former president of the Los Angeles-Guangzhou Sister City Association (LAGSCA), shares his opinions on sister city cooperation. [Photo/Guangzhou Daily]
Copyright © Foreign Affairs Office of Guangzhou Municipal Government,
Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of Guangzhou Municipal Government All rights reserved.
Presented by China Daily.