Issue: 919 Date: 4/3/2008
 Blunt, Slay, Dooley Sign Aviation Agreement with China to Consider St. Louis as Hub for New Trade Route


       Blunt, Slay, Dooley Sign Aviation Agreement with China to Consider St. Louis as Hub for New Trade Route州長、市長、郡長與中國民航簽署聖路易有望成為中國民航及貨運空港

      BEIJING - Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley have signed an agreement with Wang Changshun, Vice Minister of General Administration of Civil Aviation of China, to promote a new St. Louis-to-China trade route and passenger link.

        The memorandum of understanding is an agreement between the Civil Aviation Administration of China and the State of Missouri, the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County, Missouri and the St. Louis Airport Authority. The document was signed following meetings with Chinese officials and Blunt, Slay, Dooley and U.S. Senators Kit Bond and Claire McCaskill. It is the second agreement signed by Missouri and Chinese officials as part of this bipartisan trade mission.

        "This has been a highly successful trade mission and we have made significant progress in promoting the benefits of creating a new trade route between St. Louis and China," Gov. Matt Blunt said. "In order to remain competitive in the global economy, we must aggressively pursue opportunities like this one to create jobs for our workers, new markets for our products and economic growth for our state."

        "Our goal here is to create two-way trade with the Chinese and good jobs for St. Louians," said St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay. "I could not be more pleased with this agreement. It raises the prospect that Lambert could be not only a freight hub but a passenger hub for the Chinese. We really couldn't ask for anything more."

        "We are extremely pleased with the details of the memorandum of understanding and I know our entire Missouri delegation believes that it signals a very encouraging trend with our friends here in China," said St. Louis County Executive Charlie A. Dooley.

        "The City of St. Louis is known as the Gateway to the American West and we believe it can one day become known as the Gateway to the East, especially China," said U.S. Senator Kit Bond. "This historic agreement will mean jobs for Missouri workers and the start of an important and strategic relationship between the city of St. Louis and China."

        "Our bipartisan Missouri delegation has worked together during this trip in an effort to create jobs for Missourians and to make a sincere attempt to correct the trade imbalance between the U.S. and China," said U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill. "We are optimistic that our efforts will pay off for our state and the Midwest region."

        The RCGA's Fleming said: "This is an exciting agreement. We are pleased that the Chinese aviation leaders have agreed to do a joint assessment with the State of Missouri and the RCGA of the feasibility of establishing an air freight hub at Lambert Field. Increasing imports and exports -- especially exports -- to China through the St. Louis area would lead to a significant expansion of jobs and economic development here. The RCGA could not be more pleased with what our bipartisan delegation has achieved."

        The memorandum of understanding states there is agreement among officials that given St. Louis' location at the center of the U.S., Lambert-St. Louis International Airport can become a potential center for Chinese airfreight and passenger flights.

        The agreement includes a joint study to assess the potential of Lambert becoming a Chinese airfreight and passenger hub, and the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County becoming a commercial base for expanded two-way trade, exchanges and investments between China andMissouri and the Midwest region. A joint group will be established to conduct the study which is to be completed within six months.

        As part of the agreement, a joint delegation composed of Air China Cargo and relevant departments of the Civil Aviation Administration of China will visit Missouri to examine the potential of achieving these objectives.

        Gov. Blunt also signed an agreement with the Investment Promotion Agency and the Trade Development Bureau to lay the groundwork for making St. Louis a possible transportation hub for trade with China.

        Participants in the trade mission to China include Gov. Matt Blunt, U.S. Senators Kit Bond and Claire McCaskill, U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan; St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay; St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley; and former Mo. Gov. Bob Holden who serves as the Vice Chairman of the Midwest U.S.-China Association and was invited by Gov. Blunt. Business leaders include Richard C. D. Fleming, president and CEO of the St. Louis Regional Chamber & Growth Association (RCGA); David L. Steward, chairman and CEO of World Wide Technology; and executives with Pfizer, Peabody Energy, Unigroup, McEagle Properties, the World Trade Center St. Louis, and Lambert St. Louis International Airport.

        The trade mission is a follow-up to the visit to St. Louis last February of Zhou Wenzhong, China's Ambassador to the United States. That visit, the first by a Chinese ambassador to St. Louis in memory, resulted from an invitation by the two Senators and was hosted by the RCGA. During his two days here, Mr. Zhou received briefings on the area's transportation assets and from executives at such companies and organizations as Monsanto, Pfizer, Bunge North America, Washington University, Webster University, the University of Missouri, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, the Danforth Plant Science Center, and others.

          3月23日至28日,由密蘇里州美國聯邦參議員Kit Bond, Claire McCaskill率領,不分黨派,為數26人之密蘇里州、聖路易市、 郡政商、政要訪華團在為期一周的訪問中,達成聖路易林白機場作為中國民航和空運空港(Hub)之協議,為密蘇里州與中國無論在友誼聯系、經貿發展、運輸合作、文化交流等方面,向前踏出歷史性的一大步。



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