Dothan to Host First U.S.-China Manufacturing Symposium

MGN Online
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DOTHAN,AL---"Right place, right time, right people."

Chinese leaders say those are the three reasons they chose Dothan.

"Several cities qualified in fact the bigger cities qualified even quicker but what we want to show the Chinese enterprise is southern hospitality, we wanted to look for the small town feel as well," said CEO of SoZo Group Raymond Cheng.

In November Dothan will host more than 350 Chinese enterprises from China.

The goal is to bridge the gap between Chinese manufacturers, their counterparts in the U.S. and economic development agencies.

"What we'd like to encourage is both sides share a lot more dialogue, no more fear and let's just get down to business and create jobs," said Cheng.

"They're going to learn how to do business in the U.S., our laws, our culture, how they can invest here and what we're looking for," said Dothan Mayor Mike Schmitz.

The symposium is a collaborative effort between the Asian Manufacturing Association and the SoZo Group.

"It's going to be an incredible international event, we're going to have folks from washington coming down to speak, ambassadors," said Mayor Schmitz.

Mayor Schmitz says the two day event has the potential to bring new businesses and jobs to the area.

"It starts with relationships, we know that if we can get them here we can sell them in our community, said Mayor Schmitz, we sell them in our community, they will invest here and hire our people."

Mayor Schmitz says he's not sure where the events will take place but word is the Civic Center and Opera House are strong possibilities.

Two other cities will also play a part in making the event successful.

The Chinese enterprises will visit and look into industries in Thomasville and Monroeville as well.

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