Dothan, AL - Next year’s symposium and Monday’s preview wouldn’t be possible without the groundwork by three southern mayors and circuit court judge.
As part of last month’s trip Dothan Mayor Mike Schmitz, Thomasville Mayor Sheldon Day, Monroe County Circuit Court Judge Greg Norris, and Huntersville, North Carolina Mayor Jill Swain visited six major cities.
Their goal was to build relationships and encourage business leaders to attend the upcoming symposium.
“Often you see some mayors go to a foreign country and they have a lot of photo ops, but we actually connected with people. What an incredible opportunity to do that,” said Swain.
While that trip could lead to future business deals, Schmitz said what comes next is equally as important.
“If we have 500 companies come to our community, and we don’t show up, we don’t interact with them, we’re going to lose the whole reason why we’re doing it. Hopefully what will happen is from today our region will see what’s going on and understand better the U.S. - China relationship and why they’ll invest in our state and our country.
The SOZO Group estimates more than 300 Chinese businesses will be in Dothan next year for the three-day symposium.
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley has also committed to attend next year's event.