The Wichita EcoPartnership delegation led by Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer and state Sen. Carolyn McGinn, R-Sedgwick, got a glimpse of the aviation industry in China during a visit to the Airport Park of the Chinese city of Wuxi on Monday.
The seven-member delegation represents the Wichita EcoPartnership Task Force, co-chaired by Mayor Brewer and Sen. McGinn. The delegation visit is sponsored through a federal grant secured by the KWTC on behalf of the EcoPartnership. The KWTC has been designated by the City of Wichita as the project manager for the EcoPartnership.
China’s aviation industry offers both a huge opportunity and intense competition for the United States, Mayor Brewer reported. Aviation is a national priority for China, and Wichita’s aviation cluster will need to decide how it interacts with China, he said.
“This isn’t just about airplanes,” the Mayor said. “It’s also about aircraft parts, service and maintenance, charter services, airport equipment, pilot training and other subcategories of the aviation industry.”
The delegation’s schedule on Sunday included a dinner with Wuxi Mayor Mao Xioaping and an exchange of ideas and gifts. The two mayors discussed common areas of interest regarding environmental and economic issues.
Other members of the delegation Michael White, chief of staff to the Kansas Senate President; Allen Bell, City of Wichita director of urban development; Chengiun Wei, president of the Kansas City Chinese American Association; Karyn Page, president of the Kansas World Trade Center (KWTC), and Jorge Roldan, KWTC Director of Trade Relations.
The EcoPartnership was formed in December 2008 when KWTC President Page traveled to China on behalf of the City of Wichita to sign an agreement with the City of Wuxi. A Wuxi delegation visited Wichita the following August and the two cities signed a Letter of Intent to formalize the relationship.
The Wichita EcoPartnership is one of several across the country that are intended to link like-minded communities and organizations in the United States and China. They are intended to advance the energy security, economic growth and environmental sustainability of both partners. The program was begun by the U.S. Department of Commerce under the Bush administration and is currently administered by the U.S. Department of State.
The delegation returns to Wichita late Wednesday.
Media interview opportunities with Mayor Brewer and Sen. McGinn can be scheduled upon the delegation’s return. During the course of the trip, media inquiries should be directed to Karyn Page at firstname.lastname@example.org