As the treasurer, John Chiang is involved in developing the state’s tech industry, and he has witnessed a great deal of cooperation between California and Guangdong.
“My job is like the state’s banker, so I finance lots of technology companies each year,” he said, “and I also sit in the CalPERS and CalSTRS where we have a lot of bonds, debt insurance and private equity to invest in tech corporations going forward.”
California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) are the two largest public-defined benefit plans in the U.S., respectively managing investment portfolios worth $330.2 billion and $198.7 billion.
John Chiang said a number of Chinese tech entrepreneurs have invested in California, especially in auto mobile\mobility technologies. “We provide financing and tax credits for companies that are producing electricor alternative vehicles, and we found some of the applicants are Chinese based,” he said.
In fact, BYD, one of the auto giants in Guangdong, announced earlier in July that they were building a factory in California and expected to start operations as of August, 2017. Once completed, the factory would be able to produce 1500 electrical vehicles per year and take care of the R&D into new electrical products.
A wider range of players should be included
Since the sister relationship was formed in 2008, the governments of Guangdong and California have paid various efforts to boost cooperation between both places.
Especially in the new energy powered vehicle sector, a batch of government delegates from California visited Guangdong in December last year, and organized a conference with partner related enterprises. However, John Chiang said there’s much more to learn from each other and many more opportunities to chase.
As Chiang has been running for California State Governor since last year in May, when asked what he would do to maintain the Guangdong-California sister relationship, he said we had to understand the potential in the small and mid level markets.
“You might have some phones that people are willing pay one thousand dollars for”, said Chiang, pointing to the iPhones on the table, “but no matter whether in California or Guangdong, people can’t always buy the newest and most expensive product. So companies producing the 200-dollar price point phones will have their own market share.”
“I want to make sure that it is not only companies who have the biggest resources that are able link up with the Guangdong market,”said Chiang, “governments working with the private sector need to do more to introduce the enterprises in Guangdong and California, so we can connect different brands, and increase the number of opportunities and size of the audience.”
John Chiang in the interview [Photo\ Newsgd.com]
Reported by Jasmine Yin
Edited by Simon Haywood & Olivia Ouyang