In May, Chinese investors gathered in Omaha for two business meetings.
Titled “Legend and Beyond,” the Omaha Dialogue brought together approximately 100 Chinese and American investors in early May. Participants discussed investment strategies and stronger US-China business relations. In his speech, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts emphasized that China is one of the state’s fastest growing trading partners and invited business leaders to invest in the state. Chinese investment in the state totals $480 million since 2000, a number that Governor Ricketts hopes will increase in the future. The governor has traveled to China twice, speaking with ministry officials regarding beef exports in 2015 and leading a trade mission in 2016. During the 2016 trip, he and Shaanxi Governor Hu Heping formalized sister state relations between the two regions. The partnership led to the construction of Nebraska (Yangling) Agricultural Sci-tech Park, a demonstration farm that helps Nebraska agricultural manufacturers export to China by using Nebraska products and technology to improve Chinese agricultural methods.
On Saturday, many Chinese investors gathered to hear Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger, chairman and vice-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway respectively, speak at the company’s annual shareholder meeting. Buffett is widely popular in China, gracing the cover of limited edition Cherry Cokes in the country. To accommodate his Chinese followers, Mandarin was the only foreign language translation offered at the meeting. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – a subsidiary of Buffett’s company – teamed up with Juwai in March, allowing users of the Chinese portal to access HomeServices US real estate listings.
In addition, 20 Chinese business leaders – including members of the American Chamber of Commerce in China and the Chinese Embassy in the United States – who attended the shareholder meeting also received a tour of the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, which is opening this month. The center is sister institutions with Hubei Cancer Hospital and Tianjin Cancer Hospital, and the trio will jointly engage in research collaboration, tissue-bank sharing, and personnel exchanges. The University of Nebraska Medical Center, which houses the cancer center, has physical therapy partnerships with medical institutions in Shanghai, Nanjing, and Chengdu, and opened a satellite office in Shanghai in 2014.
Genna Liu is a research intern at the East-West Center in Washington and a government and economics student at Dartmouth College.