In an attempt to reach a booming market, the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce has set up an economic-development website — in Mandarin Chinese.
Ray Denny, the chamber’s vice president for economic development, told Xpress that business connections to China are on the rise.
“It’s not just buying products, it’s companies outsourcing selected components to China, for example, and doing final assembly here,” Denny said. “The Web site is a tiny signal that we welcome productively engaging in two-way trade relationships.”
He mentioned Conrad Industries and AB Emblem as two companies with connections both to Asheville and China, adding that Dave Million, the head of the local Volvo plant, would soon be going to take charge of a factory in China.
“It’s a small step, but you’re increasingly seeing companies operate on that global level,” Denny said. “We don’t expect Asheville to have an office in Hong Kong anytime soon, like the state of North Carolina does, but opportunities could come through the state or AdvantageWest [the regional economic-development commission].”
The Web site can also be reached through the economic-development page on the chamber’s English-language Web site.
— David Forbes, staff writer