OK-SAFE, Inc. Blog

October 7, 2011

“The New Oklahoma Economy – Global, Social, Sustainable, Strategic” – Notes on Oct. 2011 Meeting

OK-SAFE, Inc.

Oklahoma’s Economic Development Council (OEDC) recently held its’ annual summit, October 3-4, 2011, in Norman, OK.

The title of this year’s summit was “The New Oklahoma Economy – Global, Social, Sustainable, Strategic” and, as the title suggests, our “betters” are planning the future for the rest of us.

In a nutshell – the new economy is:

  • Global – The increased utilization of multinational corporations – and foreign direct investment – to further develop a ‘knowledge-based economy’;
  • Social – Both the business and government sectors will be increasing their utilization of social media -Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter –  to market their products and to further the ideas of sustainable development.  Social media are used as data aggregation tools;
  • Sustainable – Passive technology based jobs (i.e. Green Energy/Clean Energy).  Only a few will qualify for the higher-paid positions, while the rest of the population will operate in support positions, i.e. service industries;
  • Strategic  – Meaning public/private partnerships, now called strategic alliances.  Generally, these are 3-way partnerships between an anchor business, academia, and the government.  The anchor will generally be a multinational corporation “for the big projects”.

The OEDC has posted all the speakers presentations on their website (here.)

One notable quote came from Erika Lucas, Global Business Services at the OK Department of Commerce when she responded to a question from the audience about trade policies and lost American jobs.

Lucas responded, “Something else to add, when you look at the portfolio of jobs that have gone to China, Mexico, you have to really ask the question of whether we want those jobs back. Okay, we’re talking advanced manufacturing. I mean, what jobs, look at the portfolios of the jobs that have left, and more than likely those were not high paid jobs, especially those that went to China.  Now I’m not saying that all of them were not, but, you know,  I do hear a lot of, you know, oh, workers investments, a lot of the jobs are coming back from China, but are they the right type of jubs we’re hunting for? In my opinion, they’re not.”

In response to the question “Is the Department of Commerce actively pursuing foreign direct investment by China?” Lucas answered, “We’re open for investments from any country…. there is a lot of interest from the Chinese to bring investment in this country…we have a trade office in China for FDI….So, the answer would be yes, we are looking at it. It is not our primary market.”

More notes on the Summit to follow shortly.

September 2, 2011

China/Indiana: Trade Marriage to Hit New Heights – China Daily News

The article below, dated Sept. 2, 2011, is from the China Daily USA news site about Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels’ latest deal with the Chinese.

Daniels recently attended the National Governors Association (NGA) meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah July 13-17, 2011 which included the first-ever U.S.-China Governors Forum.  The purpose of the Governors Forum was to increase cooperation between the U.S. and China at the sub-national level.

Looks like Mitch took the meeting to heart.

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Trade marriage to hit new heights

2011-09-02

By Ariel Tung (China Daily)

“Firms in Indiana, Zhejiang look to create jobs through biz deals

Their landmasses are very similar. Manufacturing dominates each region. Each is economically invested in what the other region produces.

The connections between the state of Indiana and Zhejiang province, which established ties as sister states in 1987, are already numerous, but in the next few years, leaders from both regions say they are planning to further cement economic ties.

“Indiana is very excited and proud of the significant flow of the Chinese investments that have only begun in our state. We hope Chinese investments will continue to rise sharply in our state,” says Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels.

China is Indiana’s fastest-growing export market. According to a report from the US-China Business Council, the state’s exports to China in the last 10 years have grown a hefty 554 percent, while the state’s exports to all other countries have grown by 81 percent.

Daniels says China has contributed at least five significant job-creating investments to the state in the last few years in sectors ranging from manufacturing to automotive to agriculture and furniture.

China’s investments across many sectors of Indiana reflect the nation’s growing investments across the United States. A recent study by the Asia Society in New York estimates that China could potentially invest almost $2 trillion overseas in the next 10 years with a great portion of that heading to the US.

When Daniels first took office in 2005, he made job creation his top priority. He created the public-private Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) to replace a failing state bureaucracy in attracting new jobs. In 2008, CNBC named Indiana as the most improved state for business in the nation.

As a result of his efforts, Indiana’s cemented relationship with Zhejiang province has brought Chinese businesses to the Hoosier state, such as Wanxiang Group Corp and Anji Yuankai Furniture Co.

Zhejiang, located on the east coast of China, is known for its thriving private sector. Daniels says he wants to concentrate on attracting the province’s investments. He has visited Zhejiang twice in the last two years with other Indiana officials and business executives.”   Rest of China Daily article here.

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