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Delegation from China set to discuss Galt industrial center

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Posted: Thursday, July 5, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 6:08 am, Thu Jul 5, 2012.

A group from China will start face-to-face discussions about possibly opening an industrial center in Galt when its delegates sit down at Brewster's restaurant today.

That is only part of the plans as the Galt District Chamber of Commerce and the Lodi District Chamber of Commerce welcome six delegates from the Beibu Gulf Investment Group Corporation. It is a large-scale, state-owned enterprise which manages more than $3.5 billion in infrastructure-related assets in Guangxi, China, according to spokesman Kevin Liu, who lives in the Bay Area.

The six-person delegation will be in Lodi and Galt today and Friday.

The primary purpose of their visit is to explore international trade of U.S. agricultural products, which include wine, tree nuts, dry fruit and dairy products. They will also be reviewing local highway construction and rest area design, and possible commercial real estate development, according to a press release.

Members plan to visit local wineries whose owners would be interested in their international wine trade center, which is located in the Qinzhou free trade port area. In addition, they also would like to meet local representatives of tree nuts and dairy products.

"Lodi's reputation for being a world-class winegrape growing region that produces ultra-high quality wine at a reasonable price continues to attract interested parties from around the world. The Lodi Chamber's investment in the China market has proven to be a very wise decision," Pat Patrick, Lodi's chamber of commerce president and chief executive officer, said in a written statement.

"This delegation's decision to visit our region is another validation that we are on the right track."

After speaking with Frank Gayaldo, the new executive director of the Galt District Chamber of Commerce, the delegation's interest now also includes touring Galt's strategically located light industrial area nestled between two major highways and near the San Joaquin Delta waterway.

"While it is much too early to implement a logistics and fulfillment center geared for handling U.S. exports to China, certainly it is never too early to begin the discussion," Liu said.

Gayaldo, too, said he is interested in what the Chinese trade delegation can do for the Lodi-Galt region.

"What I think we can already all agree upon is that dramatically increasing U.S. exports to reset our unsustainable trade imbalance with China will help create much-needed jobs here in the United States, and can greatly benefit China, too," Gayaldo said.

"We already know California can supply China with the world's finest wines, nuts, fruits and milk products; we now look forward to learning firsthand about what our honored and esteemed guests from Guangxi can bring to the table. I am quite confident they will find Brewster's in Galt's lovely Old Town to be a delicious and beautiful venue to begin such an important conversation."

The group will also be meeting with Galt representatives including Leanne McFaddin, who represents both the chamber and the Planning Commission.

Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at jenniferb@lodinews.com.

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