Chinese delegation visits Morgantown
Several months ago a group from Morgantown traveled to Washington, D.C. to visit the Chinese Embassy. Mayor Billy Phelps, Dr. Richard T. Wan, Greg Drake, and Kathern Jennings met with the Economic and Commercial Minister Counselor Tian Deyou and invited him to Morgantown. That invitation resulted in a visit this week by the Chinese delegation. Deyou was accompanied by Chen Yong, Qian Bin and Huang Jie, secretaries to the minister.
The delegation arrived in Louisville on Monday, traveled with Mayor Phelps, Judge-Executive David Fields, Dr. Richard Wan, Kathern Jennings, Greg Drake, and Dewayne McKInney on Tuesday to Frankfort, Lexington, and Bowling Green. Wednesday started with a visit to Western Kentucky University and a meeting with Dr. Gary Ransdell and leadership of the Confucius Institute. The group then headed to Morgantown.
Dwayne Wilson showed the delegation a timber site.
The delegation had requested to visit a variety of businesses. They left Morgantown City Hall and headed to a timber yard. The group visited with Dwayne Wilson, however, rain cut the visit short.
After lunch at the Farm Boy, the group visited Darren Rice’s farm, the Butler County Courthouse, Butler County High School, and Butler County Area Technology Center. The delegation visited Rone Trucking and Ingram Brothers Trucking.
On Wednesday evening several local business owners and government officials attended an appreciation dinner at the Eva J. Hawes Building to welcome the delegation to Morgantown. Greg Drake served as emcee for the evening.
A video presentation highlighting Morgantown’s economic advantages was shown, featuring businesses and industrial companies.
Dr. Richard Wan welcomed everyone and described himself as a little boy from China who found a home in Morgantown.
Mayor Phelps introduced several members of the community to the Chinese delegation.
“The dinner was an opportunity for our community to welcome the delegation and show them we are interested in building a relationship with the Republic of China,” said Phelps.
“This visit has been an opportunity for us to showcase our community,” added Judge David Fields.
Kathern Jennings, of the Entrepreneur Program, thanked everyone who made this visit possible and Dr. Wan for arranging their first visit.
“We have enjoyed our last two days; we would love to have you in Morgantown and we are open for business,” said Jennings. "We hope we have been able to show you why we think Morgantown and Butler County is a great place."
Minister Counselor Tian Deyou, then addressed the group. He spoke of the ways China is transforming to a market economy.
“This visit has been very informative; we wanted to see what happens here and what we can do together,” said Deyou.
According to Deyou, he cannot promise to put money here (Morgantown) but he can make sure Chinese investors know about Morgantown and Butler County.
In closing Greg Drake said, “Tonight is a true example that there is nothing we can’t do if we all work together.”