HOUSTON, April 27 — Chinese Consul General in Houston Gao Yanping and Texas Governor Rick Perry on Tuesday jointly hosted a celebration for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.
The Shanghai World Expo, to open in three days, will be a most grand international event held in China after the Beijing Olympic Games, Gao told some 200 guests at the celebration.
With the participation of 192 countries and regions, 50 international organizations and about 7 million visitors, the event will set a number of records in the Expo history, including being the first World Expo held in a developing country and the most popular World Expo in terms of the number of attending countries and regions, said Gao.
Gao extended a warm welcome to a Texas delegation, to be headed by Perry, to the Shanghai Expo, and wished the Texas Week event at the US Pavilion during the expo a great success.
Highlighting the importance of China-Texas trade ties, Gao said Texas' exports to China reached US$ 8.91 billion last year, ranking third in the 50 US states and almost 10 times the volume of US$ 900 million in 1999.
Big companies in Texas are investing in China, while nearly 100 Chinese enterprises have also set up branch offices in the US state, according to Gao.
Perry also stressed the importance of trade ties between Texas and China. In 2009, nearly US$ 16-billion worth of goods from China entered the US through Texas ports.
Perry said he was delighted at the prospect of paying a visit to China for the first time and that besides attending the Expo, he will also meet with Chinese business people to seek cooperation.
Chinese NBA star Yao Ming, the image ambassador of the Shanghai expo, made a short speech at the celebration, inviting American friends to attend the "amazing" Shanghai Expo. (PNA/Xinhua) vcs/utb