The City of Robstown welcomed a delegation visiting from the Chinese city of Yuhang last week, a first for the representatives of Robstown's sister city.
The Yuhang delegation was in town March 3 to meet with Robstown city officials regarding Robstown's infrastructure and processes. Robstown has a "sister city" agreement with the Yuhang province that allows each city to promote the other to potential businesses for future investments.
Mayor Rodrigo Ramon Jr. said the forum allowed the Chinese officials to better understand how local government operates and promotes businesses. The information, he added, would make it easier for the delegation to inform potential overseas investors about the opportunities present in Robstown for economic development.
"As long as we stick together for one purpose, and that purpose is…for a better Robstown, then we will succeed and move things forward," Ramon said.
The city signed its sister city agreement with Yuhang in January 2010, and the delegation was supposed to have visited Robstown within a year of the signing. However, that trip was delayed until recently due to visa issues that have since been resolved, Ramon said.
Also present at last week's forum was former District 27 U.S. Rep. Solomon P. Ortiz. Ortiz has been credited by Robstown city officials for the amount of interest shown by numerous Chinese investors, including some who have visited the area, over the past year.
However, Ortiz said the credit belongs with the city for the work it has done to promote his hometown.
"These guys have laid the groundwork for not only the City of Robstown, but also for the area in general," Ortiz said. "They have done a good job in going (to China) and telling them about the opportunities here."
Despite being out of office, Ortiz said he hopes to see foreign investment take hold in Robstown. However, his involvement will be limited to an advisory capacity, rather than as a paid consultant.
"I just meet with them when I have a chance," Ortiz said. "I don't want to get tied up with anything right now."
The Chinese delegation toured the city after last week's forum, visiting the sites of the proposed inland port and outlet mall projects.
Weng Jianchang, a legal advisor with the Yuhang District People's Government, said he was impressed with what he had seen in his first visit to Robstown.
"We have seen that the people here are very, very friendly to us," he said. "(Future) development has very great potential."