Huntsman Post

Major conference draws governors, senators and presidents to USU campus

By Connor Child

Utah wants to be recognized as a premier global business destination and that vision is steadily becoming a reality.

At least, that’s how Gov. Gary Herbert described it when he spoke at a recent three-day U.S. & China Trade, Culture & Education Conference that was hosted on the second day by Utah State University.

His remarks were heard by dozens of leaders in government, business and academia from the United States and China. The conference, which started on July 14, focused on how to develop better business relationships between Utah and China. Some of the most notable attendees included Chinese Communist Party Secretary Zhao Hongzhu and the governors of three Chinese provinces. 

The presence of the four Chinese leaders was historic, according to the president and CEO of the World Trade Center Utah, Lew Cramer.  He said the Chinese governors represented more than 178 million people in the People’s Republic of China.

Gov. Gary Herbert gives the keynote address at Little America Hotel

“In Utah, in 1869, east and west came together, connecting two railroads which connected the continent . . .” Mr. Cramer said. “On July 14, 2011, we are again joining east and west – historically bringing Utah and China together.”

After spending the first day in Salt Lake City, Utah, the conference moved north to USU. Former Sen. Bob Bennett gave the keynote address, and he emphasized the importance of developing a productive relationship between the U.S. and China.

“What we must recognize is that with the end of the Cold War there are no boundaries in the world anymore,”  Mr. Bennett said. “We must be open to cooperation and commerce and opportunity in agriculture, industry and information.”

Throughout the conference, attendees had the option of going to a variety of seminars that primarily focused on how to do business in Utah and the United States. One of the presenters was John Johnson, MIS Department head and professor at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, who gave a presentation about social media.

Another speaker at the conference was USU president Stan Albrecht, who expressed his gratitude for the university's close relationship with China.

"Utah State University has many partnerships with China and with Chinese universities, and we are very proud and very grateful to have those relationships and we look forward to opportunities to extend those ... " he said. "You will find at Utah State University increasing opportunities for collaboration and for partnerships."

Liz Allred, program director of Global Enrichment at the Huntsman School of Business, said the conference’s theme exemplified the Huntsman School’s goal of developing globally aware students.

“It is critical for Huntsman students to understand the dynamics of China, the world’s second largest economy,” Ms. Allred said. “What China does affects all of us, and we need to remain informed and prepared if we want to be effective in our dealings with such a dynamic marketplace.”

USU offers a degree in international economics at three locations in China. More than 900 students are enrolled in this program. Additionally, Huntsman School of Business students have the opportunity to study abroad in China with the Asia Summer Program. Those interested in more information and program dates may click here.