|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||MEDIA INQUIRIES:
Thomas R. Hardy
USTDA PROMOTES PARTNERSHIPS WITH CHINA IN SEARCH AND RESCUE CAPABITLITIES
AND AGRICULTURE BIOTECHNOLOGY
BEIJING, CHINA (April 14, 2009) – USTDA has launched two new programs in China designed to enhance bilateral relations, spur economic development and create commercial opportunities for U.S. firms and jobs for U.S. workers. The activities involve partnerships in strengthening China's emergency search and rescue capabilities and broadening the understanding of agricultural biotechnology. Together, these activities build upon USTDA's support for development projects in China that have generated over $3 billion in U.S.-manufactured goods and service exports in sectors such as clean energy and the environment, transportation and ICT since 2001.
In response to China's request for emergency management response assistance following the devastating earthquakes in the Sichuan region, USTDA Acting Director Leocadia I. Zak and Vice Minister Xu Zuyuan witnessed an agreement on April 10, 2009, awarding a $232,340 grant to the Bureau of Rescue and Salvage within China's Ministry of Transportation. The grant will fund training in basic and advanced helicopter hoist operations and surface water rescue in order to better prepare China's first responders who are on the front lines of saving lives in China. The training will be conducted on U.S.-manufactured helicopters owned by Ministry of Transportation. The Bureau of Rescue and Salvage has selected SRT Helicopters of Bakersfield, California to provide the training. In addition to the USTDA grant, SRT Helicopters will contribute additional resources toward the completion of the program. USTDA Policy and Program Director Geoffrey Jackson and Bureau of Rescue and Salvage Director Captain Song Jiahui signed the grant agreement on behalf of the U.S. and Chinese governments, respectively.
In addition, building on past success, Acting Director Zak and Vice Minister Zhang Taolin witnessed a Memorandum of Understanding on April 10, 2009, stating USTDA's intention to fund a third phase of a highly successful program for Chinese agriculture policy makers, regulators and scientists. The program will include training on low-level presence, the Cartagena Protocol, and stacked event regulation in the biotechnology field. In addition, the program will support detailed training on biotechnology for Chinese scientists through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Norman E. Borlaug International Agricultural Science and Technology Fellows Program. USTDA Policy and Program Director Jackson and the Director General of the Science and Technology Department at the Ministry of Agriculture, Bai Jinming, signed the MOU on behalf of the U.S. and Chinese governments, respectively.
USTDA funding for previous phases of the biotechnology program contributed to China's decision in 2004 to issue safety certificates for genetically modified soybeans, which facilitated approximately $1 billion in exports of U.S. grown soybeans. In addition, in 2008, based on the success of additional training programs, China issued an acceptance of a new soy variety (RR2Y), the approval of which helped to prevent trade disruptions and opened China to greater agricultural exports.
The opportunity to submit proposals for the agriculture biotechnology program will be competed on the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website. A link to the FBO posting will be available on USTDA's website at www.ustda.gov.
The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, early investment analysis, training, reverse trade missions and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair, open trading environment. USTDA's strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development. In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and services.
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