In Arlington, Friday was big. A big venue – Cowboys Stadium – where some big names were hosted – Governors Rick Perry of Texas, Rick Scott of Florida, Scott Walker of Wisconsin – and a Chinese delegation looking to make big investments.
They were in town for the U.S. Chinese Investment Week – a nine day, six city tour through the U.S. to highlight potential business opportunities for 50 Chinese investors.
While Governor Perry touted Texas as a job creating giant and the state to do business in the U.S., business vendors set up at the stadium included everything from real estate to bio-technology.
Todd Muderlak was one of those vendors hoping to attract foreign investment to his technology firm Xela Innovations. For Muderlak, DFW is a great place to do business.
“It's a very easy location for us to meet. It's easy to get to. A lot of our clients are in the Dallas Fort Worth area,” said Muderlak.
In the center of that area sits Arlington. In recent years the city has increasingly pursued business around the globe.
“We're becoming more aware of these opportunities. We have a lot of interaction already at the university level, at the business level, people going back and forth to China because there is so much economic opportunity over there,” said Bruce Payne, Economic Development Manager for the city of Arlington.
One thing that Chinese investors look for that Arlington has is proof that it can handle big time investments, from the Rangers Ballpark and Cowboys Stadium, to proven brand names like the Sheraton hotel and General Motors.
“Arlington is a great success story,” said Michael Zolandz, with SNR Denton, a firm representing Chinese investors. “It's obviously attractive in that way given the high profile and big developments to attract foreign investments. Foreign investors, particularly the Chinese, like to see mature markets, they like to see success and they like to invest with people they know and can trust.”