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Volume 5, Issue 1

January 2009

City of Houston Inbound Trade Delegations

Mayor Bill White December 1--Mayor White met with the Governor of Nuevo Leon, the Honorable Jose Natividad González Parás. In appreciation for his leadership, Mayor White presented him with an honorary Houstonian certificate. In 2007, Governor Gonzalez Paras had hosted Mayor White and a business / government delegation in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon. Council Member M.J. Khan December 16 & 18 -- Council Member Khan met and warmly welcomed the two newest members of Houston's 89-member consular corps: The Honorable Yousef Ali Yousef Al-Khater, Consul General of Qatar (L), and The Honorable Sanjiv Arora, Consul General of India (R). Mayor's Office of International Affairs and Development December 14, 15 & 19 -- The Mayor's Office of International Affairs and Development (MOIAD) welcomed three high level delegations from the cities of Nanjing and Beijing, China The delegation from Nanjing's stop in Houston was part of a larger study tour of U.S. organizations, investigating policies directed towards human resources and employee management. The delegation also met with BMC Software, Rice University, City of Houston Human Resources and the U.S. Social Security office in Houston. MOIAD also met with corporate representatives of SINOPEC, from Beijing, to explore further cooperation with Houston. SINOPEC is a strategic partner of Houston.

Mayor's International Affairs & Development Councils (MIADC)

MIADC Americas December 10 -- The Council met to propose three new projects: hosting two culture / community events, and compiling a comprehensive promotional document focused on attracting investors. It also confirmed Mr. Henry Moseley as a new member. MIADC Asia / Australia December 13 -- The Council met to discuss issuing a statement of support for the opening of a Consulate General of Vietnam in Houston. Members agreed that the memo's wording would also note the strong feelings and concerns of the local Vietnamese American Community. MIADC Executive Board December 19 -- The chairs of each of the seven MIADC regions met to issue a letter to Foreign Policy magazine, highlighting Houston's strong claim to recognition as a first-rate international city. The Council also met with Mr. Manuel Delgado to discuss the ongoing efforts for Houston to host the 2020 World Expo.


Special Reports

This month, we are proud to share with you the following international event summaries, which highlight Houston's global connections. Houston-Nuevo Leon Bilateral Partnership Luncheon December 1 -- The Governor of Nuevo Leon, the Honorable Jose Natividad González Parás led a 15-member high-ranking government, business, and academic delegation to Houston to further expand the expand existing opportunities for partnership between the two regions. The states of Texas and Nuevo Leon share a common border, over which billions of dollars in goods and services flow every year; Most of these goods flow through Houston and on to other parts of the country. Nuevo Leon's economy focuses on export-oriented manufacturing and the state is the country's leader in the areas of logistics, agriculture, manufacturing, research and development. Nuevo Leon's economy currently represents 11.4% of Mexico's total gross domestic product, or $105 billion U.S.D. The governor's one-day visit, which included stops at Houston Memorial Hospital, the Greater Houston Partnership, Rice University and the Houston Technology Center, centered on a luncheon hosted by the Houston Mayor's Office, the Northeastern Mexican States and Texas Partnership, and the Mexican Consulate. Held on the stage of Jones Hall, the luncheon was attended by 150 high-ranking County, City and State representatives, including County Judge Ed Emmett, Mayor Pro Tem Adrian Garcia, State Senator Rodney Ellis, Council Member Melissa Noriega, and Council Member James Rodriguez. The luncheon featured a performance from a string quartet of Houston Symphony players. In November 2007, Mayor Bill White signed a bilateral partnership agreement with Governor González Parás. The purpose of the Agreement is to further economic development between the city of Houston and the state of Nuevo Leon.

`Three Energy Amigos' Luncheon December 4 -- World-renowned energy expert Matt Simmons addressed Houston-area business leaders at a luncheon hosted by the Mayor's International Affairs & Development Council for Canada (MIADC / Canada), the World Affairs Council of Houston, the Greater Houston Partnership, and the Petroleum Club International Speaker Series. Mr. Simmons' address, which focused on the possibilities for energy cooperation among the "three energy amigos"--Canada, Mexico and the United States, drew heavy turnout from the international business communities, including The Honorable Norris Pettis, the Consul General of Canada in Texas (pictured at left with Mr. Simmons). According to Ms. Charlene Ripley, Chair of the MIADC / Canada, "the energy interrelationship of Canada, the United States and Mexico clearly should be at the forefront of each countries' strategic objectives in managing through the world wide economic downturn. Continuing to foster the positive relationship Canada and the United States have will be even more critical. MIADC-Canada was extremely pleased at the record attendance at the luncheon as obviously this topic is on the minds of many in Houston."


2008 Annual Report

Mayor's Office of International Affairs & Development (MOIAD) As we look at the accomplishments achieved in 2008, we move forward with more opportunities to strengthen economic alliances and continue to promote Houston on the international stage. I. International Cooperation Agreements:

6 bilateral agreements were signed with the following cities: - Dongying, China (3) - Gumi, South Korea - Nanhui District, Shanghai, China - Shanghai, China

II. Inbound Delegations:

The MOIAD coordinated/ welcomed 88 international delegations from the following regions:

Bangladesh Brazil Canada China Congo Italy The Russian Federation Korea Mexico Pakistan Philippines Qatar Singapore Turkmenistan Spain Sweden Taiwan Tanzania Thailand The Netherlands Vietnam

The total number of visiting delegates in 2008 was 785. The average length of stay was 3 days. The logistics expenses alone (est. at $3,000 per person) generated a total of $2,355,000 USD to the Houston economy.

III. Outbound Delegations:

The MOIAD initiated or supported 12 major outbound trade delegations to the following 10 regions: Argentina, Canada, China, Korea, Qatar, Poland, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine & the United Arab Emirates.

IV. Internship Program: We have 20 interns from

universities and high schools.

V. Publications:

We issued the following: 12 Mayor's International Newsletters 12 International Event Calendars


Every month, we get numerous notes of encouragement and support; Below are just a few:

"This visit to Houston was indeed a memorable one for Nuevo Leon's delegation, including myself. I wish to thank you again for your leadership in planning and organizing this visit. I am confident that if the City of Houston and Nemex-Tex continue to work together, the future will yield an enduring and prosperous relationship between the business communities of both Nuevo Leon and Houston." --The Hon. Jose González Parás, Governor State of Nuevo Leon "I wanted to drop a quick note to say a big thank you for being such an attentive and gracious host. The trip to Houston was such an eye-opener for me -- it is such a wonderful city and the government makes it easy for businesses to set up there." --Rushin Look, Director, Business Development Ascott International Management "Thank you for putting together such a productive Mission, with a morning-to-evening agenda that allowed us to meet with key companies, decision-makers, and stakeholders in the Energy Sector." --Cris Eugster, Chief Sustainability Officer Mayor's Office, City of Houston "We of the Houston Children's Chorus would like to express our sincerest thanks & appreciation for your part in making our trip to China so memorable. We had a great time, saw wonderful sights, met new friends, at new food & even learned to use chopsticks. Thanks again for making this possible!" -- Steve Roddy, Chorus Director "I want to take advantage of this occasion to thank you as well as your team for the publication of such interesting newsletters, every edition is coming better and better. I always share it among other executives in BJ services and friends in the Houston community!" -- Juan Carlos Mondelli, Vice President "Thank you for giving us your helpful suggestions and advice. Mr. Shi and I appreciate your courtesy, [and we] believe that with your help our business will develop successfully. --Wei Jiang, local businessman "I had plenty of expectations/goals coming into this internship. I achieved everything I wanted to in this experience, and plenty more that I never thought possible. Accepting this internship ranks among the better decisions I have made. I was able to meet distinguished individuals, network, learn about Houston and its international profile and most importantly be a part of the betterment of the City of Houston from within City Hall. Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to intern in this office and for the countless doors that you have opened for my future." --Uzhair Anis, Intern MOIAD "I want to express to you how much this experience has meant to me; Everything that I learned, I know I will be able to apply in the future... The knowledge I have received from this experience will help me in my future studies and when I enter the job market, and it has helped me grow. For all of these things, and so much more, I am very grateful." --Nicole Kneeland, Intern MOIAD


International Partner Cities -- Amsterdam, Rotterdam & The Hague

Over the years, Houston has formed specific and enduring partnerships with cities around the globe. Each month, we will focus on one or more partner cities, and will provide an update on pertinent developments and activities.

The July 2007 City of Houston business development mission led by Mayor Bill White visited the Netherlands and three of its leading cities: Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and The Hague. In addition to exploring the wealth of business opportunities between Houston and these cities, the delegation gained a first-hand understanding of how Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and The Hague have gained prominence in Europe as well as globally. The Netherlands is one of the five largest investors in the United States. During the Mission, the delegation realized that there is vast potential for economic cooperation with Houston and Houston-based companies, based on similarities between the two regions, such as the important role played by international trade and shipping. The delegation first visited Amsterdam; Having one of the most open and diverse economies in the world, Amsterdam is the financial and business capital of the Netherlands. In addition to its economic diversity, Amsterdam embodies a commitment to `green' living. Its port strives to be one of the greenest in Europe. Senior advisor to the Port of Amsterdam, Roy Wansik noted that, "since the Mayor's visit to the Netherlands last year, both the City of Amsterdam and the City of Houston as well as representatives of their respective ports have continued dialogue on mutual global concerns such as energy and environmental sustainability. Follow up meetings between these counterparts were held in Houston in March of 2008." The delegation next visited Rotterdam. Home to the largest port in Europe, and the third largest port by tonnage in the world, Rotterdam's access to European marketplaces is unsurpassed. The Port's

technological and globally admired.




Mayor White met with the Mayor of Rotterdam, Ivo Opstelten in May 2007 at the C-40 Large Cities Climate Summit in New York City. The Summit serves as a meeting place for a world wide alliance of large cities dedicated to the issue of global warming to discuss similar environmental concerns, such as ports' emissions. The two decided that the C-40 should address ports specifically, and, as a result, a memorandum of understanding was signed between both city's ports for cooperation in this area during the Mayor's visit to Rotterdam. This cooperation was on display at the C40 World Ports Climate Conference, held in Rotterdam in July 2008. Representatives of 55 ports, including Houston, endorsed the World Ports Climate Declaration. This declaration committed endorsees to proactively reduce CO2 emissions and improve air quality. Finally, the last city the delegation visited The Hague, the political heart of the Netherlands. Located between the two economic engines of Amsterdam and Rotterdam, The Hague is renowned internationally as the home of the Peace Palace, site of the International Court of Justice. It is also home to many major corporations like Royal Dutch Shell. The Dutch Consul in Houston, Geert Visser, has noted that, since the visit of Mayor Bill White, "several very serious business developments originated... We are looking forward to the next trade mission and further cooperation between The Netherlands and the City of Houston'' --By Mary Jane Wakefield


International Frontier

Houston is home to many distinguished citizens who are dedicated to the promotion of Houston on the global stage. Our featured Houstonian this month is Mr. Rick Perez, the President & CEO of Avangard Innovative

Rick Perez, President & CEO of Avangard Innovative (AI), is passionate about recycling! This passion formed 18 years ago when Perez first started his business at home with just a phone and fax machine, selling used soft drink bottles to the carpet industry for recycling. Since then, AI has grown into a global company that employs 1,600 employees internationally and generated approximately $200 million in revenue in 2008. Houston is the site of three of its recycling plants, which employ 350 people in total. With operations in every Latin American country and China, AI provides sustainable solutions for different industries and focuses on recycling processes. "We strive to preserve and protect the environment by reducing materials being sent to landfills." Explains Perez, "Close loop recycling is where we take a product from landfills or waste streams, make it into a product and then bring it back into industry. One of our largest buyers of recycled goods is China." Some examples of sustainable or "green" products developed by AI include: Notebooks--made from recycled grade paper Gloves--made from recycled grade plastics Composite Decking Scrap Products (bins, tables, benches)--made from 50% recycled materials Grade plastic Railroad ties

Plastic Pallets--made from recycled grade plastics To Perez, success is not solely measured in terms of profits or environmental impact. "To be a successful, sustainable business, a company must be economically sustainable (beneficial to industry, so it does not add costs), environmentally sustainable and socially sustainable (good for education and the creation of more jobs)," he explains. Perez also expresses that success would not be possible without the involvement of his partners Arturo Creixell and Walker Chan, and especially the dedication and hard work of AI's wonderful employees. To contribute to the creation of a culture of environmental awareness, Perez and his wife Michelle actively work on the development of a recycling museum to be housed in Houston's museum district. He plans to partner with several major energy firms and private individuals to educate future generations about renewable energies such as wind, solar and biodiesel. Although Perez believes Houston is becoming increasingly "green," he states that it is vital to create more demand for recycled products. As the demand grows, the cost to produce and purchase these products will decrease, giving everyone a greater economic incentive to recycle and use recyclable materials. Perez balances his active business schedule with an active family life; he and his wife have two children, ages six and five. -By Mary Jane Wakefield

The International Newsletter is published monthly by the Mayor's Office of International Affairs & Development City of Houston Bill White, Mayor Helen T. Chang, Director Matthew Shailer, Editor Mary Jane Wakefield, Assistant Editor Please submit event information to: [email protected] or by fax to: (832) 393-0859 The contents of this publication are for informational purposes only.


International Event Calendar -- January 2009

Date Time Event Venue Contact

1/4 1/5

-- 6:00 PM 11:30 AM

1/6 6:00 PM 8:30 AM 1/7 6:00 PM 1/8 1/13 11:00 AM 6:00 PM 11:30 AM 1/15 11:30 AM 6:00 PM TBD 1/21 11:30 AM 6:00 PM 1/26 1/27 1/28 1/29 6:00 PM 6:00 PM 5:30 PM 8:00 AM 6:30 PM 1/30 7:00 PM

City of Houston: Delegation from Beijing IT (through January 14) Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in Houston and the City of Houston Mayor's Office: China-U.S. Relations in Retrospect Greater Houston Partnership: Luncheon featuring the Ambassador of China Texas Heart Institute: Visit of the Ambassador of China Houston Independent School District: Doing Business with HISD World Affairs Council of Houston: Argentina Unveiled Greater Houston Partnership: 2009 Annual Meeting

City of Houston Three Allen Center, Art Gallery Greater Houston Partnership Texas Heart Institute HISD Administration Building Junior League Building George R. Brown Convention Center

(832) 393-0851 [email protected] [email protected] (832) 393-0851 (713) 556-7201 [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] (713) 782-7222 [email protected] [email protected] (713) 527-9688

World Affairs Council of Houston: The Global Food Junior League Building Crisis Greater Houston Partnership: State of the City Hilton Americas Hotel Luncheon Bilateral US-Arab Chamber of Commerce: Ambassador Series--Luncheon with the Ambassador of Bahrain to the U.S. World Affairs Council of Houston: The Global Financial Crisis--Lessons from the Great Depression French-American Chamber of Commerce: Green Networking Event Asian Chamber of Commerce: Inaugural Law Enforcement Luncheon World Affairs Council of Houston: Talking with Iran World Affairs Council of Houston: America--A View from the Middle East Greater Houston Partnership: Greatest Awards Dinner 2008 Houston's St. Regis Hotel Westin Oaks Hotel Tasting Room, Uptown Park Westin Galleria Hotel Junior League Building Westin Oaks Hotel Hobby Center for the Performing Arts Hyatt Regency Hotel

Houston Technology Center: Tech Connection

Australian-American Chamber of Commerce: Energy The Houstonian Hotel Conference--Planet Earth, We Have a Problem Indo-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston: Annual Gala and Awards Banquet Westin Hotel

Australian-American Chamber of Commerce: Australia The Houstonian Hotel Day Black Tie Gala


International Cultural Events Hosted in Houston:

1/5 6:00 PM Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in Houston: China-U.S. Relations in Retrospect photo exhibition (through January 31) Three Allen Center [email protected]



Australian-American Chamber of Commerce: Australia Multiple venues around Week (through January 31) Houston

Events hosted by International Partner Cities of Houston:

2/3-5 2/9-10 Gulf of Mexico Foundation: Second State of the Gulf of Mexico Summit E-Services Philippines Conference Boca del Rio, Mexico Manila, Philippines [email protected] [email protected]


Job Opportunities / Internships

Asian American Family Services: Office Assistant (fluent in English and Vietnamese) Contact: [email protected] Houston Rockets Internships: (1) English to Spanish Web Translator, (2) Basketball Operations Intern Contact: American Advertising Federation--Houston: Digital Media Planner Contact: Technology For All: Volunteer Opportunities Contact: [email protected]

International Business

Shengli Oilfield Shengji Petroleum Equipment Co., Ltd.: (1) High pressure oil recovery (gas recovery, anti-sulfide) (2) Production of well control equipment (wellhead, X-mas tree, underwater wellhead & X-mas tree, high pressure blowout preventer)

Shengli Oilfield FREET Petroleum Equipment Co., Ltd.: (1) Production line of seamless steel pipes, tubing, high pressure, high temperature steel pipes, pipes for chemistry, steel pipes for mechanical structures, pipes for cylinders, and line pipes (2) Coiled tubing, ERW tubing and casing (3) Water treatment for re-injection to underground (4) High-pressure composite pipes (5) Large capacity high pressure well cementation and fracturing equipment (6) Manufacturing of large tonnage truck-mounted rig projects (7) Manufacturing of CNG Tube Trailer (8) Development of specialty rigs applied to the mining of coal bed methane



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