Malloy Brings Energy, And Energy Policy, To China

by Categorized: Commerce, Economy, Politics, Trade Date:

Did anyone think the governor would land in China, shake some hands, talk up Connecticut’s nice products, exchange gifts and come home?

Not Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.  Midway through leading a small delegation of economic development officials to the world’s largest nation, Malloy is certainly doing those things, but he’s also pushing hard for Chinese investment in Connecticut, everything from biotech partnerships to buildings.

And he’s dealing with global issues, as well.

“Malloy was eloquent and comfortable amid a panel of high powered Chinese energy policy leaders, environment activists, economists and a moderator from the Economist,” said Matthew Nemerson, CEO of the Connecticut Technology Council, referring to a session at the World Economic Forum in Tianjin.

“Malloy started out with a geopolitical comment noting that if the USA and China both were energy independent it would be one major issue that we would avoid a source of future conflicts,” Nemerson said in an email Wednesday morning, which was late Thursday in China.

That’s our Dan, defusing global conflict while he’s over there.

Malloy on a panel on energy policy at the World Economic Forum in Tianjin, China Wednesday. Photo by Matthew Nemerson

See more photos of Malloy in China.

In a conference call with reporters Wednesday, Malloy didn’t talk much about energy, though he said he was on the panel, and that he compared Chinese and U.S. energy use.

He’s the first sitting Connecticut governor to visit China since William A. O’Neill established a sister province relationship with Shandong in 1987, and he’s openly miffed about that.

“Quite frankly we kind of dropped the ball. We do things, but we don’t do them consistently,” Malloy said. “We have to rebuild our relationship with our sister province.”

To be sure, state delegations have visited China, including one in March with Nemerson, John Schuyler from Marcum LLP and Peter Longo from Connecticut Innovations.  And of course, United Technologies Corp., Xerox and other multinationals have established a strong presence there.

Malloy mentioned that Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini is participating in the economic forum, as both Aetna and Cigna push to expand in Asia.

For Connecticut, the goal is a combination of attracting investment and selling exports in precision manufacturing, finance, insurance and bioscience.

China’s middle class, numbering 300 million people, could increase by 800 million in the next 20 years, Malloy said, adding,  “there’s no way that happens without more importation.”

Malloy referred to a doubling or a tripling of exports to China, which is the state’s 5th largest export destination according to U.S. Commerce Department figures. But those figures, which show about $1 billion a year to China from this state, are not reliable, as they do not track goods from their source. Grain is said to be among the state’s largest exports, perhaps because of ownership by hedge funds.

As for Chinese private investment, he said, that would have been unheard of just a decade ago. Now, he — and other governors, of course — are giving U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke a list of possible investment deals.

The call was interrupted exactly as Malloy was talking about security, in connection with the killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya in a protest there overnight, leading some to speculate that Chinese officials cut off the call because of the topic.  When he got back on the call, Malloy said security had not been tightened as a result.

Connecticut has some names familiar in China — Yale, Xerox, Otis, Sikorsky and Mark Twain, who has a statue there — but the state is behind its competitors, Malloy said.

Maryland, for example, where Gov. Martin O’Malley is a friend of Malloy’s: “They have offices in China,” he said. “In Shanghai they have as many as 20 people.”

Those who know Malloy know he won’t stand for that, especially now that UConn falls directly below The University of Maryland in the U.S. News & World Report rankings.  Expect state job postings soon for Beijing.

Listen to Malloy’s call with the media:

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21 thoughts on “Malloy Brings Energy, And Energy Policy, To China

  1. Dan Haar Post author

    China is the largest nation by population, though it will soon be passed by India, which is the world’s largest democracy — and has a larger middle class than China.

  2. John Steel

    Another taxpayer funded junket to help Daneel get a job within the next two years. Perhaps he will hand out a couple hundred million dollars to a Chinese company to create 100 jobs.

    Meanwhile – back in the Nutmeg State – the Democratic Party is about to lose a Senate seat, the population continues to shrink and the deficit grow.

  3. Mitchell Simpson

    and let’s not forget the shameless cheerleading provided by Dan Haar and the Courant. Far be it from them to really cover this administration and all of the graft that has gone along with it. Glad the Courant doesn’t have a Washington bureau anymore, it would be cheerleading shamelessly the disaster that continues to unfold in the oval office. Very sad.

  4. p hofmann

    exactly how many days has he spent in CT doing his job for the taxpayers? Considering how many trips he has taken, why should he receive the pay he is getting while we get hosed.
    So far all he has done is spend taxpayer’s money on unnecessary items, the busway for example, which we will never see a dime from.
    how much more can he tax us without doing anything for us
    hope all of you who voted for him are happy

  5. Jimbo

    Malloy will teach the Chinese how to bankrupt themselves through taxation, borrowing, and spending.

    Please stay in China with your communist comrades.

  6. Dan Haar Post author

    You guys are brutal. Keep the comments coming, but remember this: China is where the money is. Our money. He can go fetch some of it back, or he can stay home and raise taxes instead. Which do you prefer?

    1. Jimbo

      Dan, I prefer the man stay where he was elected to govern and shrink the #1 employer in the state (Source HBJ) to a size that is compatible with the private sector output. How’s that for a start? Creating a competitive business environment that encourages investment and business should be the focus, not some boondoggle photo-op tour. Get real.

    2. brynulf

      You are right Dan. They have bought most of the world´s debt and are a force to be reckoned with. I would rather partner with them than try to set up barrier to working with them.

    3. Mitchell Simpson

      We’d prefer that he would focus on taking care of business here, making this a state where business want to do business instead of running for more tax-favorable locations. We’d prefer that he do something with the insanely massive state payroll where an incredible amount of our tax money goes. We’d prefer him to stop giving tax money away or loaning it at silly rates to corporations and companies who are not facing a cashflow shortage. We need to see tax rates lowered for the return on our investment has yet to be seen. Simple economics and the taxpayers are paying the price. He’s traveled all over the world and if he could have been on the field to the Netherlands years ago to promote that ill-fated direct flight to-from Amsterdam he would have been on it. Bottom line: people aren’t flocking here for any reason, they’re running away. Wonder why?

  7. brynulf

    We have a large facility or two available for a chinese company in Groton (Pfizer) and Norwich Hospital. Maybe he can pitch something to them as there is a need for business investment outside of just Stamford.

    Hartford is nearly dead…Norwich, New London are on life support… Waterbury, Meriden, Torrington, New Britain and Middletown as well as calling SOS!!!

  8. Pat

    I called the Courant to re-deliver my paper. I talked to Taylor in the Phillipines. (she was the Courants representative). Why can’t Malloy talk to the Courant here in the US and have them hire an American to answer their phones. Maybe our unemployment might go down.

    1. Wils

      Because connecticut is SO business unfriendly that we have to BRIBE and companies to stay, never mind get companies to come here. We have the space and talent to run call centers here in ct, but alas….nobody wants to deal with all the craptastic regulations and taxes.

  9. Dan Haar

    Thanks for subscribing. It’s possible your cost is lower than it would be if Tribune, The Courant’s parent, used domestic customer service people for that work. In any case, Malloy is trying to attract high-end work to Connecticut, knowing that firms are moving lower-paid jobs elsewhere.
    The big question is what we’re supposed to do after they start making jet engines and managing hedge funds in the Philippines. I don’t think I have the answer to that but the history of Rome, Portugal, Britain and other former empires may provide a clue.

    1. Mitchell Simpson

      Financial service companies are already off-shoring work to the Phils!!! Pratt has maintenance outlets overseas as to all the major engine makers. The combination of cost of doing business here, and that includes tax rates and certainly you get the union issues as well, and it just makes sense to move elsewhere. Malloy is typical tax and spend mindset and then try to bring in more business all the while squeezing the residents and keeping state employee staffing at insane levels.

  10. Paul

    Headline: ” Malloy Discovers China”! And it only took him almost 2 years after being elected! And not as part of a strategy to emphasize recruitment of foreign companies, but to attend a Davos symposium!I ear the DECD finally found a politically correct person to run their International Division: it will take that individual another year or more to deveop a strategy and by that time (hopefully) the Malloy administration will be winding down!

    What will our hero do next? Invent sliced bread……

    1. Wils

      I have been struggling with learning Mandarin. At first I thought trying to learn Chinese was just a lark, something offhand and interesting to do, now I know it was a good idea! Ni Hao!

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