You might think there are some high-level trade talks going on in Santa Clara, and in a sense, you might be right. However, it is actually a three-day conference is underway to encourage business partnerships between the U.S. and China.
China's consul general said, "We are committed to developing a nation of innovation system."
China's consul general set the tone for this gathering of investors and entrepreneurs. There is a common mission to foster innovation on both sides of the Pacific. For the next three days, nearly 10,000 people from the U.S. and China will be in search of deals.
Miao Gengshu from the Chinese Council for Investment Promotion said through a translator he wants to bring more opportunity from China to the U.S. for investment, also bring business opportunity from the U.S. to China.
They represent venture capital firms, private companies, and the public sector. Mayors from 10 Chinese cities will be participating this weekend. The Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum is the idea of Iris Lei, who operates a business portal promoting U.S.-China trade.
"They want to come together to create more business opportunity for both China and the U.S. It will benefit both countries' business," said Lei.
The event is drawing international attention. State-owned China Central Television, known as CCTV, has a reporter and photographer here.
Cameras were barred though when former President Bill Clinton gave the keynote address. His $150,000 appearance fee was paid by corporate sponsors. As China makes more money from making goods and selling them to the U.S., they have money now to invest.
"The Chinese are interested in investing in America, but they need a lot of guidance and they are mystified by the process. What you have here is the largest gathering of Chinese investors, but also a huge gathering of people from the U.S.," said Rep. Judy Chu, D-Del Monte.
But what are the Chinese here spending their C-Notes on? American-grown ginseng. It drew the longest lines on the exhibit floor.
Besides American ginseng, the conference is putting a big emphasis on cloud computing, green energy, and finance.