xi's moments
Home | Latest

Witnesses to China's impressive economic surge

By KONG WENZHENG in New York | China Daily Global | Updated: 2019-04-18 22:42

Lisa Ferrell poses for a photo with her sons during a family trip to Xi'an, China, in December 2018. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Editor's Note: "My China Album", a story-sharing project run by the Chinese embassy in Washington and China Daily, aims at highlighting the friendships between Chinese and American people, as expressed in photographs and accompanying captions. Those interested in participating in the program are invited to submit up to three photos with accompanying captions of 300 words or less, explaining the person-to-person exchange or relationship depicted in the photo. The deadline for submissions is April 19, 2019. For more details visit http://global.chinadaily.com.cn/mychinaalbum.

Traveling back and forth between the US and China for three decades, Lisa Ferrell, an Arkansas-based real estate developer and attorney, has been most impressed by how much China has advanced.

"China is an impressive development story" and has "seemingly leapt forward five generations' worth of change in one generation," said Ferrell, who first visited China in 1987.

Then Ferrell was struck by how hardworking, friendly and professional the people were. And apparently the development strategy was different from what it is today, Ferrell observed.

"At the time, China was more — what I would call — inward looking and more focused on internal development, which would be appropriate," said Ferrell.

"International standards, legal standards were not as fully developed as they are now," she said. "Business and legal practices that were common in the US and Japan and Europe had not yet taken hold in China."

Over time, Ferrell has watched that inward-focused China turn and grow into a global player today, the Belt and Road Initiative being a perfect example of the change.

"China is now an international business player with all of the international standards and norms — legal and business — that you see everywhere in successful business environments," said Ferrell.

"What is incredibly impressive is the development of the high-speed train network, ports, electric cars, quality housing and the quality of consumer goods," said Ferrell. "The change has dramatically impacted the quality of life of the average person in China, and you can definitively see this.

"The trains were so frequent and fabulous," said Ferrell, who was amazed by the system during her most recent visit last December. "And the train stations are incredible: They are new," and they are easy to access.

"All of the transportation infrastructures really are very impressive. They are very high quality, and a lot of them are doing what countries around the world should be doing to cut down on greenhouse emissions and make things so much easier for people," she said.

A tip of the iceberg of what China has achieved over the years is the development of Shenzhen, one of the first cities Ferrell visited in China 30 years ago.

"It may have the same name and same geographic location," Ferrell told China Daily, "but it's not the same thing — it is unrecognizable in the positive way."

Fast-developing Chinese cities have cultivated world-class companies, Ferrell observed.

Seeing the great potential of the Chinese market and companies from her first visit, Ferrell shifted her international law career to representing Chinese companies.

"The companies that I worked with displayed a high degree of professionalism and innovation," said Ferrell, who committed to providing the best services to Chinese companies, hiring a Mandarin-speaking assistant to help.

One of her clients, Suzhou-based Tianyuan Garments, which manufactures clothing for brands like Adidas and Reebok, signed a deal with the Arkansas government in 2016 to invest $20 million in Little Rock building a production plant and creating 400 new jobs.

Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr pointed out that his city was now "only manufacturer of Adidas apparel in the United States — that's something to get excited about".

Ferrell's deep interest and connections with China led her to adopt three Chinese toddlers about 15 years ago, all from the Xi'an area.

"That absolutely has been one of the most wonderful experiences for my husband and me," she said. "They just bring us incredible joy."

Her three children, who are now aged 20, 16 and 14, left China at an early age and grew up in the states, but learned Mandarin.

"They have a unique opportunity to serve as a bridge between the country they were born in and their home," said Ferrell.

Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349