People's Republic of China's Consul General Gao Zhansheng from San Francisco met with Bellevue city officials Wednesday to discuss trade and other issues.
Gao's meeting with local leaders comes at a time when the city is working to promote cultural and trade relations between the city's business community and China, as well as other Asian and European countries.
"As our city is becoming more diverse and international, we believe Bellevue is uniquely positioned to forge strong partnerships with Chinese and other cities in the world," Councilmember Conrad Lee said.
Councilmember Conrad Lee visited the China city of Dalian in 2006, and is scheduled to lead a trade mission this year to that city, as well as Qingdao.
In recent years, the number of Asian and other international firms locating in Bellevue -- or conducting business with Bellevue companies -- has grown as the city's downtown has evolved into a major regional high-technology, retail and banking center.
Factors for this include the city's high-technology orientation, highly educated workforce, geographic proximity to major sea and air ports, and growing Asian and foreign-born population.
According to the latest data available, Bellevue's Asian and Pacific Islander population grew from about 10 percent of the city's total population in 1990 to 22 percent today. Over 30 percent of Bellevue's population was born outside the United States.
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