Building Business Relationship Between Chester County and China


Another trade mission to China recently yielded prospects for Chester County beer and mushrooms thanks to three weeks of work by a delegation of eight. Pictured from a previous year's trip to China are Commissioner Terence Farrell and Mike Grigalonis, COO of the Chester County Economic Development Council.

The Chester County China Initiative continues to build bridges between the county and various locations throughout China.  Launched in 2013, the initiative is jointly organized by the County of Chester, under the leadership of Commissioner Terence Farrell, and the Chester County Economic Development Council (CCEDC) under its Chief Operating Officer, Mike Grigalonis.

Over the past several years, the initiative has helped foster opportunities for area businesses in China as well as Chinese investment in Chester County.

The May 2017 delegation from Chester County will visit various sites throughout China.

In October 2013, a delegation of 25 business people mostly from the Chongqing region of China came to visit Chester County. The first Sino-American Regional Business and Culture Exchange was organized around various themes.

A business and industry day was held at CCEDC’s offices followed by a tour of QVC; education and manufacturing were explored through visits to the Westtown School, Lincoln University, and West Chester University followed by a walking tour of West Chester; and agriculture and tourism were represented by trips to mushroom grower Pietro Industries and a tour of Longwood Gardens.

In early 2014, Commissioner Farrell traveled to China and signed a “friendship and sister municipalities agreement” with the Yongchuan District which is located in the province of Chongqing.  That trip was followed a few months later by a delegation of five business and community leaders from Chester County.

The group traveled back to Chongqing province and also visited Shanghai and Beijing.  The trip was productive in generating interest among Chinese investors in various county projects; establishing an exchange program with Lincoln University; and creating an opportunity for Chester County’s mushroom experts to consult on projects in China.

“We take pride in the fact that we are very forward-thinking when it comes to not only finding but directing opportunities for economic development and business growth in Chester County – not just in Chester County but also for Chester County businesses looking to make international connections and possibly set up international operations,” said Grigalonis.

Over the next two years, four additional delegations from China visited Chester County to further explore business and investment opportunities and this May, another delegation from the area will travel to China.  The upcoming trip will include stops in Beijing, Xi’an, Chongqing, and Shanghai.

The delegation will wrap up its trip in Shanghai and join representatives from the Commonwealth of PA in promoting investment in Chester County and Pennsylvania. In addition, delegates have the opportunity to attend a performance by the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Shanghai Oriental Art Center.

Throughout the journey, the CCCI will use its network to arrange industry-specific, customized meetings for delegates.  The meetings will be organized around events with high ranking civic and economic development leaders as well as stops at “must see” historic attractions like the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor, famous for the Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses, and the Great Wall.

Commissioner Farrell noted that “over the past several years we have been working diligently to build and strengthen relationships with our various connections throughout China.  The focus of this trip is on companies that are ready to expand into Chinese markets as well as to further explore opportunities for Chinese investment in projects in Chester County.”

To learn more about the Chester County China Initiative’s upcoming China trip, please see the informational flyer (below) or contact Mike Grigalonis at



Connect With Your Community

Subscribe to stay informed!

"*" indicates required fields

VT Yes
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Creative Capital logo