This week, Yiqun, who is in charge of Idea Foundry’s China Initiatives, has returned to Pittsburgh from a month-long trip to China where she was successful in fostering many mutually beneficial connections between Pittsburgh and China. Idea Foundry has been strengthening relationships in China for the last several years in order to bring visitors, labor, and investment to our region from the exponentially growing Chinese market. With the ultimate goal of supporting the local economy, we see the big picture as a series of gears which need to turn in order to increase economic investment in our region.
One of the initial gears which Idea Foundry is working to turn is to increase Chinese students studying in Pittsburgh and the greater PA region. A welcoming and accessible atmosphere for Chinese students may inspire return trips to Pittsburgh, family visits to Pittsburgh, or potential immigration or work here in the future. All of these contribute immediately to the local economy and make Pittsburgh a more desirable destination for international investment and business, thus turning the gears. On this trip, Yiqun was able to meet with representatives from schools in China to promote studying in the Pittsburgh and greater PA region.
Another gear which supports Chinese investment and business in Pittsburgh is non-stop flights from China to Pittsburgh. Non-stop flights make Pittsburgh a more desirable business (and leisure) destination. Yiqun was also able to meet with representatives from airlines and airports to help secure these kind of flights in the future.
Additionally, Yiqun met with representatives from Inner Mongolia to secure market opportunities in that region for a faculty member at Pitt, which is the first time Idea Foundry has worked in Inner Mongolia. Yiqun had a very successful trip moving Idea Foundry's Chinese initiatives forward, but we are glad to have her back in the office as well.