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Business leaders continue collaboration at symposium

Symposium continues in spite of weather and other delays.
Mayor Mike Schmitz discusses plans for new businesses and the successful outcome of the symposium.
Mayor Mike Schmitz discusses plans for new businesses and the successful outcome of the symposium.
Symposium attendees listen as a panel continues its discussion on bridging the gap between Chinese and American relations.
Symposium attendees listen as a panel continues its discussion on bridging the gap between Chinese and American relations.
Organizers waited for more people to arrive, and workers moved all of the booths out of the tents because of the weather.

But the rain didn't stop the show.  After some delay, the U.S.-China Manufacturing Symposium continued on.

It started with a business canvas mapping workshop, hosted by Dwight Cody, Marketing Manager of WIPFLi. 

"They need to know merchandizing, they need to know forecasting, because they need to know how much to produce of what, and when," Cody said.

SoZo Group CEO Raymond Cheng continued the symposium with a recap of yesterday's events, recounted some of the successes.

Next was a panel for maximizing the potential for business. 

Chinese executives and American community leaders continued their discussion of building relationships.

"Give me a list of what you need to be competitive in Alabama, and we will do everything we can do check off that list.  It doesn't mean we can do everything, but it means we will do everything we can to help you," said Thomasville Mayor Sheldon Day.

Several Chinese businessmen were unable to make it to the symposium.  Problems with visas also prevented a Chinese jazz band from attending.

But Cheng and Mayor Schmitz say the symposium was a big success.

"Everyone I talk to, they've been all around the world, they felt such a warm welcoming here, they want to take it to the next step.  And that's what's important.  And we're going to have ambassadors all around the world talking about Alabama and Dothan," Schmitz said.

More guest speakers and topics were scheduled for the afternoon. 

A gala capping off the symposium was held this evening.
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