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PHOENIX - Mayor Greg Stanton said Monday that his recent visit to China gave him an opportunity to tout Phoenix as a place for international companies to do business.

"Our economy is going to in many ways sink or swim based upon whether we can fully participate in this international economy," Stanton said at a news conference discussing the trip.

Accompanied by Barry Broome, president and CEO of Greater Phoenix Economic Council, Stanton attended the World Economic Forum from Sept. 11-13. Held in Dalian, China, the event brought together business, political and academic leaders.

Stanton served as a panelist, focusing on sustainability, in a session titled "Strategic Shifts in Urban Ecosystems."

He said the conference allowed him to meet privately with international companies, more than two dozen, like Henkel, an international manufacturing concern that is based in Germany and has an office in Scottsdale.

Stanton said that as one of the nation's largest cities it's important for Phoenix to see itself as global.

"Our economy is going to in many ways sink or swim based upon whether we can fully participate in this international economy," he said.

Broome and Stanton said they focused on building relationships with companies specializing in renewable energy and advanced technologies.

Broome said the trip resulted in three leads with international companies interested in expanding into or relocating to the Valley.

Meanwhile, Broome said, getting Chinese companies interested in investing in Phoenix has a lot to do with being one of the first markets to promote itself in that country.

"If you look at where international investments are made today, it's made in the markets that were there first," he said.

Stanton said the visit led to an invitation for him to attend the World Economic Forum next year in Tianjin, China, offering another opportunity to promote Phoenix not just as a place to do business but a place with companies ready to do business abroad.

"The more we can help our local companies go global, the stronger our economy will be," he said.

Cronkite News,

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