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S.C. Dept. of Commerce Asian Office Director Named President of CASIC

Trade & Development - Economic Development

COLUMBIA, SC – John Ling, director of South Carolina’s state office in Shanghai, China, has been named president of the Council of American States in China. The Council of American States in China (CASIC) is an international organization, which consists of representatives from American state offices, tourism authorities and ports authorities located in China. The organization’s main objectives include:

  • Serving as a bridge between China and the U.S. while promoting bilateral cooperation in trade, tourism, transportation, education and investment exchanges;
  • Enhancing the image of the United States in China;
  • Enhancing collaboration among Chinese industry associations and government entities.

“The state’s office in Shanghai has proven that South Carolina is a competitive location for attracting investment and for that I’d give real credit to John Ling and the team at Commerce,” said Gov. Mark Sanford. “Our work to cultivate relationships within China will have a lasting impact on our state in terms of job creation, foreign direct investment and export opportunities for South Carolina businesses. John has been a tremendous asset to the state and his appointment as president of the CASIC will lend further opportunities to South Carolina.”

John Ling is the director of South Carolina’s state office in Shanghai. Ling is a Chinese native and graduated from the Foreign Affairs Institute of Sichuan University in Chongqing, China. He went on to study in Charleston, South Carolina where he obtained a MBA from Charleston Southern University. After graduating, Ling worked as managing director for a U.S./China joint venture, Metallic Building Systems (Asia) Inc. He then worked at the Department of Commerce in Columbia as the Asia-Pacific International Trade Manager where his primary role involved helping South Carolina companies find export markets in the Asia-Pacific. He moved to Shanghai in 2005 to open South Carolina’s first office in China. 

Gov. Sanford officially opened South Carolina’s Shanghai office in October 2005.  South Carolina’s China office is primarily focused on recruiting Chinese investment to South Carolina and also assists South Carolina companies looking for export opportunities in China. Since that time, the Shanghai office and John Ling have received multiple honors.

In 2007, the South Carolina Department of Commerce’s state office in Shanghai, China was one of three foreign economic development and investment agencies recognized for efforts in assisting Chinese companies in investing abroad at the “Chinese Enterprises Going Global” National Contribution Award Appraisal event. South Carolina was both the only U.S. and only regional organization to win the award. The other two winners were the federal organizations of Sweden and Australia.

China-affiliated and owned companies employ more than 1,900 individuals in South Carolina. Chinese investors include: American Yuncheng Gravure Cylinder Inc., Bluestar Silicones USA Corp., China Construction America of South Carolina Inc., Cosco Container Lines Americas Inc., Cosco Logistics (Americas) Inc., E-P Equipment USA Corp., Fuyao North America Inc., Greenfield Industries Inc., GSP North America Co. Inc., Haier America and Techtronic Industries North America Inc.

China was South Carolina’s fifth-largest export market in 2009 with more than $867 million in goods sold to the country, an increase of nearly 10 percent from 2008.

More information about the Council of American States China is available at:

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