While China and the US traded threats on tariffs and were engaged in a high-profile war of words, representatives of small and medium-sized enterprises from Shandong Province in eastern China were quietly seeking business opportunities in Silicon Valley, which welcomed them with open arms, Xinhua reported.

The Chinese entrepreneurs from Shandong SMEs represent major industries in the province, including machinery and electronics, medical processing, food and agricultural products processing, textiles and clothing.

During the 2019 California-Shandong SMEs Business Exchanges and Collaboration Seminar held at Newark city, northern California, Chinese business people met with their American counterparts to help U.S. businesses understand the latest development trends in Shandong Province and explore partnership potential between Shandong and California.

According to the Shandong delegation, the United States was the largest investor in Shandong Province, and the import-export trade volume between the province and the United States stood at US$34.5 billion.

Shandong has 2.69 million SMEs that provide 90 percent new job opportunities for the province and 60 percent of its gross domestic product, according to the Shandong delegation.

In a speech, Marilyn Librers, former mayor of Morgan Hill city at the southern tip of Silicon Valley, hailed the Chinese government for promoting innovation in not only big cities, but also smaller cities and industrial parks with smart and green energy technology for a clean environment.

Librers, who is also president of China Silicon Valley, a non-profit organization dedicated to bolstering closer ties between China and the United States, urged U.S. businesses to invest in China given how the Chinese government is taking steps to make doing business easier for investors and developers.

“I believe now is the time to invest in China, although this is a stressful time right now between our two nations,” she said, referring to the current trade frictions that resulted from the U.S. government slapping steep tariffs on hundreds of billions of U.S. dollars on Chinese products. “We must stay positive and continue to work together … We must come to a compromise,” she said.

According to a report in The Guardian newspaper, if Silicon Valley were a country, it would be among the world’s richest.

Cranking out US$128,308 per capita in annual gross domestic product, residents in California’s tech belt out-produce almost every nation on the planet. The valley’s output, pegged at US$275 billion by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis, is higher than Finland’s.

The per-person output from Silicon Valley actually puts the valley squarely in the company of such wealthy territories as China’s casino peninsula Macau, with per-capita GDP of $115,367, and Europe’s sumptuously medieval Luxembourg, at per-capita GDP $107,641, The Guardian reported.

Home to nearly 2 million, the San Jose metro area includes Stanford University in Palo Alto, Google’s headquarters in Mountain View and Apple HQ in Cupertino, the report said. Half the world’s tech billionaires live in Silicon Valley.