What Orlando is doing to lure Chinese investment

The cloudy global economic picture has prompted a group of Chinese-Americans to launch a new Chinese Chamber of Commerce for Central Florida in an effort to attract foreign investment into the destination.

As the Orlando Sentinel reports, Andrew Jeng, a leader of the effort, said people in China are desperate to find overseas targets for investment.

"They have money, and they can't let their money sit in China now. They know Disney and Universal Studios, but some of them may not know where Orlando is, or even Florida for sure," Jeng said. "We want to make sure they know us and consider Central Florida for business."

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The move comes amid China's stock-market meltdown and currency devaluation.

Jeng said local Chinese-Americans have been talking for a while about the need for a new chamber to attract more investment to the area. China is usually among the top five overseas nations among Orlando's booming visitor numbers, about 60 million per year.

"We have so many Chinese visitors here, and there is already some Chinese investment, but the current situation is creating new opportunities," Jeng said.

Jeng also highlighted the immigrant-investor program, known as EB-5, which can provide a path to residency in the U.S.

"EB-5 is good, but now people are just wanting to move their money elsewhere," Jeng said. "Many of the chamber's members have Chinese investors who are crazy to invest here. They are looking for $20 [million] to $30 million range investments, restaurants, hotels and other projects."

Targets for investment include real estate, tourism, import export, construction and technology.