CI VIEW: Maryland’s Rushern Baker quietly brings massive Chinese and foreign investment to Prince George’s County

National Harbor, Maryland (BBN) – (Updated on August 28, 2017 to add interview with County Executive Rushern L. Baker III at ground breaking Purple Line light railway) As President Donald Trump beats the drum for Made in America, Rushern Baker III, the elected leader of a predominantly African-American county neighboring Washington, DC is the truly unsung hero for bringing Chinese and foreign direct investment and high paying new jobs to the USA.

[Prince George’s Country Executive Rushern Baker III speaks to Capitol Intelligence/BBN using CI Glass at the Congressional Black Caucus Legislative Conference on September 26, 2014]

While only the elected official of a province within the State of Maryland, Prince George’s County Executive Baker is feted as much as a governor of a large American  state on his numerous trade mission to mainland China.

The former military (JAG) lawyer was even seated next to Chinese President Xi Jinping during his State visit to the United States in September, 2015 with President Barack Obama.

In fact, Baker is preparing to lead a trade delegation of Prince George’s County companies to South Korea in the month of October 2017 after launching the historic Purple Line public-private partnership (P3) and success in building the USD 1.4 bn MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) casino and convention center at National Harbor in Prince George’s County’s.

Prince George’s County has already become one of the fastest growing local economies in the United States as it harnesses its expertise with fast growing small to medium size businesses in healthcare, cybersecurity, IT, and renewable energy.

Chinese companies and investors have aggressively pursued Prince Georges County as one of the most lucrative early growth markets in the developed world while Wall Street remains mainly ignorant of the dynamic economic growth within US African-American communities.

[Prince George’s County Executive and Maryland Gubernatorial Candidate Rusher Baker III speaks to Capitol Intelligence/BBN using CI Glass on groundbreaking of the United States largest P3 project – Purple Line – Hyattsville, Maryland. August 28, 2017.]

County Executive Baker — the second most powerful politician in Maryland after Republican Governor Larry Hogan –pushed through the largest new public private partnership investment in the United States, the USD 5.6bn Purple Line light rail project connecting the affluent white suburbs of Bethesda, Maryland to New Carrollton, Prince George’s County.

In fact, Baker and real estate tycoon turned governor Larry Hogan have a close working relationship in part to the fact Hogan grew up in Prince George’s County where his father served as a Republican member of Congress.

The Paris-based Meridiam leveraged its vast experience of major infrastructure projects in Africa and Europe to take over the project financing and financial control of the USD 5.6 bn P3 project, Meridiam founding partner and CEO Thierry Deau told Capitol Intelligence/BBN in an interview.

[Meridiam Chairman and CEO Thierry Deau speaks to Capitol Intelligence/BBN using CI Glass at Select USA Investment Summit at National Harbor in Prince George’s County, Maryland. June 19, 2017]

Meridiam is uniquely positioned to benefit from President Trump’s plans to invest USD 1trln in US infrastructure via public-private partnerships along with other infrastructure funds such as Australia’s Macquarie, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings.

Another major win for Baker was the completion of Las Vegas-based gaming and hospitality MGM Resorts International flagship USD 1.4 bn MGM Resorts hotel at the National Harbor. rendering1-lrg.jpg MGM

A source close to the matter said Chinese mainland and Macau investors put in between USD 300m to 400m of the USD 1.4bn gaming resort, with the outside financing organized by French investment bank Credit Agricole.

The founder and chairperson of RadioOne (NASDAQ: ROIAK) , Catherine L. Hughes, also became an investor in MGM Resorts National Harbor and the first African-American co-investor in a MGM Resort property in the company’s history.

[Radio One Chairperson and Founder Catherine L. Hughes speaks to Capitol Intelligence/BBN using CI Glass about the new USD 1.4bn MGM Resort and Casino in National Harbor in Prince George’s Georges County, Maryland]

Baker’s ability to bring significant investment to PG County was evidenced when he hosted the US Commerce Department’s SelectUSA Investment Summit with President Obama and over 1,000 foreign companies and 2,500 delegates at National Harbor in the Spring of 2015.

Other Select USA keynote speakers included Carlyle Group co-founder and CEO David Rubenstein, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, and Japan’s Suntory Holdings LLC President and CEO Takeshi “Tak” Niinami.

At SelectUSA, the delegation from China was the largest, and probably the most aggressive, foreign group represented at the investment summit with over 200 delegates and all personally hosted by Baker.

The upcoming trade mission to China and South Korea will allow County Executive Baker to perfectly triangulate the strengths of Chinese and South Koreans businesses investing in the United States.

[Suntory Holdings Limited President and CEO Takeshi (Tak) Niinami speaks with Capitol Intelligence/BBN using Google Glass at SelectUSA Investment Summit National Harbor, Maryland on March 23, 2015]

South Korea, a close US military ally and free trade agreement partner, can fully exploit Prince George’s emergence as the headquarters of the world’s cybersecurity industry thanks to its proximity to National Security Agency headquarters in Fort Meade, University of Maryland in College Park and the nation’s capital.

The delegation is scheduled to travel to the giant South Korea Public Procurement Expo (Koppex) in Seoul before signing a friendship agreement with Cheonan City located 50 miles south of Seoul.

By PK Semler in National Harbor, Maryland and Washington, DC.  For more information please call +1-202-549-3399 or email: pks@capitolintelgroup.com

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