The Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences is expanding its research, development and trade efforts with firms in China through an agreement announced Tuesday by N.C. Gov. Perdue.

The memorandum of understanding between The Hamner, which is based in RTP, and XY Group International of China was signed during a visit to RTP by a trade delegation of some 100 executives from China.

XY Group focuses on international investment and trade.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The Hamner and XY Group will establish a U.S. operation at The Hamner 56-acre campus.

A master plan covering 1 million square feet cluster of buildings for research, technology and business development has already been drawn up.

“China has made great advances in innovation and technology in the past two decades and is now launching its 12th national five-year strategic plan that will focus on life sciences and new energy technologies, said Dr. Yang Yunsong, the chief executive officer at XY Group, which is based in Beijing.

“We see a unique opportunity to advance the economic goals of both China and the United States in our partnership with The Hamner Institutes and North Carolina,” he added.

In 2009, The Hamner announced a multi-million dollar partnership with China Medical City. The Hamner-China Medical City Institute for International Drug Development will perform joint biomedical research. (Read more about the ‘Biotech Gateway” here.)

“This is a very important opportunity for both North Carolina and China,” said William Greenlee, The Hamner’s chief executive officer. “Forging a science and technology development partnership in human health and life sciences research and education plays to the great strengths of North Carolina and its outstanding public and private universities.”

China’s president, Hu Jintao, visits the U.S. this week.

The Chinese delegation that came to the Triangle is part of the state visit. RTP was among six locations where Chinese executives were scheduled to tour.

“If North Carolina is going to not just compete but thrive in a 21st century economy, we must build on relationships around the globe that will provide mutual benefit to both sides,” Perdue said in a statement. “What we’re doing today is paving the way for future development between our countries – development that may one day translate into jobs for our people. That’s what it’s all about: finding opportunities to position North Carolina for job growth and better, stronger investments for our future.”

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