I'm writing this blog post in Monroeville, Alabama. Two days ago I spoke at the Economic Summit in Dothan, some way east of here (if my memory serves me right -- this is the first time I've been to Alabama and I don't know its geography). Dothan is preparing to welcome its first ever Chinese delegation and is hoping to land some investment deals.
Yesterday I was taken from Monroeville to Thomasville by the town's mayor, who brought me back at the end of the day after a "real Southern country cooking lunch" (not for slimmers) and a tour of the beautiful town and six industrial estates centered around the timber and pipe industries and taking advantage of rail spurs connected to the Norfolk Southern Railroad that can take exports down to the port of Mobile and northwards as far as Chicago and New York.
Here is Mayor Sheldon Day: