When Bill Clinton comes to Beijing next month, will he run in his jogging shorts to McDonald's and eat a burger? Will he dot the eye of a lion in front of a Kodak showroom? These are two of the more imaginative proposals among dozens from firms eager to exploit the commercial opportunity of a rare visit by a United States president to the mainland. US officials said the visit, expected in late June, was still too far away to know the precise schedule and what contracts would be signed. Front runners for a visit are the US$1 billion joint venture of General Motors in Pudong and Motorola's plant in Tianjin that produces mobile telephones. Both are state-of-the-art industrial factories invested by companies which are household names in the US. To the average American, whose knowledge of the outside world is five minutes of foreign television news each evening, images of Mr Clinton in these two factories would send the upbeat message of US firms at the front of the technological race in the mainland, one US consultant said. Beijing is likely to award at least one insurance licence to a US company. The US insurance industry has been lobbying the Chinese Government for such a licence after Beijing gave the last three to British, French and Australian companies. One or more licences for US banks are also possible. 'It is an absurd way to do business, for Beijing to award such licences on a drip-by-drip basis as a reward for a visit by a foreign leader,' one Western diplomat said. 'We urge them to set out the criteria for giving licences and then give them to firms that meet the criteria. We are happy to get the business all the same.' The mainland's rising trade surplus will be a big item in the talks. According to Beijing's figures, in the first quarter the mainland exported $7.25 billion, up 22.7 per cent over the same period last year, and imported $3.88 billion, up 8.3 per cent. US figures show a higher surplus. The diplomat said that, to cut the surplus, the US side was in the usual 'dance' with the Chinese, trying to finalise immediate deals, such as power plants and purchases of aircraft, as well as market-opening measures. As to purchases of Boeings, the mainland was arguing that, with the slowdown in growth in the economy and rapid increase in its fleet in recent years, capacity utilisation rates had come down and it was battling hard to train enough pilots, traffic controllers and maintenance staff.