Cal­i­for­nia-China trade group gets a boost

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSSAMERICA - By CHEN JIA in San Fran­cisco chen­jia@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

Diane Long, di­rec­tor of Cal­i­for­nia China Trade and In­vest­ment Of­fice, made the rounds this week in a se­ries of events tar­get­ing San Fran­cisco-based small- to medi­um­sized busi­nesses that want to get in on the boom­ing Chi­nese mar­ket.

“I look for­ward to the op­por­tu­nity to build and ex­pand a bridge be­tween Cal­i­for­nia and China,” she said in a speech be­fore the Bay Area Coun­cil on Wed­nes­day night.

The of­fice is Cal­i­for­nia’s flag­ship ve­hi­cle for pro­mot­ing trade and in­vest­ment be­tween the US and China, she said.

“I think the op­por­tu­nity for this of­fice is to lever­age our ex­pe­ri­ence to work and col­lab­o­rate with you, so we can do even more,” she said.

She also spoke at a workshop on Thurs­day with another group of small- and medium-sized firms about the chal­lenges and op­por­tu­ni­ties of en­ter­ing the Chi­nese mar­ket.

Re-opened on April 12, 2013, the Cal­i­for­nia China Of­fice is a pub­lic- pri­vate pro­gram led by the Bay Area Coun­cil, the Gov­er­nor’s Of­fice of Busi­ness and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment, and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment groups and pri­vate sec­tor com­pa­nies across Cal­i­for­nia.

Jim Wun­der­man, the pres­i­dent and CEO of the Bay Area Coun­cil, said the of­fice of­fers match­mak­ing and ad­vice for US en­trepreneurs in­ter­ested in ex­pand­ing into China by ar­rang­ing and host­ing cus­tom­ized del­e­ga­tion trips to China, tai­lored ac­cord­ing to the makeup of the group.

Also, he said, help­ing Chi­nese busi­nesses get a foothold and pros­per in Cal­i­for­nia will fuel bil­lion-dol­lar trade flows, cre­ate jobs and at­tract more fund­ing to get new projects off the ground.

“This is a spe­cial year for China as the coun­try has new lead­er­ship and a lot of re­form and progress has been made this year,” Xia Xiang, the eco­nomic and com­mer­cial coun­selor of the Con­sulate Gen­eral of China in San Fran­cisco, said on Wed­nes­day.

The year has seen tremen­dous im­prove­ment in trade re­la­tions be­tween the two sides, and in­vest­ment from China into the US sky­rocket in vol­ume, es­pe­cially to the West Coast, he added.

“Un­der­stand­ing each other’s needs will re­quire con­tin­ued di­a­logue, pa­tience and open minds,” said Tempe Re­ichardt, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Left Bank LLC, who is in­ter­ested in ex­pand­ing mar­ket reach for top Cal­i­for­nia wines sold in China and was seek­ing ad­vice from Long at the Wed­nes­day night event.

“We in the wine in­dus­try are ex­tremely con­cerned about in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty rights and worry that wine is a com­mod­ity that is very vul­ner­a­ble to be­ing copied, with cheap or tainted wine bot­tled in China to look like the real thing and risk caus­ing se­ri­ous dam­age to brand iden­tity,” she said.

On “the well de­served con­cern over a US com­pany be­ing able to pro­tect its in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty in China, I would say that China has made strides for­ward in re­cent years,” said John Cur­son, man­ag­ing part­ner at Ap­proach Part­ners, which works on merg­ers and ac­qui­si­tions be­tween Chi­nese and US com­pa­nies.

He said the most im­por­tant global re­la­tion­ship in the 21st cen­tury is be­tween China and the US, and the op­por­tu­ni­ties will present them­selves in many ways, as long as Amer­i­cans travel to China, and Chi­nese travel to the US.

“My own ex­pe­ri­ence, when I trav­eled to China with Mayor Lee in Oc­to­ber,” he said, “was that we are two peo­ples who un­der­stand and en­joy busi­ness.”

“Over the past five years, China has de­vel­oped a larger mid­dle class and great tech­ni­cal tal­ent. The US how­ever must now com­pete with 30 other na­tional com­peti­tors,” said Wil­liam Lee, the for­mer San Fran­cisco city ad­min­is­tra­tor.

“My big­gest con­cern is Amer­i­cans don’t un­der­stand the re­gional and eth­nic dif­fer­ences of the Chi­nese pop­u­la­tion and spe­cific cul­tures,” he said.

e north, south, east and west of China have dif­fer­ent ways of mar­ket­ing to dif­fer­ent needs and in­comes, he said.

“Sell­ing prod­ucts in Bei­jing, Shang­hai, or Guang­dong would be dif­fer­ent than Wuhan or Chang­sha,” he said.

The new state of­fice in China un­der Diane Long, he said, is ex­pe­ri­enced on China and Jerry Brown un­der­stands the Chi­nese prob­a­bly bet­ter than any other gov­er­nor in the US.

QI­DONG ZHANG / CHINA DAILY

Diane E. Long (right), ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Cal­i­for­nia-China Of­fice of Trade and In­vest­ment, talks to the lo­cal busi­ness com­mu­nity in San Fran­cisco on Wed­nes­day about her ef­forts in China. From left: Kish Ri­jan, di­rec­tor of the Of­fice of Gov­er­nor Brown; Jim Wun­der­man, pres­i­dent and CEO of the Bay Area Coun­cil.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.