HBE Takes Part in Expo Activities
Hollywood Food Court Progresses
Ladies Night
Investment Opportunities Explored
Friends and Fun

HBE Takes Part in Expo Activities

After barely a month in the Untied States, it was off to Harbin for the HBE management team.  Larry and Jill Horist, and their associate, Xiong Her, were joined on this trip by the Horists' 11-year-old son, Alex.  This was the younger Horist's second visit to China, and the first since he was only 6 years old.

In addition to the pursuit of a number of key projects, the added incentive for this trip was the 16th annual China Harbin Fair for Trade and Economic Cooperation.  HBE was invited as special guests of the municipal government.  As part of the Expo festivities, HBE officials were among a select group of dignitaries to participate in ceremonies that included signing special cooperation agreements and attending a festive dinner and stage show.

 

HBE President  Horist signs cooperation agreements with both the Daoli District and Harbin Economic Cooperation and Promotion Bureau . Jill and Larry Horist are joined by Yang An (center right) and Wang Xiquan  (lower center), of the Heilongjiang Provincial Development and Reform Commission.  They are surrounded by the student interpreters.  Red is English, yellow is Japanese and green is Russian. During the Expo dinner, Xie Yingmei introduces the Horists to the leader of the Consultancy, Yang Guojun, Director of the Party Committee Consultancy.
 
Hollywood Foodcourt Progresses
Apart from the Expo, the HBE contingent advanced the establishment of the Brown’s Hollywood Food Palace – the joint venture between TJI International and Brown’s Chicken and Pasta.  Mr. Di Guojun, of the Wanda Commercial Development Group, flew from Dalian to Harbin for the sole purpose to participate in critical interim negotiation.  Larry Horist called the meeting “extremely productive.”
 
Ladies Night
One highlight of the visit was a “ladies dinner” hosted by HBE’s Jill Horist for a number of Harbin's leading women.  The high-powered women represented both government and business.  Attendees included:  Xie Yingmei, Vice Secretary of Party Committee Consultancy; Wang Guilan, Chairman of the Board of Songhuajiang Purchase Industry, not to mention her many roles in the Chinese Congress; Zhoua Xue, Member of the Party Committee Consultancy; Sun Yunlah, entrepreneur and owner of Meijiana spa and cosmetics line; Xia Renwen (Ronnie) Deputy Director of Harbin Development Zone; Kong Ling, Director of the Longjiang Forest Industry, who is interested in investors for the Chinese ski industry; and Kathy Cai of the Harbin Foreign Affairs Office.
 

Guests at Jill Horist,s "Ladies Dinner" include (from left to right) Xia Renwen (Ronnie), Kathy Cai,  Zhou Xue, Jill Horist, 
Wang Guilan, Xie Yingmei, Kong Ling, and Sun Yunlah.
 
 Investment Opportunities Explored
The HBE group was introduced to the specifics of one of Harbin’s most important public works projects.  Over the course of several sessions, a prominent Harbin construction company briefed the HBE on the details of the Fourth Ring Road project (diagram below).  This public works project will complete the major highway that will surround the current urban area of Harbin, and provide critical transportation access for the New City being developed north of the Songhua River.  What is most significant about this project is that this road segment will be constructed as a private sector project, with proceeds flowing to the development company.  It will be a major privatized road.  HBE has been asked to play a major role in the funding of this project.  General understanding was achieved during meetings in Harbin, and a formal agreement is expected to be signed in the very near future.
 

 

The HBE team stayed in the luxurious penthouse of the Songhuajiang Hotel.  With its open-air patio overlooking Flood Monument Plaza and the scenic Songhua River walk, the accommodations are among the very best in Harbin.  The HBE guests were particularly pleased and honored since hotel owner, Wang Guilan, provided luxury accommodations with VIP treatment at all times. 

Mrs. Wang and the Horists also signed agreement for HBE to represent the hotel in arranging for a purchase or joint venture partnership.  The hotel, which opened in January, has enjoyed a very good occupancy rate.  As an 84-room boutique hotel, it caters to upscale visitors.  Among its many features is a 5-bedroom suite with sauna, steam, game room and two-story lounge area.  According to Larry Horist, the Songhuajiang was among the finest small luxury hotels in northern China, and located in the perfect place for the upscale traveler or tourist.

 

 
Friends and Fun

With young Alex in town, not all activities were business.  The younger Horist was the guest of honor at a children’s dinner (below center) hosted by Wang Xi Quan (Henry), of the Provincial Reform Commission.  Mr. Wang also hosted Alex, Mr. Her, and HBE’s local representative, Yan Zhong Zhu (David) to a day of swimming at the community natatorium.  He also provided the group with tickets for a China vs. Russia hockey game (China won).

Among the highlights for Alex was a visit to Harbin’s Culture Park, one of the largest amusement parks in China, and home of the largest Ferris wheel in Asia.  He was joined on the roller coaster by Yan Zhang Zhu, Xiong Her and his dad (below right).  Among the other treats for Alex was roller blading along the Songhua River walk, and viewing Star Wars in Chinese.  He also spent and evening being entertained to magic tricks and juggling by the bartenders at the Log Cabin, and American style night club.  The fact that one of the tricks went slightly awry, and Alex’s shirt caught fire, did not dampen the enthusiasm.  Of course, dancing and karaoke was part of the night scene, and even at 11, Alex was no wallflower (below left).

 

 
The HBE party was greatly honored by the overwhelming kindness and friendship of Xie Yingmei, Vice Secretary of Party Committee Consultancy, and her brother, Xie Yingyi.  Mrs. Xie is among the Horists’ longest standing friends in Harbin.  The Xies hosted two wonderful evenings in honor of the HBE visitors.  One was a dinner feast with many of the leaders of the Consultancy (below left and center).  In addition, the HBE group was honored as special guests at a private Xie family dinner (below right), where more than 12 family members gathered with the Horists for karaoke and dancing.  The Xie family is among the most influential in Harbin, many of whom hold very high-level government, business and military positions.
 

 

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