What is the Harbin Business Exchange (HBE)?
What does the HBE do?
Why have I not heard of Harbin?
Why Harbin?
What can I/we expect from an HBE trade mission?
Isn't seven days too long for a visit to one city?
Who should consider this trip?
What is included in the price?
What is NOT included in the price?
What is the benefit of early registration?
How do I get more information or sign up for the next trade mission?

Testimonials

What is the Harbin Business Exchange (HBE)?

The Harbin Business Exchange is a nonprofit organization that serves to promote the City of Harbin (in Northeast China) with the American business community. HBE promotes investment, trade, tourism and educational exchanges between the city and the United States.

 
What does the HBE do?
HBE assists American businesses in two ways.  First: HBE provides an initial introduction to Harbin, and the business and government leadership.  This is primarily done through trade missions that combine that feature both general get acquainted meetings, and specific one-on-one meetings connecting potential American and Chinese business partners.  Second: HBE provides follow up services for business that wish to pursue leads and opportunities.
 
Why have I not heard of Harbin?
Harbin IS NOT well known in the United States or western Europe because the focus of western businesses has been on southern China.  Harbin IS well known in Asia, Russia and eastern Europe.  Business leaders from those countries are aggressive in pursuing the opportunities of Harbin.  One business leader calls Harbin “the land of low hanging fruit”.    The purpose of the HBE is to bring the Harbin opportunities to the attention of the American business community.
 
Why Harbin?

In founding the HBE, U.S. management consultant Larry P. Horist evaluated the potential of Harbin as a point of entry for American business interests.  He describes Harbin as a “land of opportunity within a land of opportunity”.  Harbin enjoys several advantages over even southern China. 

  1. The wage scale is between one-third and one-half that of the major cities of southern China.
  2. Despite the wage advantage, Harbin is the center of precision manufacturing. (Low wages and skilled manufacturing is an exceptional combination).
  3. Harbin has an abundance of natural resources to be commercialized.
  4. Harbin is close to the important markets of Japan, Korea and Russia.
  5. It has a reputation for ethical business transactions.
 
What can I (we) expect from an HBE trade mission?

HBE trade mission have four objectives.

  1. Background on the City, its people, history and culture.  This is done through meetings and special tours and events.

  2. HBE also puts delegates together with the top leaders in business and government.  In a nation where relationships have special meaning, such high level contacts are extremely important.  This includes traditional feasts hosted by top officials.

  3. Special one-on-one meetings with business or government officials specifically associated with your business interests.  HBE and the Harbin Foreign Investment Administration Bureau make every effort to produce meetings based on your goals in China.  These initial meetings from the foundation for individual follow up, negotiations and future trips to Harbin.

  4. Some shopping is included in the schedule because of all the fabulous bargains in Harbin and Beijing.

Since business is the primary purpose, tell me more about the individual, one-on-one meetings.

Based on information you provide regarding your objectives (i.e. investment opportunities, joint ventures, marketing in China, outsourcing, etc.), the HFIAB will arrange specific meetings.  For such meetings, you will be provided with translators, transportation and the advice and assistance of the HBE.  

Since this is an introductory visit, such meetings are on a “best effort” basis.  Each participant can expect at least one or two such meetings, and more in some cases.  It is a starting point upon which future visits and meetings can ensue.

 
Isn’t seven days too long for a visit to one city?

On the contrary, it is hardly long enough for meaningful evaluation of opportunities in Harbin.  (It should be noted that due to the time changes and flight times, the mission is only 5 working days). We have now included a leisure 3-day stopover in Beijing to compliment our trade missions. 

Many trade missions of this length will feature 3 or 4 cities.  When you consider the travel times, and the inconvenience of “living out of a suitcase”, it is obvious that such tours can only provide superficial or ceremonial meetings.  They offer little or no opportunity to pursue the individual business interests of participants, nor time for immediate follow up.

 
Who should consider this trip?

There are 4 categories of business interests which should be (or need to be) looking at China.

  1. Anyone interested in establishing facilities in China.  This can include manufacturing facilities, hotels, restaurants, retail outlets, academic centers, etc.  Harbin is in a tremendous growth period, and the opportunities for such investments are almost limitless.

  2. Companies involved in building and infrastructure.  This may include major construction, architects, engineering companies, environmental firms, etc.  Harbin has many top quality investment projects. http://www.harbex.org/bus_ops.html

  3. Businesses seeking joint venture partners for business expansion in China.

  4. American manufacturers interested in reaching the enormous and growing Chinese market.  Despite the general perception, there are many opportunities for U.S. businesses to sell good in China.

 
What is included in the price?

HBE trade missions are bargains, especially when you consider the level of activities.  The listed price (which may vary by season) is usually between $2,500 and $4,000.  This includes round trip airfare from Chicago O' Hare International Airport (ORD) to Harbin and Beijing, accommodations at a 4-star hotel in downtown Harbin and Beijing, all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner), ground transportation, translators, special event tickets and costs which may be incurred to arrange special one-on-one meetings.  There are often bonuses that reduce the cost even further.

 

What is NOT included in the price?

Visa application and processing fees, Airfare to and from ORD, personal hotel charges, personal purchases, and personal tips (though tipping is not allowed in China, itself).
 
What is the benefit of early registration?
The earlier you register the more time it allows us to tailor the individual private meetings to your needs. The better we (yourself and HBE) are aware and prepared with your interests and needs, the better the matchmaking with companies will be. This will eliminate companies that are not an exact match with your needs.
 
How do I get more information or sign up for the next trade mission?

You can use the application form (PDF) on this website to register for the next trade mission, or contact Mr. Cyril Lim at
info (at) harbex (dot) net or call (773) 596-5599.

 
Testimonials
“Before arriving, I thought seven days was too much.  It turned out that it was not enough time to explore the many opportunities offered by Harbin.  I plan to take advantage of those exciting opportunities on return trips.”

Raymond Cesca, President and CEO, GAEÁ, Chairman, International Food Products Committee

“In our meetings with top political and business leaders, it seems that Larry Horist may well be the best-known and most influential American in Harbin.  The obvious respect he receives in every quarter is both professional and personal.  He is the go-to guy for any business interested in this dynamic region of China.”

John Childs, Partner, Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal

 

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