Harbin Brown's Hollywood Food Palaces On Its Way
Qing An Food Conference

Team Harbin Sets Up A Bank Account

Banking In China

Harbin Brown's Hollywood Food Palaces On Its Way
The administrative table is set for Harbin Brown's Hollywood Food Palace (BHFP). During the August adventure, Team Harbin, Jill Horist, David Yan and Xie YingYi moved the Chinese corporate paperwork one document at a time to the "completed" folder.  Meetings on-site took place with the Public Safety Department, the Fire Marshall, and the Chinese architect.  Public Safety officials reviewed and approved layouts.  The Chief Fire Inspector indicated that the building design is so well constructed it surpasses the municipal safety codes in every aspect. Administrative certificates and registrations were obtained for the company name, provincial and municipal tax numbers, and receipt of the official, "letter of invitation" to do business by the government.

Among the more exciting meetings that took place was during the trip to Shanghai to Warner Brothers, Inc. International Cinemas  with Mr. T.J. Green,  Vice President of Operational Development and Special Projects.  The Hollywood Food Palace is heavily designed with the American Hollywood theme as it adjoins the Warner eight screen cineplex at the Wanda Mall.  Jill and T.J., along with staff at Warner, reviewed the vision and plans for BHFP.  T.J. verified for Jill that the Harbin Cineplex is consistently among the top 10 box office admissions for all cinemas in all of China.

Warner is quite enthusiastic with the Hollywood Food Palace.  They have given preliminary permissions for cross marketing and character/image usage in decorative features of the restaurant.  T.J. also indicated that Warner would welcome further cooperation with Brown's in future expansion arrangements.  The Warner cineplex in Shenyang is the number 1 cinema in China and the space next to it there would be applicable to the Brown's concept.  In addition to the Wanda cooperative effort, Warner is working with another major real estate developer in China and would encourage Brown's to advance its sales sites there also.

Jill Horist (center) along with the fire marshall and architect. Jill (center) with Architects from the Brygrakus Decorate Project Company. T.J. Green from Warner Brothers International Cinema and Jill.
Qing An Food Conference
Over 1,000 people from 5 provinces and numerous foreign countries attended "The 5th Annual Green Technology Food Conference" held in Qing An.  The three day event is comparable to the U.S. Restaurant Association's massive conclave every spring.  This Conference offered tastings, machinery for conveniences, wholesale opportunities, and manufacturing partnerships, primarily all with a "natural" twist.    Seminars were held with key leaders from each industry segment advancing the latest techniques and practices in producing, manufacturing, farming,  and profiting from mass Green Technology practices. The Central Government offers great tax incentives, discounted JV opportunities and an array of dramatic incentives to keep the Chinese ag/food service/restaurant industry growing in an intelligent manner both with consumer and economic health in mind.  Unlike the U.S. where Green Tech is still considered a bit "avant garde", it is "dujour" among the Chinese business culture.

The countryside of Qing An (town about the size of Decatur)  is lush agriculture territory.  It is just over 100 miles and 3 hours by train, outside of Harbin.  The train ride was a delight. The massive Harbin station is an organized sea of people.  As a mode of general transportation, the trains were clean, albeit crowded  (an impressive 22+ cars), but very modern and complete with food service cart vendors coming down the aisle every 30 minutes or so, offering inexpensive, freshly made soups and dumplings.

Jill was among the honored quests being introduced on the main stage at the opening ceremonies.  She met with the Party Secretary of the Region Mr. Hu Shiying.  Her host,  Mr. Li Jian, Chairman of the Board of Harbin Sigma Industry and Commerce Co.,  made sure the arrangements were superior for her and  HBE President Mr. Xie Ying Yi.

If you are interested in any segment of this industry, please contact HBE for details.

Jill, Vicky Lee, international business student, and Xie YingYi, President of HBE, walking the red carpet during the convention for the opening ceremony. Jill along with Vicky Lee wait with the other attendees of the convention while pictures are taken. Jill and Xie YingYi with officials from "The 5th Annual Green Technology Food Conference"
Team Harbin Sets Up A Bank Account
The Harbin Team of Jill Horist, David Yan and Xie YingYi diligently worked to establish the corporate enterprise of TJI International as a wholly owned foreign enterprise in China.  Jill met with various professional people who graciously spent time answering either the most mundane or complex questions she could generate.  They provided personal thoughts of help and assistance also. She specifically would like to thank Mr. Steven Sun of the Songhuajiang Purchase Industry Group, and Mr. Liu Yong of China Construction Bank for their valuable insight and time.  (For more information about setting up a bank account in China, click here.)

The Bank of China is comparable to the US Treasury --- with the difference in that the Bank of China has ultimate authority over the entire system.  While there is no FDIC equivalent in China,  it is common and a solid belief that funds are secure to the point where Bank of China will not let its Top Four (as they are known) get into financial difficulty barring complete catastrophe.  The Top Four are the China Construction Bank, the Industry and Commerce Bank, the Agriculture Bank, and the Bank of China.  They essentially operate on a free market system now trying to attract customers from all walks of life regardless of the names.

TJI International chose the China Construction Bank to open its Foreign Currency Account.  This bank has 220 Billion US Dollars in assets.  It is going public on the Hong Kong Exchange in spring of 2006 with the Bank of America as its partner.

Your Chinese corporate physical headquarters will be located in a specific District (common to USA city wards).  Officials of the District will assist in every way possible to complete the process.  However, it is still necessary for personal attention to the various steps in the procedure.

As a rule, the government "counter" people were mostly helpful and pleasant.  The entire process was less than $800 in various fees and supplies directly related to obtaining the certificates and opening the bank accounts.

 Just a little note -- A Foreign Currency Account ONLY accepts and releases Foreign Currency.  It is necessary to open a local RMB account to conduct everyday business.

 Signatures don't count for much here -- or nothing, financially at least.  The official government issued "chops" as they are called, are good as gold.  The "chops" are the stamps you get while filing and filling out the documents.  Certain combinations of the stamps are what provide the release of funds of the accounts.

 The banks are quite up to modern technology with electronic information in all forms available to foreign companies.  Transactions overseas can take about 72 hours though.  With the push on to get foreign investment, you can be assured of all kinds of personal banking assistance from the highest ranking bank officials.

 The Department of Foreign Affairs will keep an eye on the activity of the account just to confirm that the company maintain cash flow/debts and assets within an acceptable balance.  This monitoring is how the government assures its system stays healthy.  However, protections of privacy are in place regarding the activity of the account. Jill was told innumerable times, "Your money is your business and you can do with it what you please."  (Of course within common legal restraints.)  Assets will not be seized arbitrarily or any such thing.

*More information about setting up a bank account in China can be found here.

Jill with the Management of the China Construction Bank along with Vicky and Yan Zhong Zhu (David). Jill in front of the "Wealth Management Center" (bank) Larry's official Chinese Stamp.

Copyright 2005 Harbin Business Exchange, Inc.

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