Harbin Business Exchange In Brief
  A weekly email update . . . January 4, 2005  

HEADLINES

Surprising Harbin - Russian Village

Tool Company Joint Venture Deal

China Curbs Copyright Piracy

Locals Rival Foreigners

Healthy Farmers



Surprising Harbin - Russian Village

Did you know that . . . a new tourist-oriented Russian village, staffed with ethnic Russians has opened in the Sun Island resort of Harbin. The village provides a Russian cultural experience to residence and tourist to the Harbin. Singer, painters and dancers from Vladivostok and Khabarovsk will serve as entertainers and service staff of the village. The village provides large-scale employment for many Russians who have immigrated to this part of China and continues the cultural bridge between the two nations.

The village is operated by Jianglong Group, a local company.

   Dear Friends:

We are off to a running start. This week marks the opening of the fabulous Harbin Snow and Ice Festival. You can check our website for some pictures of past events. It is also the start of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival Economic and Trade Fair. While it is a bit late to take advantage of these events, we will be taking business leaders and investors to Harbin in March. Watch this space for details. Our trips offer great advantages over many business missions. We do not cram too many cities into each trip. Visiting a city a day may be interesting from a tourist standpoint, but it is impossible to provide delegates with meaningful business connections and discussions. Also, we limit the number of delegates for the same reason. Trip that bring 50 to 300 people per mission are little more than tourist programs. We try to make sure each of our delegates have clear business objectives, and that they engage in serious and substantive meetings with top government officials, potential business partners, and legitimate sources of goods. Also, visiting so many cities in one trip means excruciating travel - packing an unpacking, registering and checking out every day. Most of the valuable time in China is in non-productive and wearying travel. We believe that "business" should be the primary purpose of a business trip. It is an investment that should realize a real return.

Through our company, TJI International, we are pursuing a number of specific investment opportunities in Harbin. The most significant at the moment is a partnership for a Hollywood-style food court in the heart of the tourist and commercial area. This will be a joint venture with Brown's Chicken and Pasta, and be located next to the brand new Warner Bros. 16-screen movie house - in a new mall anchored by Wal-Mart. It is envisioned that this will be the first of similar arrangements throughout out China in the next few years. If you would like to learn more about this investment opportunity, give us a call. Larry Horist - President HBE

  • Tool Company Joint Venture Deal
  •   Harbin No 1 Tool Corporation (at the Harbin Development Zone) established a joint-venture (JV) with Plasma und Vakuum Technik GmbH (PVT), a well- known vacuum coating company based in Germany. The first batch of 13 million yuan (US$1.5 million) worth of equipment imported from Germany has arrived and the company is expected to start operation in January. The JV is a successful joint-stock program in Harbin's move to revitalize its old industrial base.

    PVT will now have easy access to the Chinese tool market with the help of the vast sales network of Harbin No 1 Tool Corporation covering 30 provinces, cities, and autonomous regions, and more than 30 countries and regions in Europe, the Americas, and Southeast Asia. The JV will mainly provide coating service for tool companies in Northeast China upon completion and can achieve an estimated annual output of US$2 million.

  • China Curbs Copyright Piracy
  •   China announced more stringent legal measure to combat rampant copyright piracy, which is one of the major concerns of its major trade partners. The measures include expanding the scope of violations punishable by prison sentences and prison terms up to seven years for the most serious offenders. According to China's highest court, it is their hope that this will make it economically impossible for the criminals convicted and sentenced to recommit the crime.

    A spokesman said the U.S. embassy had taken note of the news and would examine the text carefully with government departments that follow IPR issues, Reuters reported. U.S. officials and businesses have complained that it has been too difficult to prosecute copyright violators, and successful cases have almost always resulted in modest fines that provide little deterrence.

  • Locals Rival Foreigners
  •   The investments of private entrepreneurs in China are transforming the economy in a way that rivals the influence of the headline-grabbing foreign investors. This is particularly visible in the industrial rustbelt of China's northeast, which in 2003, was identified by Beijing as the target of its latest developmental campaign to "revitalize the northeast".

    Now, as foreign companies bid for stakes in the many state-owned companies being put up for sale by provincial and city governments across China, they are more likely than ever to discover that their competition is a Chinese entrepreneur with less than 10 years of corporate experience. Being small, the Chinese investors are more flexible and do not face the cultural and legal issues. Though it is difficult to make a precise comparison between domestic and foreign investments, officials say that domestic investment from other provinces is now running about equal with inflows of foreign investments.

  • Healthy Farmers
  •   A new rural co-operative medical system launched in Hulan of Harbin, will provide the necessary financial aid to help farmers with high medical costs related to serious illnesses. Experiences from the pilot project will benefit the expected establishment of a health insurance system covering 18 million farmers throughout the province. If successful, the system will be fully implemented by 2010.

    For decades, low-income farmers in China have benefited little from the country's healthcare budget. For many of them getting sick equates to becoming broke. Now, they have the option to join the system, with each farmer paying USD 1.20 annually and the city and province making the rest of the contribution. Being the largest grain production bases in China, Heilongjiang Province, which has a very large rural population, will reap tremendous benefit from this new program.


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