Harbin Business Exchange In Brief
  A weekly email update . . . January 12, 2005  


Surprising Harbin - Speed Dating

Winning Bid

Tax Reform Stimulates Investment

Direct to Taiwan

March 2005 Trade Mission

Surprising Harbin - Speed Dating

Did you know that . . . young urbanites in Harbin never thought of dating eight or 10 people in one night until "eight-minute-dating" launched in Harbin recently. Started in 2001 by a Houston-based company, eight- minute-dating has become popular in many cities across the United States and is gaining popularity in several bars in Beijing, Shanghai and Harbin. During the event, every young man and woman pairs up for an eight-minute conversation. When the bell rings, they exchange partners for another eight-minute chat. This dating "game" has been enthusiastically received by urbanites whose fast pace of life leaves less time for a social life.

The majority of the eight-minute-dating participants are people between the ages of 20 and 30, with a relatively high educational background. They include public servants, teachers, doctors, journalists and company clerks, said Li Nan, of Harbin Xindongcaihong Media Company, which introduced the activity to the city.

   Dear Friends:

Several years ago, I described what I thought to be the progression of Chinese-U.S. business relationship as the "five phases". Phase One was purchasing low cost good in China to sell in the U.S. Phase Two was the establishment (or joint venturing) of manufacturing facilities in China for the production of goods to be sold in the U.S. Phase Three was the establishment of production to sell goods to the growing Chinese market. Phase Four was the direct investment of U.S. money into Chinese projects. And . . . the Fifth Phase is the investment of Chinese money in America. At the time, many "China hands" did not see that as a reasonable prediction in the near future. On has to remember, however, that importing goods from China is not just a matter of the labor cost differential. The enormous shipping costs are a critical factor. For the Chinese to reach the rich American market, they are going to have to invest in manufacturing closer to the customers. Well . . . the Fifth Phase is beginning to be seen.

Example . . . Chinese officials have approached us to identify manufacturing companies in automotive related industries that can be acquired or joint ventured, Example . . . Chinese companies, such as Haier, already have built factories in the U.S. Example . . . former U.S. Senator Adlai Stevenson, of Illinois, is heading up the Midwest U.S.-China Association, a blue ribbon group dedicated to securing Chinese investment in middle America. I predict this will be the emerging story of Sino-American relations as Chinese cost advantages diminish on imports. Larry Horist - President HBE

  • Winning Bid
  •   This city of Harbin went wild on Monday the moment George Killian, president of the International University Sports Federation (FISU) announced that Harbin has won a landslide victory in its bid for the 24th Winter Universiade in 2009, beating out its rival Erzurum of Turkey. The event will be the highest-level comprehensive sports competition Harbin has ever hosted since it held the third Asian Winter Games in 1996.

    After losing its bid for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in August 2002, Harbin has now realized its dream of hosting an international winter athletic event, which it hopes will pave the way for a bid for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. Winning the bid campaign will not only bring benefits to the city, but also a new opportunity to promote winter sports. The largest ski centre, the Yabuli Ski site in the Harbin suburbs, where most of the competitions may be held, will be renovated. Its slopes will be extended and more buildings and houses will be built to increase accommodations.

  • Tax Reform Stimulates Investment
  •   Thousands of companies in Northeast China have benefited from the central government's pilot reform of value-added tax, which aims to increase companies' investment and forms an important part of the authorities' measures to revitalize this old industrial base. The Harbin Bearing Group Co was one of the luckiest firms. Under the reform, the company obtained a tax rebate worth USD $20,482 last month, which later turned into profits for the company. Foreign joint venture companies can also utilize this tax rebate to boost profits.

    China has been practicing a production-based value- added tax since 1994, which classifies fixed assets as taxable consumer goods and are subject to the tax. Fears over a loss in tax revenues meant that the government left the system untouched, until the recent northeastern pilot reform.

  • Direct to Taiwan
  •   China proposed on Wednesday one-off, non-stop charter flights between Chinese and Taiwanese cities during the Lunar New Year holiday in February in a move aimed at easing tension between the two countries. Landmark direct charter flights between the Chinese cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Xiamen and the Taiwanese cities of Taipei, Kaohsiung and Taichung would mark a step towards ending a decades-old ban by the island on direct air links with China.

    Taiwan has banned direct air and shipping links with the mainland since their split in 1949 when the Nationalists lost the Chinese civil war and fled to the island. Trade, investment and tourism have boomed since the late 1980s, albeit routed predominantly through Hong Kong and Macau. Taiwan investors, who have invested up to USD$100 billion into China, have long clamored for non-stop flights.

  • March 2005 Trade Mission
  •   Harbin Business Exchange will be hosting a trade mission to Harbin and Beijing from March 19 - 26. Unique investment and outsourcing opportunities. Personalized itinerary for delegates including meetings with high-level state and privately owned enterprises and government officials. The total all inclusive cost is $3,200. Register by February 1 and pay only $2,950.

    For more information, please call 312 565-4499 or email us at info@habex.org.

    Trade Mission Information

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