Harbin Business Exchange in Brief
A Weekly Email Update . . . October 11, 2005

in this issue

Surprising Harbin - Grapes

Food Glorious Food

Banking In China

Bank Account Checklist

BHFP Update

National Day Tourist Boom


Surprising Harbin - Grapes

Did you know that . . . Harbin and Sonoma county have more in common than we realize? Grapes! Grapes are grown over thousands of acres of land in the outskirts of Harbin in the city of Suihua. Over time, these grapes will be cultivated for the purpose of making wine. Currently, these grapes are either sold as it is or made into “sugar wine”, which essentially is potent grape juice with about 3% alcohol. It has become quite a popular recreational activity for many families. Armed with a basket and clippers, grapes are picked from the vines, weighed and brought home for consumption.

Although China does is not known for wine making, the culture dates back to at least four generations in northern China. It is believed that grape growing in China dates back 3000 years. Though the bulk of the winery is currently south of Beijing, which provides the volume, the Central Government is actively supporting vineyard developments in the north where the climate is more conducive of producing quality grapes. The Heilongjiang Academy of Agriculture Science has developed the Horticulture Research Academy to breed and conduct research on grapes in this region. There has been increased interest from the international wine making community in learning more about this industry in China. The USDA has sponsored trips to visit where participants learn more about the type of grapes and cultivation techniques used in this region with harsh climatic changes.

With the increase in disposable income and fondness of the western culture, wine drinking has increased in popularity in China. Even if a small percentage of the total populations in China are wine drinkers, this large number shows the potential and opportunity of this growth industry.

Source: Bob Parke and Tom Blocher

Dear Friends:

These have been busy days for HBE. Jill recently returned from an extended stay in Harbin – five weeks. You can read more about her activities below, or refer to our website

In addition, we hosted a high level delegation of Heilongjiang provincial leaders under the leadership of Mr. Zhu Deyi, Deputy Director of The Investment Promotion Bureau of Heilongjiang Province. Their visit had two purposes: (1) To meet with important business leaders in Chicago and Los Angeles, and (2) to do advance work for the planned Springtime visit of the provincial governor.

HBE host the delegation at the Executive Club of Chicago, where we were provided a reserved VIP table, and formally introduced to the audience of more than 400 leading Chicago executives. HBE also provided a private meeting and photo opportunity with the featured speaker, Mr. George Buckley, chairman of Brunswick Corporation.

We were honored to again be invited to the National Day celebrations by our good friends at the Chinese Consulate, including Consul General Xu Jinzhong. As always, it was a festive occasion of fine food, libations and an impressive audience of old (and new) China hands.

Our next business trip to Harbin will be November 5th. More details on our website.

Have a productive day!

Larry P. Horist President - Harbin Business Exchange

  • Food Glorious Food
  • 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. Read More

  • Banking In China
  • 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. Read More

  • Bank Account Checklist
  • A guideline of steps on how to establish a Chinese bank account is available for your reference. Read More

  • BHFP Update
  • 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 . . . Read More

  • National Day Tourist Boom
  • Tourism is booming during the week of National Day. Over 90 million people travel across China, 12 percent higher than the previous year.

    Spending has also increased dramatically. According to statistics issued by the National Bureau of Statistics and China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), during the vacation week from October 1 to 7, more than 35 billion Yuan (US$4.3 billion) was circulated. Studies showed that 36.23 million travelers toured the leading 31 tourist cities in China attracted, of those 9.74 million stayed the night. In addition, sales were also up. The 136 main shopping centers in these cities reported an increase of 19 percent from the previous year.

    Sun Gang, CNTA deputy director, said that the economic and social profit achieved during the National Day holiday is "very encouraging."

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