Harbin Business Exchange in Brief
A Weekly Email Date . . . November 7, 2005

in this issue

Surprising Harbin - Little Boy with a Big Heart

Harbin’s industry and mountain tours attracts

Japanese Ramen in China?




Surprising Harbin - Little Boy with a Big Heart

Did you know . . . that a nine-year-old boy from Harbin purchased hundreds of books recently and donated them to a charity helping AIDS orphans. For the past year, Sun Huixi has been selling used ottles, saving thousands of Yuan which he used to buy 800 books which he donated to the Red Ribbon Family, China's first home for AIDS orphans. Books include the Green Fairy and Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales.

According to the boy's mother, Sun has always been very generous to people in need. Last year, some photos of orphans with AIDS in the newspaper which motivated him to make a difference.

Dear Friends:

Virtually everyone knows of the opportunities to outsource from China, to establish factories and to build residential and commercial property. Not so commonly known may be the best business opportunities of all – investment in public works projects.

While privatization of public works has been a slowly evolving concept in the United States, it is a leading edge concept in China. As China transforms from a state-owned-everything economy to a free-market economy, the government’s divestiture of enterprises is an aggressive policy. Interestingly, transfer from private to public sector ownership does not stop with what we in the west think of as traditional private enterprises. The Chinese are more than willing to provide for public needs by inviting private capital to directly fund projects such as highways, bridges, water treatment plants, sewerage facilities, power generators and transportation systems.

Properly negotiated, the opportunity to “own” a toll way or rapid transportation system can bring enormous financial rewards.

No where are such opportunities more plentiful and favorable than in Harbin. One such project is called Fourth Ring Road. It is a vital link between the current city of Harbin and the New City development, which will double the size of the urban city area. Under the current proposal, the city has offered up the Fourth Ring Road for private investment, construction and ownership. Between five and nine toll booths will generate sufficient revenue to provide for a high rate of return.

For more information about this project, and others, drop us an email.

By way of update, we are schedule to be off tomorrow (November 8) for Harbin with Frank Portillo, owner of Brown’s Chicken and Pasta and our joint venture partner in the proposed Hollywood Food Palace. We will be met there by a group of American investors, who will be arriving from Vietnam to discuss the new restaurant.

Have a productive week!

Larry P. Horist

President - HBE

  • Harbin’s industry and mountain tours attracts
  • China’s policy of revitalizing its northeast region has gained the public’s eye. At the center of all this is Harbin, the Capital of China’s Heilongjiang province. Being northeast China’s historic industrial base, Harbin has gained the attention of the tourist and entrepreneurs not only through its industry but also through its beautiful mountains.

    Apart from downtown, mountain climbing tours display another characteristic of the area. The varieties of mountain vegetation are changing to warm autumn colors of red, orange and yellows during this time of the year.

    China’s natural site is not the only area that has been attracting tourists. Harbin City has organized industrial travel tours. Some examples are the oil cultural tour in Daqing, on of China’s traditional oil fields; the military industrial tour to the Hua’an machinery company and Harbin’s no. 3 electric power generating company.

  • Japanese Ramen in China?
  • On business trips to Tokyo, Osaka and other cities, Ma Songbo says he would eat up to 10 bowls of ramen a day. After falling for the Japanese-style ramen, Ma has decided to open a restaurant in Harbin serving this particular type of ramen.

    Ma Songbo, President of Eastern Dumpling King chain based in Harbin, is a veteran of the food service industry and owns a chain of shops serving gyoza (fried dumplings stuffed with minced pork). He says he will have to alter the recipe to match the Chinese taste. His plan is the open the first restaurant in Harbin and open 300 more within three years.

    Ma first started 12 years ago. Now, his success has lead him to investments in education and cemetery management. Ma says, “My biggest problem is deciding what business to put my money in.”

  • The School of Entrepreneurship and Business (SEB) of the University of Essex, Southend, has now established new but firm working links with several leading Chinese universities for joint activities on research, management training programs and academic program development in entrepreneurship and innovation.

    Aiming mainly at the postgraduate and industry- specific markets, SEB proposes to work with institutions such as Harbin Institute of Technology. Professor Jay Mitra, head of SEB, who has only just returned from another visit to China said: “China’s business market is phenomenal and offers considerable opportunities for both commercial and educational links for many organizations. “China has a lot to offer not only in terms of markets but also in relation to learning opportunities.

    SEB is working on both research and education programs and developing a range of initiatives aimed at helping British and Chinese businesses, especially the smaller firms, gain partnership access to each other’s countries and in selected regions which offer compatible opportunities.

  • China's first private oil pipeline to import oil from Russia is expected to be completed and start operation next year, sources said. An 18-mile cross river pipeline will link railway lines between Heihe, a port city in Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, and Siberia's Blagoveshchensk in Russia. With an estimated total investment of US$64 million, Heihe- based Xinghe Industries Development Co Ltd. will invest US$43 million, and the Moscow-based Russian Lanta Oil Company will contribute the remaining US$21 million.

    The whole project is expected to be completed in September 2006, with an initial annual transporting capacity of 3 million tons of oil. It may reach its full capacity of 5 million tons by the year 2008. China now imports about less than 10 million tons of crude oil from Russia each year. The number will reach 15 million tons in 2006, according to an agreement signed between the two countries last October.

    Earlier this year, the province has called for more privately-owned companies as the main forces to exploit the Russian markets.

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