Surprising Harbin - Miss Universe China
Did you know . . . fifty young
contestants from around China gathered last
week in Harbin to participate in the final of the
2006 Miss Universal China. The winner will
represent China in the 2006 Miss Universe
According to officials of the pageant,
contestants jointly expressed their love for
animals and children, some going as far as
adopting tiger cubs and visiting orphans in the
Heilongjiang Province. Eleven cubs have been
adopted from the world's largest forest-based
tiger park in Harbin. The committee also
sponsored a trip for some candidates to visit a
village in Qiqihar, where they became foster
mothers for the orphans.
Qin Zhen, an official with the organizing
committee, said that the pageant is a very
important event among the world's various
beauty contests. The annual event has attracted
over 100 million TV viewers of 150 countries and
This is the fourth year for the Chinese to
participate in the Miss Universal pageant. As
there has been no Chinese contestant in the
semi finals to date, true to the competitive
spirit, the Chinese remains hopeful to have their
country in the semi finals this year.
Some have asked why we have made our
commitment to Harbin.
First, because Harbin was our introduction to
China. Looking at the ski industry in 1999, we
were bound for the snow covered mountains of
northern China. Despite the long terms
prospects, we were ahead of market and
infrastructure to get U.S. investor interest in ski
development. It did give us an opportunity to
get acquainted with the Harbin leaders, and to
recognize many non-ski investment opportunities.
Out of those first meeting, and budding
friendships, we developed the idea of the Harbin
Business Exchange, and in response, Jill and I
were appointed Special Foreign Investment
Advisors to the city.
Most importantly, our tie to Harbin was based on
our belief that the best modis operendi
initially concentrate on a “one region” strategy –
to develop and in-depth relationship with the
government, business and civic leadership and
to gain a mass of critical knowledge of the local
culture and specific business opportunities.
The following article further discusses the
effectiveness of such strategy and we
recommend Harbin as the city of choice. In
addition, we encourage you to contact us to
obtain a FREE copy of a reprint of a recent article
in the China International Business magazine
regarding Harbin. Details can be found at the
end of this newsletter.
Have a productive week! Larry P. Horist -
|Harbin and The One Region Strategy
The success of the “one region” strategy
prompts us to recommend it to our clients and
friends. Certainly, the Fortune 500 companies,
with nationwide ambitions in China – and
enormous financial and human resources – can
implement an all-China strategy.
I have been a critic of American investment in
China. We are too slow, too timid and lacking
the entrepreneurial spirit – at least as compared
to the Canadians, Japanese, South Koreans,
Hong Kongers, east Europeans and South
Africans. I have warned that unless U.S.
investors and business leaders become more
aggressive, America will be on the short end of
the burgeoning Chinese market economy.
In addition to being more aggressive, we
recommend the “one region” strategy for
investment. One of our goals is to amass a
group of investors to operate like an opportunity
fund for multiple investments Harbin.
Why this approach?
The answer is simple. The ability to identify,
negotiate, conduct due diligent and implement
investment opportunities is significantly
improved in an environment that is understood,
and the relationships are both broad and deep.
Among the major advantages is the ability to
progress through the complex Chinese
bureaucratic layers that are part of any business
arrangement. A good understanding of the
system can anticipate more issues, and bring
about more favorable responses and decisions.
It can accelerate the timetable.
It is also much easer to monitor and manage
multiple investments in a single cultural
climate. In addition, there are many cost
efficiencies, such as travel and accommodations.
Having established the point that a “one region”
concept is highly beneficial, the question
remains. What region? Of course, we suggest
Harbin because of our historic ties. It is a
region where our ability to advise and guide is
critical. More importantly, however, are the
reasons that reflect investor needs.
Harbin offers some very decided advantages
apart from our ability to bring investors under
the most favorable conditions. Among them are:
- Wage and business costs well below
other parts of China –especially the southern
- A plethora of outstanding
opportunities. As a “second tier” city in terms of
economic advancement, Harbin offers
extraordinary opportunities. It is what I have
often called “the land of low hanging fruit.”
- A high and accelerating growth rate.
Harbin is catching up, and the good deals are
being snatched up by non-U.S. foreign
- The Harbin leadership is highly
motivated to secure American investment, which
makes for much better “beneficial policies” – the
Chinese term for tax breaks and other business
- Harbin tends to be a less corrupt
environment that other regions – based on the
reports of foreign business interests. The
government enforces severe punitive policies
and laws against bureaucrats who seek “private
Of course, we like to believe that our presence,
and ability to guide investors to the best deals,
is a considerable advantage. Unlike many who
offer their services to would-be American
investors, we have a track record, focus on a
region we know and understand, and have on
the ground employees in Harbin. While our
company, TJI International, Inc., has been
afforded excellent opportunities in outer regions,
they have only been tangential to our primary
If you are thinking of investing in China, either
through financing projects or establishing your
own corporate presence, feel free to contact us
for more information.
|Heilongjiang's Record Output
The grain output of northeast China's
Heilongjiang Province reached a record 36 million
tons last year, higher than the previous year,
according to local government statistics. The
areas sown to grain crops expanded to 24.4
million acres last year, up 0.6 percent year on
year, according to the provincial statistics
bureau. The province's meat output reached
3.06 million tons, up 17.6 percent year on year,
and milk output was 4,4 million tons last year,
17.6 percent higher than the previous year.
|Harbin's Winter Olympic Presence
The Winter Olympics in Torino has thrust Harbin
into the spotlight as home of some of the best
winter Olympic athletes in China.
Zhang Dan and Zhang Hao, whose gutsy and
courageous performance after the nasty fall in
the quadruple Salchow claimed China’s first
Olympic silver medal in figure skating. Both Dan
and Hao are from Harbin.
Yang Yang, the first Chinese speed skater who
won the first ever Gold medal in the Winter
Olympics for China during Salt Lake City 2002,
was born in Harbin. She is the six-time overall
Wang Meng, who won the women's 500m short
speed skate in Torino (also China's second
consecutive gold in the sprint event), hails from
Harbin. Her inspiration comes from knowing that
she comes from the same town as Yang Yang.
First time Olympian Wang Beixing, a 20-year old
speed skater who finishing sixth at the 2005
World Sprint Championships and taking ninth in
the 1000m at the 2005 World Single Distance
Championships, began skating at age 9 in Harbin.
|Get Your Free Copy of China International Business Article Reprint
The recent article "Harbin Comes In From The
Cold" in the November 2005 issue of the China
International Business magazine highlights the
growing opportunities in this region. Written by
Michael O'Neill, this article talks about the
history and its role in the economic development
of China. This article is valuable as it highlights
information that many potential investors are
still unaware about this lucrative region.
A reprint of this article is now available. To
obtain a free copy, please email us or
call us at 312-565-4467.