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Time is Running Out to Register for the Trip of a Lifetime

You have just a week to register for the Alliance’s Business Mission & Cultural Tour of China, scheduled for April 16 to 24.

Don’t let this opportunity slip by.

Space is limited, and a $300 non-refundable deposit will secure your slot; the deadline for full payment is December 15. 

If you’re looking for the perfect holiday gift, this could be it.

For additional information or to sign up for the trip, contact Jeri Adkins at jadkins@charlestonareaalliance.org or (304) 340-4253.

Join local business and community leaders for a nine-day, all-inclusive trip to experience the wonders of China and gain first-hand knowledge of the world’s second-largest economy.

Highlighting the business mission track will be the opportunity to meet with senior government officials and representatives from the U.S. Dept. of Commerce and Commercial Services of American Consulate in China.

The cost is $2,399 per person for Alliance members/$2,799 per person for future members (based on double occupancy).  The single occupancy rate is an additional $450.

Download the registration packet.

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admin in Economic Development on December 08 2010 » 0 comments

You Have One Month to Register for the Journey of a Lifetime

You have one month to register for the Alliance’s Business Mission & Cultural Tour of China, scheduled for April 16 to 24.

Don’t let this opportunity slip by.

Space is limited, and a $300 non-refundable deposit will secure your slot; the deadline for full payment is December 15. 

For additional information or to sign up for the trip, contact Jeri Adkins at jadkins@charlestonareaalliance.org or (304) 340-4253.

Join local business and community leaders for a nine-day, all-inclusive trip to experience the wonders of China and gain first-hand knowledge of the world’s second-largest economy.

Highlighting the business mission track will be the opportunity to meet with senior government officials and representatives from the U.S. Dept. of Commerce and Commercial Services of American Consulate in China.

The cost is $2,399 per person for Alliance members/$2,799 per person for future members (based on double occupancy).  The single occupancy rate is an additional $450.

The trip includes:

v  Roundtrip international airfare from New York’s JFK Airport

v  Domestic airfare from Beijing to Shanghai and other inter-country flights

v  4- and 5-star hotel accommodations

v  Three full meals each day

v  Deluxe bus transportation

v  Fluent English-speaking tour guides

v  Choice of business or cultural track

v  Exclusive meetings with high-ranking government officials and business leaders

v  Entrance fees into attractions including the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, Tiger Hill, Ming Tombs and many others

v  Optional side trip to Xi’an/Terracotta Warriors (available with minimum of 10 participants, additional $450/person)

A cultural tour track will be offered for those who want to embark on the adventure of a lifetime. This track can also accommodate the spouses or friends of business mission participants. Daily sightseeing tours have been arranged with ample time to enjoy the sights.

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admin in Economic Development,Events on November 16 2010 » 0 comments

Alliance to Host China Orientation Meeting Wednesday

The Charleston Area Alliance invites you to a Business Mission & Cultural Tour of China, scheduled for April 16 to 24.

Learn more at our upcoming orientation meeting at 4:30 p.m. Nov. 3 at the Alliance, 1116 Smith St.

Join local business and community leaders for a nine-day, all-inclusive trip to experience the wonders of China and gain first-hand knowledge of the world’s second-largest economy.

Read what Mike Pleska, a local attorney and a participant on last year’s trip, had to say about this unique opportunity:

Pleska

“While I have never recommended a travel experience before, I want to pass along this upcoming trip to China which is being sponsored by the Charleston Area Alliance.

“I went on the trip myself last April with 65 other people from the Charleston area.  Every detail was taken care by the best of travel professionals, and the food and accommodations were all first-class. It was on the whole almost as perfect a trip as my past travels with National Geographic (the best) but not nearly as expensive.

“The entire cost for a non-Alliance member is $2,800.00 per person, which includes literally everything (airfare, hotels, food, in-country transportation, activity tickets and tips), except personal purchases.

“The accommodations are all first-class, and the tour guides are college-educated professionals who are proud of their country and culture and anxious to teach you all about it. 

“I have travelled extensively, and I went on this trip mainly because it was so unbelievably inexpensive (as travel goes). It turned out to be one of the best adventures I have ever taken. It was such a success among all who participated that the Alliance is planning to do it again. If you have any interest at all in going to China, this would be one of the best ways to do it. Take a look at the information attached. You can ride the only maglev train in the world at 260 mph!”

The cost is $2,399 per person for Alliance members/$2,799 per person for non-members (based on double occupancy).  The single occupancy rate is an additional $450.

The trip includes:

v  Roundtrip international airfare from New York’s JFK Airport

v  Domestic airfare from Beijing to Shanghai and other inter-country flights

v  4- and 5-star hotel accommodations

v  Three full meals each day

v  Deluxe bus transportation

v  Fluent English-speaking tour guides

v  Choice of business or cultural track

v  Exclusive meetings with high-ranking government officials and business leaders

v  Entrance fees into attractions including the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, Tiger Hill, Ming Tombs and many others

v  Optional side trip to Xi’an/Terracotta Warriors (available with minimum of 10 participants, additional $450/person)

Space is limited and a $300 non-refundable deposit will secure your slot; the deadline for full payment is December 15. 

For additional information, contact Jeri Adkins at jadkins@charlestonareaalliance.org or (304) 340-4253.

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admin in Economic Development,Events on November 02 2010 » 0 comments

MATRIC Benefits from China Connections

China may be the first mover in many important technologies, such as carbon dioxide capture, coal-based chemicals or new pharmaceuticals, according to Keith Pauley, president and CEO of MATRIC.

“Therefore, MATRIC has a deliberate strategy to engage with the leading companies and research institutes in China to work together to solve some of the most challenging problems in the world,” he said.

Pauley was one of more than 60 people who went to China with the Charleston Area Alliance earlier this year.

Over the last two years, MATRIC’s leadership team and representatives, including Mr. Pauley, Dr. Parvez Wadia, Dr. Madan Bhasin, and Dr. George Keller, have traveled to China three times to meet with Chinese companies.

MATRIC is building important relationships with major energy companies, such as Shenhua Coal and Kailuan Coal, chemical companies, such as Sinopec, and pharmaceutical companies, such as Double Crane Pharmaceuticals.

The coal companies of China have a stated goal to use the majority of their reserves to produce fuels and chemicals through coal-to-liquid technologies. One coal executive told MATRIC, “Coal is too important to burn for electricity. That is what nuclear power is for.”

MATRIC has significant chemical process development expertise that can be deployed to support future projects in coal-to-chemicals, carbon capture, advanced catalyst design, as well as generic pharmaceutical product manufacture.

Interested in building international connections? Consider joining the Alliance in April 2011 for its second business mission to China. Click here for details.

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admin in Economic Development on October 06 2010 » 0 comments

You’re Invited to Our Next International Advisory Council Meeting

Please join us for the next meeting of the Charleston Area Alliance International Advisory Council at noon on Wednesday, September 29 at the Charleston Area Alliance board room. 

Lunch will be provided.
 
We will hear from Bill McHale and Rob Foy of Kanawha Scales and Mike McCown of Industrial Bolting Technologies, Inc. about doing business in China. This is a great opportunity to learn about doing business in an important emerging market, and to make valuable contacts with professionals who have earned their expertise through experience.

Since seating is limited and we anticipate that registration will fill quickly, please register as soon as possible. 

To RSVP call (304) 340-4253 or e-mail Deb Coffman.

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admin in Economic Development on September 27 2010 » 0 comments

We’re Going Back to China

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admin in Economic Development on August 16 2010 » 0 comments

Alliance Planning Return to China

The story below appears in today’s Charleston Gazette.

By Eric Eyre

An economic development group is hosting a return trade mission to China.

The Charleston Area Alliance, which sponsored a trip to China in April, held an informational meeting Tuesday about a second Chinese excursion — this one tentatively scheduled for April 2011.

“We’re going back because it was so successful,” said Matt Ballard, the Alliance’s CEO. “There was a lot of push to return. We already have people starting to sign up.”

Last spring, about 70 people took part in the Alliance-sponsored trip to China. The economic development organization offered two options: a business tour and cultural tour.

Those on the cultural tour visited Beijing and Shanghai, and sites such as the Forbidden City, Great Wall and Buddhist temples. The 20 people who took the business tour met with Chinese economic development specialists to learn about trade with China.

“These trade missions are all about creating more opportunities for West Virginia businesses,” Ballard said Tuesday. “It’s our policy to think very globally. It’s a global economy.”

He said several area business leaders who attended the trade mission last April already have returned to the country to “follow up on business leads.”

“It’s all about relationships,” Ballard said. “You want to build your credibility with Chinese companies. You have to lay the groundwork. It takes time.”

Ballard said the April trade mission hasn’t spawned any contracts between West Virginia and Chinese businesses. He said the trip is designed to help local companies increase exports to China.

“If a company has a widget, we want to help them find a buyer for their widgets,” Ballard said.

He said the Alliance would pay for two or three staff members to attend the trade mission. Ballard and several Alliance employees went on the April trip to China.

Others who decide to go to China must pay their own way. The price is $2,399 for Alliance members; $2,799 for future members; and an additional $450 charge for single occupancy.

The prices include round-trip air fare from New York, flights from Beijing to Shanghai and other cities, three meals day, and four- and five-star hotel accommodations.

A promotional brochure also promises “exclusive meetings with high-ranking [Chinese] government officials and business leaders.” (more…)

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admin in Economic Development,In the News on August 11 2010 » 0 comments

Finding the Gateways in China

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A dozen participants in the Alliance’s Business & Cultural Mission to China this morning met at the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai to learn about the intricacies of doing business in China.

One facet we keep hearing about is the growth of technology parks throughout China. They are designed to attract investment and spark innovation. We can’t help but think of the Technology, Research & Education Park in South Charleston.

“Every locality has their research and technology parks,” said Kim Woodard, CEO of Technonic, which helps guide foreign businesses in a complicated Chinese economic system.

Woodard spoke about the “two sets of codes” related to doing business in China – those for domestic companies and those for foreign companies.

“The rules are different,” he said.

China wants to attract foreign investment, so some rules might be less stringent for those investors.

“The gateways have widened,” explained Victor Ho, partner with Allen & Overy in Shanghai. “Keep in mind,” however, “China remains a centrally-controlled economy. There has been a huge explosion of laws and regulations over the past 25 years.”

Some sectors, such as financial, mining and media, are restricted and have a tougher time breaking into the Chinese economy.

Also, laws are designed to protect the power of bureaucrats, and appeals processes might not be in place. In addition, local governments and the central government differ in many respects. Local bureaucrats are beholden to their local governments. More and more discretion goes to those local governments because the country is so big.

Hence, foreign companies must know the details of doing business in specific regions. That’s why it’s important to set up inside China to invest and sell in China, Ho said.

Furthermore, “do not check your basic business sense at the door,” Ho added. Some companies have a tendency to make moves in China they would never consider in their home nations. Sticking to missions and principles is important.

“Take it one step at a time at the beginning,” Woodard said. “Have one person here to get your feet on the street.”

Woodard offered further insight and some caution.

The outlook for China’s GDP growth for the first quarter of 2010 was 10.4 percent. But in reality, it was 11.9 percent.

“Where is that growth coming from?” Woodard said.

The answer is new bank lending. More than 50 percent of China’s GDP is investment. That’s an astronomical number.

“This pattern has been around a long time,” Woodard said. “Is that healthy? It’s creating a massive distortion in the economy. Is it sustainable over time? When you consider your sector, you have to ask what is going to happen to your customer base.”

Some sectors, including steel and chemicals, are operating at overcapacity in China. Steel is 100 percent overcapacity, which, from the outside, is seen as economically absurd.

In addition, China’s housing costs are skyrocketing. Prices are up 12 percent. High-end housing costs have increased 60 percent, and some homes in Beijing have increased by 100 percent.

Is this sustainable?

Probably not. This year, China is “pushing down hard on the brake,” Woodard said. “We’re talking volatility. We see huge surges, then they hit the brake. China is not consumption driven, not yet.”

While housing sits on a huge bubble, the auto industry sits on a smaller one. In 2009, China exceeded the U.S. for the first time in passenger vehicles sold: 10 million, up 52 percent. That equates to big money, as well as big problems, including massive traffic congestion and thick air pollution.

China’s economy faces a bevy of challenges: inflation, falling housing prices, rising housing prices, local government debt defaults, overcapacity, labor shortages, rising manufacturing costs and tightening enforcement of anti-dumping rules by the U.S. and European Union.

Foreign investors will feel the policy changes first. Regulations will be designed to protect domestic industry and consolidate economic gains.

Still, China is close to passing Japan as the world’s second largest economy. And in a global economy, the U.S. can’t ignore that.

“You need representatives here,” said Carlisle Davis, vice consul with the U.S. Consulate General in Shanghai. Davis offered tips about nurturing a presence in China, as well as finding ways to attract Chinese investment to the U.S.

“This is not West Virginia, and this is not Texas,” he said. “Things change very quickly. You renegotiate again and again.

“People are doing some really interesting work here,” Davis said. “With every business relationship and student exchange, the U.S.-China relationship is more fortified.”

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admin in Economic Development on April 23 2010 » 0 comments

Alliance Mission Meets with Development Zone Officials in Hangzhou

Ten participants from the Charleston Area Alliance Business & Cultural Mission in China this evening met with representatives from the Hangzhou Economic and Technological Development Area (HEDA).

Jonathan Zhang offered a HEDA overview, noting the region was little more than a field in 1996, the year the zone was born. Zhang is managing partner of 5C Group, which helps companies hoping the locate in the region’s technology park traverse China’s complicated law and tax climate.

Hangzhou is a popular tourist attraction, featuring the famed West Lake, but it also features a skyrocketing GDP, a population of 3 million, 14 universities and more than 180,000 students. Those students are “taylor-made,” Zhang said, for the companies locating there. The area features strong automobile, energy, bio-genetic, bio-pharmaceutical and medical equipment industries.

One of the younger companies is AmpleSun. Hu Weiqian, sales manager, also presented to the Alliance delegation, explaining how his solar panel company hopes to make an impact in the U.S. According to the U.S. Ambassador’s Commercial Service, China is focussed on the green technology sector, which of course includes solar energy.

Some at the meeting noticed paralels between the Hangzhou park and South Charleston Education, Research & Technology Park.

The meeting ended with business card exchanges and promises of follow-ups.

Tomorrow, the Alliance’s tour moves from Hangzhou to Shanghai. Stay tuned.

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admin in Economic Development on April 21 2010 » 0 comments

A Glimpse Into China’s Silk Industry

The Alliance Business & Cultural Mission moved from Suzhou to Hangzhou today, but not before we visited one of the country’s most famed silk factories and an embroidery hub, as well as the famous Lingering Garden, home to many banzai trees.

We saw the silk process from start – silkworm – to finish. The embroidery, meanwhile, was amazing. Masters are able to put together lifelike images, which sometimes require more than two years.

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admin in Economic Development on April 21 2010 » 0 comments

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