By Greg Hugh, Staff Writer
In addition to its regular monthly meeting, the U.S.-China Business Connections (UCBC) held a special meeting on Sept. 17, 2008, and invited Michael J.J. Rowse, world renowned expert on China affairs and business, to a presentation: Business Trends in China…the Perspective from Hong Kong.
Rowse has spent more than twenty years in China pursuing business development in china and trade between the United States and China. He has become very familiar with the operations and representatives of the top levels of Chinese provincial and national government, and regularly advises Western nation officials and executives on business matters relating to China. As the current Director-General of Invest Hong Kong, a department of the Hong Kong SAR Government, he leads economic development for Hong Kong, one of the fastest growing areas in the world and a global financial center.
Since this presentation created much interest, the meeting was held at the Minneapolis Hilton and attracted a gathering of over 100 guests who were treated to a buffet breakfast and networking opportunities prior to the presentation.
The program began as UCBC president Warren Vollmer welcomed the group and, as is the custom at UCBC meetings, asked each of the attendees to briefly introduce themselves and explain their business.
Vollmer then introduced Rowse and commented that not only was his presentation going to be informative, it was going to be presented in an “entertaining” manner by someone who obviously enjoys his job.
Rowse began his presentation by providing some background as to how China evolved and with the world’s fastest growing major economy, it is changing at a phenomenal pace. Yet the mainland still relies on Hong Kong as its window to the world. The former British colony’s rule of law, sound administrative system, excellent infrastructure and service industries are reasons multinationals choose Hong Kong first for their regional headquarters; its benefits and location facilitate entry into China and other parts of Asia.
He further noted that Hong Kong continues to be an important port through which goods made in the mainland are shipped. Hong Kong also continues to enjoy much recognition as a financial center since it is the main choice for companies from mainland China that want to raise capital via public listing.
In his closing statements, Rowse stated that Hong Kong is known around the world as a business-friendly city, where it is easy to set up shop, whether as an entrepreneur or a multinational company establishing its Asian headquarters. As a specialized arm of the government, Invest HK makes the process even easier, advising small, medium and large companies about the opportunities and the best way to build a business.
Invest HK also offers supplementary information and tips on living in Hong Kong, emphasizing its low taxes, minimum bureaucracy, excellent international schools, efficient and inexpensive transpiration system and low crime rate.
The presentation concluded with a question and answer session and an invitation to visit Hong Kong or for more information visit their Web site at www.investHK.gov.hk.
October UCBC Meeting
The next UCBC meeting is scheduled for Oct. 1, 2008 and the topic will be “The Olympics – A reporter’s view” presented by Jay Weiner of MinnPost.com.