March 10, 2004
INFORMATION: John McElwain or John Green, (661) 362-3494 or 3684
Vital Express Signs On as Major Sponsor of China Conference
Recognizing the emerging economic importance of trade with China, Valencia-based transportation company Vital Express has signed on as the major sponsor of an all-day conference that will allow businesspeople to meet directly with Chinese trade officials.
Exploring Business with China: Challenges and Opportunities promises to remove the veil of secrecy surrounding doing business with China, a country with nearly 1.3 billion people and a trillion-dollar economy thats second only to the United States.
The conference will be held at the Hyatt Valencias Santa Clarita Conference Center on Wednesday, April 21. The center is located at 24500 Town Center Drive, Valencia.
Our company will always maintain its local focus, but we also understand that our customers needs have an international reach, said Lisa Boaz, chief executive officer of Vital Express. Our business model has grown to meet the needs of our global clientele, and this conference is a perfect match for our global-expansion franchise plans.
Vital Express, a warehouse, fulfillment, distribution and transportation company that specializes in same-day deliveries across the U.S., was founded in 1997 by Boaz and her husband Dan, who serves as company president. The fast-growing global logistics company also specializes in air freight, less-than-truckload and courier services.
The companys business concept has caught on with an ever-expanding clientele, and both the couple and their business have received numerous industry accolades, ranging from the SCV Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year Award to the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce Leader of the Future Award.
The conference will feature industry and trade officials from both the U.S. and China, who will cover wide-ranging aspects of trade between the two countries. Topics include how to secure suppliers of materials and components; the advantages and risks of setting up operations; the market for U.S. goods, tools and machinery; exporting finished products and agriculture; how to obtain federal assistance in developing or expanding business; and case studies from companies that have succeeded in tapping into the Chinese market.
College of the Canyons is working with Chinas National Planning & Reform Commission to coordinate the event. A number of Chinese government officials and international business consultants are scheduled to speak at the conference. Among them are Zhong Jianhua, consul general of Chinas L.A. Consulate; Xuedong Zhang, vice director general of Chinas Public Administration Society; Clare Cheng, chief executive director of 4In Brand Consulting of Shanghai; Zhiming Xu, director and chief representative for Shanghai Foreign Investment Development Board; Hua Lin, deputy director of the Institute of Economic Systems and Management; and Xuejun Zhang of the International Cooperation Center.
Other speakers slated to appear include Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich; Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook, superintendent-president of College of the Canyons; Vance Baugham, regional manager of the L.A. Economic Development Corp. (LAEDC); Martin Selander, international trade specialist for the Small Business Administration (SBA); Julianne Hennessey of the Department of Commerce; Rob Guthrie, business development officer for U.S. Export Import Bank; Tim Norris of Pan Pacific Sourcing; and John Hoskinson, president of Gruber Systems of Valencia.
If resources such as this conference were available when we began our China journey, the cost and timeline would have been significantly improved, said Gruber Systems Hoskinson. This conference is a must for any company contemplating a global strategy or a need to maintain a competitive edge.
Also to be covered is the importance of guanxi, the social aspects of Chinese business relationships that are so critical to success. Dr. Archie Kleingartner, director of the UCLA Anderson School of Business Global Windows Project and an expert on guanxi, will lead a session on understanding Chinese culture and its impact on business.
As a bonus, participants may attend a special reception following the event and speak directly with Chinese government officials involved with trade and investments, as well as conduct one-on-one meetings with Chinese officials in the two days following the conference.
The conference reflects the growing globalization of business that affects nearly every company in the Santa Clarita Valley and greater Los Angeles region, said Dena Maloney, dean of economic development at College of the Canyons.
With China's trillion-dollar economy becoming more accessible to foreign firms, many companies cannot ignore the vast opportunities and global challenge of the China market, Maloney said. The conference will allow business leaders to assess their readiness to enter the China market, establish important contacts and speak to experts about Pacific Rim trade.
With the highest foreign direct investment in the world, the Peoples Republic of China is fast becoming a focal point for businesses and industries seeking to expand their markets and bolster their bottom lines. The countrys GDP (gross domestic product) was estimated to be close to $6 trillion in 2002.
While Chinas political controls remain tight, economic controls have become more and more relaxed in recent years. The government has gradually introduced market-oriented reforms and decentralized economic decision-making over the past 25 years.
In 1978 Chinas leadership began moving the economy from a sluggish, Soviet-style central economy to a more market-oriented system in which the economic influence of non-state organizations and individual citizens has been steadily increasing, according to the U.S. government. The country switched to a system of household and village responsibility in agriculture instead of collectivization, increased the authority of local officials and plant managers in industry, permitted a wide variety of small-scale enterprises in services and light manufacturing, and opened the economy to increased foreign trade and investment.
The result has been a quadrupling of the GDP since 1978. In 2003 China stood as the second-largest economy in the world after the United States.
The conference is sponsored by the College of the Canyons Center for Applied Competitive Technologies in conjunction with the colleges Economic Development Division. The college is working with a variety of other organizations to present the conference, including the City of Santa Clarita, Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley, Santa Clarita Valley Economic Alliance, the Centers for International Trade Development, the Valley Industrial Association and Gruber Systems. Additional support is being provided through the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.
For more information, visit www.chinabusinessconference.com or call College of the Canyons at (661) 362-3305 or 259-3874.