April 4, 2004
INFORMATION: John McElwain or John Green, (661) 362-3494 or 3684
Seminar on Protocol Added to China Business Conference
SANTA CLARITA Those who participate in an upcoming Exploring Business with China conference in Santa Clarita will be able to attend a free briefing, April 14 from 6 to 7 p.m., that focuses on the unique cultural factors and business customs that companies should know to conduct successful trade with China.
The Importance of Guanxi & Other Cultural Lessons is a special pre-conference seminar that will be available to registered conference attendees. The seminar will be led by Asia specialist Sherrill Pennington of the College of the Canyons History Department and will be held in the Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT) and Employee Training Institute seminar room at the college.
The session will cover the cultural factors that shape Chinas business leadership, the importance of guanxi, language, etiquette and business customs, how to establish rapport, and exchanging information such as business cards and correspondence.
The seminar is just one of the many sessions and events that are part of Exploring Business with China: Challenges and Opportunities. The conference will be held at the Hyatt Valencias Santa Clarita Conference Center on Wednesday, April 21.
The event, chaired by Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, will allow businesspeople to meet directly with Chinese trade officials. It is sponsored by the College of the Canyons Economic Development Division and Center for Applied Competitive Technologies, with major funding from Vital Express and a host of Southern California sponsors. The event 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 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.
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; 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; Greg Whitney, vice president of business development (LAEDC); 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, Hoskinson added.
As a bonus, participants may attend a special reception following the event and speak directly with Chinese business leaders involved with trade, as well as conduct one-on-one meetings with Chinese leaders 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 college is working with a variety of other organizations to present the conference, including the City of Santa Clarita, Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovichs Office, Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley, Santa Clarita Valley Economic Alliance, the Centers for International Trade Development, the Valley Industrial Association, the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce, Valencia Hyatt and Presentation Services Audio Visual, 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.