Letters to China from America Series

Letters from America: U.S. Companies Selling to China – The Initial Evaluation Steps

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A check list of things to consider and research when assessing whether to sell to China

This is Part XII of our ongoing Letters from America to Asia Series, featuring opinions and observations on America’s trade relations with China and emerging Asia from Chris Devonshire-Ellis.

Dec. 18 – In this column over the past few months we’ve provided a great deal of technical, statistical and demographic analysis accompanied by many tips for how American companies can best prepare themselves for selling to China. By this, I refer to American companies without a presence in the PRC who are now evaluating whether or not China may be a viable market for their product.

Within this series we have already explained how the increasing wealth of Chinese consumers – driven by State policy that has seen minimum wages throughout China increase by roughly 22 percent annually over the past five years – has begun and will continue to fuel a Chinese consumer boom. We covered this phenomenon and the opportunities this presents in China and Asia generally in the article “Selling U.S. Goods and Services to China.” Continue reading…

Letters from America: Chinese Investment in the U.S. – Strategy is Key

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The pros and cons of looking for Chinese investment

This is Part XI of our ongoing Letters from America to Asia Series, featuring opinions and observations on America’s trade relations with China and emerging Asia from Chris Devonshire-Ellis.

Dec. 10 – Now that the dust has settled following leadership issues in both the United States and China, both sides have gotten back to business with some muscle. For the Americans, the beef is always the trade gap, and to this end, U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke recently announced at the annual Amcham Government Appreciation dinner in Shanghai: “We welcome Chinese investment in the United States with open arms.”

“One simply cannot overestimate the importance of the U.S.-China economic relationship,” Ambassador Locke said. “More than a billion dollars of goods and services flow between our two countries every single day. Over 800,000 American jobs depend on producing goods and services sold to China. And over a million Chinese jobs are anchored by trade with the United States.” Continue reading…

Letters from America: Vietnam as a Manufacturing Destination for U.S. Companies

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Manufacturers in China are adding manufacturing capacity in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City for export back to China and beyond

This is Part X of our ongoing Letters from America to Asia Series, featuring opinions and observations on America’s trade relations with China and emerging Asia from Chris Devonshire-Ellis.

Dec. 3 – Over the past few months as I’ve been speaking at events across the United States, many questions have been raised about all sorts of subjects – from the differences in tax rates and legal structures within individual countries, such as China or India, to the primary differences between entire countries. Concerning the latter, the country-to-country comparison that gets raised most often is between China and Vietnam.

It’s a timely comparison to examine, not least because Vietnam is one of Asia’s “Tiger Economies” and due to the fact that, although it has suffered over the past three years like everyone else in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis, the country has proven remarkably resilient. Continue reading…

Letters from America: China Growth and Development for U.S. Companies in 2012

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The majority of U.S. corporations in China report growth of 10 percent and above, while keeping an eye on their China-destined manufacturing capacity

This is Part IX of our ongoing Letters from America to Asia Series, featuring opinions and observations on America’s trade relations with China and emerging Asia from Chris Devonshire-Ellis.

Nov. 26 – The majority of American companies in China continue to report strong growth and profitability in the country, according to the 2012 China Business Environment Survey recently released by the U.S.-China Business Council (USCBC). Comments from the USCBC Chairman John Frisbie stated that “Two-thirds of companies surveyed said revenue from their businesses in China grew by 10 percent or more in the past year” and went on to find that 75 percent of respondents said profit margins from their China operations were the same as or better than their company’s global margins. Continue reading…

Letters from America: Chinese Students’ Economic Contributions to the United States

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Cultural bridges also help bilateral trade

This is Part VIII of our ongoing Letters from America to Asia Series, featuring opinions and observations on America’s trade relations with China and emerging Asia from Chris Devonshire-Ellis.

Nov. 19 – A lesser known part of the U.S.-China (and U.S.-Asia) relationship is the huge amount of income many American states now generate through the sale of education to students from Asia. Close to US$5 billion was generated last year through the enrollment of students from China alone at American colleges and universities, reports World Education Services, a not-for-profit based in New York. When you take all international students from Asia into account, that number jumps to roughly US$13 billion, according to Asia Matters for America, an information and analysis hub run by the East-West Center and covering Asia-America ties. Continue reading…

Letters from America: Selling to China and the Right to Review Your Sales Contracts

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FCPA issues can arise even if you don’t have a China presence

This is Part VII of our ongoing Letters from America to Asia Series, featuring opinions and observations on America’s trade relations with China and emerging Asia from Chris Devonshire-Ellis.

Nov. 12 – In this column over the past few weeks we have discussed the reasons why China is developing as a serious market for the consumption of American products, as well as the availability of funding and cheap credit from the U.S. government to facilitate and assist domestic manufacturers with their exports.

Today we will discuss importation issues and the need to be aware that trading in China can trigger “permanent establishment status,” in addition to issues surrounding contracts with buyers, the need for FCPA compliance, and how to insist upon “right to review” your Chinese distributors operations – even though you may not have a legal presence in the country. These issues help form the building blocks necessary to develop your business into an export-ready entity. Continue reading…

Letters from America: U.S. Exports to Asia and American Job Creation

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The re-shoring of jobs to America and increasing exports to Asia will result in a more buoyant American labor market

This is Part VI of our ongoing Letters from America to Asia Series, featuring opinions and observations on America’s trade relations with China and emerging Asia from Chris Devonshire-Ellis.

Nov. 5 – One of the key areas our practice, Dezan Shira & Associates, will be concentrating on and developing over the next few years is the expansion of our traditional American client base. Although our firm is based in Asia with offices in China, Vietnam, India, Hong Kong and Singapore, about 50 percent of our clients over the past 20 years of operations have originated from the United States. It is our belief, based on solid demographic evidence, that American companies will continue to develop and reach out in significant numbers to Asian consumers. I discussed the historical, decade-long rise of American exports to China in some detail in my earlier piece here. Continue reading…

Letters from America: Export Financing as a Key Component of U.S. Trade Strategy with China

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This is Part V of our ongoing Letters from America to Asia Series, featuring opinions and observations on America’s trade relations with China and emerging Asia from Chris Devonshire-Ellis.

Oct. 29 – In this week’s letter from America to China, I have invited Gray Sasser, an attorney with the America law firm Frost Brown Todd, to discuss export financing programs available to American companies looking to export overseas. Frost Brown Todd is a partner firm of Dezan Shira & Associates, and is one of the largest law firms based in the Midwestern United States. The practice currently has over 475 attorneys working in nine offices throughout Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, and West Virginia, and a thriving international desk, with much of their on-the-ground China, India and Asian work being handled in conjunction with our practice.

Gray has expertise of particular relevance to U.S. companies in the Mid-West looking to export to China, as he previously served as VP of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, was educated in part at Beijing University, and advises American enterprises on expanding their global footprint with particular emphasis on China. Gray’s article below deals with the fundamental issue of how American companies can obtain financing for export-driven programs, and the likely political environment following the upcoming U.S. presidential elections. Continue reading…

Dezan Shira & Associates

Meet the firm behind our content. Dezan Shira & Associates have been servicing foreign investors in China, India and the ASEAN region since 1992. Click here to visit their professional services website and discover how they can help your business succeed in Asia.

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