Groundbreaking conference will help area companies prepare for the new business reality of China

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Lacey - China is a country in dramatic economic transition. Its economic growth has quadrupled since 1978, and by 2010, the Chinese economy is projected to become the world’s largest. By virtue of geographic proximity, Washington state businesses in the coming years are poised to experience incredible positive and negative impacts, exciting opportunities and, if not prepared, some arduous struggles.

An innovative conference, “The Timing is Right: Doing Business With China,” will be offered to small- and medium-sized area companies April 9 by the Saint Martin’s College School of Business and Office of International Programs. Keynote speakers will be Washington Gov. Gary Locke and Joseph Borich, executive director of the Washington State China Relations Council.

Partnering with Saint Martin’s for the conference are the:
-Economic Development Board for Tacoma - Pierce County
-Economic Development Council of Thurston County
-Ports of Olympia, Seattle and Tacoma
-Tacoma U.S. Export Assistance Center, U.S. Dept. of Commerce
-Thurston County Chamber of Commerce
-World Trade Center Tacoma
-Washington Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development
-Washington State China Relations Council

“Washington businesses cannot afford to ignore China, whether as a source of components, products or services, as a market or for research and development opportunities,” says Saint Martin’s faculty member Riley Moore, an economics and finance specialist who has spearheaded the conference. Moore, who has taught business courses for Saint Martin’s at Pudong Business Administration College in Shanghai for two years, adds, “Businesses in our area cannot afford to disregard the challenges and impacts they will face with growing Chinese economic development.”

The conference, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the College’s Worthington Center and Pavilion, will provide an opportunity to business owners and prospective business owners to gather basic information about doing business with the Chinese from Chinese and American experts, including current firms doing business there. It is intentionally geared toward small and medium-sized operations with fewer in-house resources to research opportunities and make necessary contacts.

Among topics the conference will cover are basic how-to’s of conducting business with the Chinese, financing and other help available through state and federal government sources, the logistics of moving products between China and the United States and comparative advantages and disadvantages of doing business through various Chinese portals such as Hong Kong.

The cost of the conference, including continental breakfast and lunch, is $175 by March 22; $200 after March 22. Conference profits are being used to help support the College’s International Business Tour, which sends Saint Martin’s students to visit major firms in China and Japan, giving them a better understanding of the global business environment and integrating classroom theory with practice.

For complete information and a printable registration form for “The Timing is Right: Doing Business With China,” visit the college’s website, www.stmartin.edu/china. For a brochure, call Saint Martin’s office of international programs, 360-438-4504.

For more information:
Riley Moore
Assistant prof., economics and finance
Business and economics department
360-438-4511 or rmoore@stmartin.edu

Josephine Yung
Director, International Programs
360-438-4375; jyung@stmartin.edu

Deanna Partlow
Media coordinator / senior editor
360-438-4541 or dpartlow@stmartin.edu