Over 40 people attended the networking event held by Georgia China Alliance on June 23 in the beautiful conference room of Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice LLP. In addition to catching up with old friends and making new friends, the attendees heard presentations from Mr. Ling Chiang, Senior Vice President of Touchmark National Bank, and Barry Chen, Corporate Practice Director of InterChina Consulting.
Mr. Ling Chiang discussed various financial products that small and mid-size companies can use to facilitate their trade activities, including letters of credit and loans backed by the Small Business Administration. Mr. Chiang described the various kinds of letters of credit and cautioned the audience about some of the pitfalls. He also explained the process and general requirements for obtaining SBA loans. Mr. Barry Chen told the audience that most foreign companies doing business in China are profitable. He said that while U.S. companies started out partnering with Chinese companies to form joint ventures in the 80s and 90s, most foreign companies now feel comfortable enough to have their own wholly-owned subsidiaries when expanding into the Chinese market. Mr. Chen believes that in the next ten years, China will gradually move from an investment and export-driven economy to a consumption-based economy. Mr. Chen identified several sectors as favorable growth sectors in China, including transportation/infrastructure, environmental/clean tech, food industry, retail/franchising and healthcare. Mr. Chen believes that cross-border mergers and acquisitions with Chinese companies, both in-bound and out-bound, will increase in the near future. But he cautioned that successful cross-border M&A transactions require careful planning, in-depth due diligence and patience and flexibility in understanding the cultural and business differences. Many attendees surrounded Mr. Chiang and Mr. Chen and peppered them with questions long after the presentations.
Touchmark National Bank (www.touchmarknb.com) is an Alpharetta-based community bank formed in 2008. The bank offers a broad range of deposit services to both consumers and businesses. Touchmark’s lending activities are targeted primarily at commercial real estate, business lending including SBA loans and import/export trade finance. Mr. Ling Chiang can be reached at Ling.Chiang@Touchmarknb.com.
InterChina Consulting is a Shanghai-based management consulting firm specialized in strategy, corporate and human resources services for companies doing business in China. InterChina’s Corporate Practice, for which Mr. Chen is responsible, advises global companies in establishing or expanding corporate structures in China. InterChina has offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Madrid, Milan, and Washington, DC. Mr. Barry Chen can be reached at Barry.Chen@InterChinaConsulting.com.