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Listen to MP3 Business Beyond the Reef” to discuss the problems with imports from China, telling all sides of the story and then expand the discussion to revitalizing Chinatown - Special Guest: Johnson Choi, MBA, RFC. President - Hong Kong.China.Hawaii Chamber of Commerce (HKCHcc) and Danny Au, Manager, Bo Wah Trading

Member of Better Business Bureau Hawaii

Pacific Business News Friday January 16 2015 

Hawaii's ethnic chambers expand through culture

The Hong Kong China Hawaii Chamber of Commerce www.hkchcc.org has members in Hawaii but also in California and China and its neighboring countries. President and CEO Johnson W.K. Choi sees the organization as a matchmaker for companies across the Pacific. When the group formed in 2001, he found that companies in Hawaii and California were looking for opportunities in Asia, including Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan. Of its 375 members, only about half are in Hawaii.

Today, he sees more interest from Asia-based companies that want to invest in technology ventures in Silicon Valley or San Diego. He said many of its Asia members are not interested in investing in Hawaii unless they are in the market for a luxury home.

Finance Factors President and COO Steven Teruya is usually seen in standard Bishop Street attire — slacks, aloha shirt and glasses. But on a recent Friday night, he joined other business professionals in full kabuki costume, performing a traditional play where a policeman captures five criminals who must all reveal their identity. Why would Teruya do such a thing? He's a member of the Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce, one of a number of ethnic chambers in Hawaii that combine cultural practices, networking and public service in the interest of strengthening the local business community.

"When I joined, I told them I don't do kabuki," said Teruya, who has been a member for 19 years and a recent member of the board. He said his colleagues eventually convinced him to don a kabuki costume and, after practicing twice a week for two months, perform with others in a historical Gonin Otoko Kabuki play at the Honolulu Japanese Chamber's 70th annual Shinnen Enkai event at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii last weekend. Like many other ethnicity-based chambers in Honolulu, the organization is the intersection of culture and business. Membership is a who's who of the business community. Some say they joined after being encouraged by a co-worker or supervisor, or for the opportunity to network.

With some chambers more than 100 years old, legacies can remain a draw, but to keep members engaged they celebrate their culture of shared ancestry and change to meet the demands of the time. The chambers also offer something different to draw new members, without taking away from other groups.

Cultural and community support

Each chamber contacted by PBN said the main difference between their chambers and the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii is the cultural aspect.

The Hong Kong China Hawaii Chamber of Commerce www.hkchcc.org has members in Hawaii but also in California and China and its neighboring countries. President and CEO Johnson W.K. Choi sees the organization as a matchmaker for companies across the Pacific. When the group formed in 2001, he found that companies in Hawaii and California were looking for opportunities in Asia, including Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan. Of its 375 members, only about half are in Hawaii.

Today, he sees more interest from Asia-based companies that want to invest in technology ventures in Silicon Valley or San Diego. He said many of its Asia members are not interested in investing in Hawaii unless they are in the market for a luxury home.

The Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce holds its annual Shinnen Enkai to celebrate the New Year. The Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii recently held its Narcissus Festival Queen Pageant. The Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii holds "A Taste of Kalihi" each October, and the Hawaii Korean Chamber of Commerce hosts an annual Korean Festival in July.

Robert Yu, president of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii and senior vice president and deputy general manager at Oahu Transit Services Inc., said events such as the Narcissus Festival Queen Pageant support the community and raise its profile outside the business world. However, much of its fundraising happens at other events, such as its annual golf tournament, slated for May.

Leilani Williams-Solomon, president of the Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce and a senior vice president at Bank of Hawaii, said the chamber doesn't focus only on business issues, and not just on Hawaiian issues.

"Nowhere else does that happen, where Hawaiian culture and business meet," she said.

Its monthly membership meetings revolve around different topics that affect business from a Hawaiian perspective. Past topics included discussions on Hawaiian sovereignty, concerns with the Honolulu rail project from a Hawaiian perspective, and a forum with Office of Hawaiian Affairs candidates. Its next meeting will invite OHA officials to discuss developments in Kakaako Makai.

Williams-Solomon said any strictly business seminars are referred to the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii because of its resources and focus, which includes legislative lobbying, something the smaller ethnic chambers do little of.

"It doesn't make sense for us to replicate what they are doing," she said, adding that the Native Hawaii chamber provides a unique perspective.

The chamber also honors Native Hawaiians doing well in the community at its annual Oo Awards. Williams-Solomon said the award was created as a response to having Native Hawaiians featured mostly in negative news stories. Organizers thought it would be a good way to showcase Native Hawaiians doing well in the business and broader community. One of the 2014 honorees was Nainoa Thompson of the Polynesian Voyaging Society.

Many of the chambers offer college scholarships. The Native Hawaiian chamber has been able to support Native Hawaiians who want to major in business through funds raised at the Oo Awards silent auction.

The chambers also help the community at large. The Honolulu Japanese chamber has helped local charitable organizations through its Laulima program, including painting the interior of the USS Arizona Memorial two years ago. Referrals and suggestions come from some of its members. Last weekend, it mobilized a group of 18 volunteers to help register participants at the Sony Open in Hawaii Pro-Am golf tournament.

Networking

Candice Naito, chairman of the Honolulu Japanese chamber and senior vice president at First Hawaiian Bank's Kapiolani Banking Center, joined in 1999 at the encouragement of a manager at her former employer. She said it's a good reference for her business, but also can help other people find what they are looking for.
She is currently the fourth female chairman of the organization in its 114-year-old history. Wayne Ishihara, president of the Honolulu Japanese chamber, said a member survey done two years ago found that the chamber had few women members, due mostly to its heritage as a men's-only organization. They decided to change that and created programming to draw more women to join. Women currently comprise 20 percent of the membership, but he hopes to grow that number.

The Honolulu Japanese chamber has 640 members, according to PBN research, and Ishihara said its members range in age from 21 to retired executives in their 80s. In 1949, it created the Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce as a separate organization to organize and host activities. The two organizations remain separate but have a strong relationship, he said, noting that members of the junior chamber can join the senior chamber at a special rate and have a director position on the board.

Each chamber remains active by holding networking events. However, three chambers — the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, the Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Hawai, and the Hawaii Korean Chamber of Commerce — have been partnering over the past year on joint events.

Daniel Pyun, president of the Hawaii Korean Chamber of Commerce and an attorney at his own law firm, said the partnership existed in the past but was brought back in 2014. One of its events included a gubernatorial candidate panel. It will hold another joint event on mortgage lending next week.

Pyun said the events are sponsored and free to members, but space is limited. Having the joint meetings provides benefits for the sponsor, who can reach a wider audience, and members, who have a larger networking pool. Although currently limited to the three chambers, he hopes to partner with others in the future.

Yu of the Chinese chamber said the interchamber relationship has helped with the smaller chambers. He said it hasn't partnered with the larger Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, which has 938 members, and instead has focused on organizing joint events with the smaller chambers. The Chinese chamber has 350 members, the Filipino chamber has 130, and the Korean chamber has 100, according to PBN research.

Building a bridge

"I know it's cliche, but we are the bridge connecting businesses here to Korea," Pyun said.

He said that for anyone interested in things related to Korea, including culture, the Hawaii Korean Chamber of Commerce is the primary organization that straddles the business and ethnic communities.

The Korean chamber, which will celebrate its 75th anniversary this year, has a trade mission tentatively scheduled for October. Pyun said the organization usually goes with the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.

The Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii will be heading a trade mission to the Philippines alongside Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui, Honolulu Philippine Consul General Gina Jamoralin and 30 local business executives in February.

Paul Alimbuyao, president of the Filipino chamber and vice president and manager at First Hawaiian Bank, said 2015 will be an exciting year because the trade mission will visit areas it had not been in the past, including Cebu City and Palawan, possible host cities for the 2015 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Conference. He hopes the delegation can share their experiences with the APEC conference that was held in Honolulu in 2011.

Collaboration, not competition

As the largest chamber in the state, the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii does not feel threatened by the other chambers. It initiated an Affiliated Chambers and Business Organizations Council several years ago to connect the state's chambers, including the Neighbor Island-based, ethnic and community chambers.
Chamber of Commerce Hawaiii President and CEO Sherry Menor-McNamara said some of its members also belong to other chambers.

"While we have a statewide membership, we also encourage businesses to join their local chambers, especially on the Neighbor Islands," she said.

Other chambers focus on cultural or local issues, while the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii has a different approach, including lobbying on behalf of business.
"As the chamber of commerce for the entire state of Hawaii, our focus is business and legislative advocacy, connecting businesses and working to shape our state's future to support job growth, fuel a thriving economy and improve the quality of life for the people of Hawaii," she said. "I do see synergy between all of our affiliate chambers because we are all working towards a better future for our great state."

Ethnic Chambers of Commerce in Hawaii

African American Commercial Council of Hawaii
Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii
Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii
Hawaii Indonesia Chamber of Commerce
Hawaii Island Portuguese Chamber of Commerce
Hawaii Korean Chamber of Commerce
Hong Kong Business Association of Hawaii
Hong Kong China Hawaii Chamber of Commerce
Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce
Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii
Kauai Filipino Chamber of Commerce
Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce
Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce
Portuguese Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii
Vietnamese-American Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii
WUB Hawaii (Okinawa Chamber of Commerce)

Source: Chamber of Commerce Hawaii affiliated chambers, PBN Research

Jason Ubay covers tourism and finance for Pacific Business News.

Pacific Business News Morning Edition Jan 12, 2015, 2:00am HST

Hong Kong China Hawaii Chamber of Commerce a matchmaker for companies across the Pacific

Jason Ubay Reporter-Pacific Business News

In the early years of the Hong Kong China Hawaii Chamber of Commerce, it helped Hawaii- and California-based companies looking for investments in Asia.

These days, it's Asia-based companies and members trying to find investment opportunities in the U.S., said Johnson W. K. Choi, president and CEO of the chamber.

The organization, founded in 2001, is primarily externally focused, Choi said, meaning that it helps its members in Hawaii and California look for opportunities in Asia including Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and China. Of its 375 members, only half are in Hawaii.

The chamber's mission is to "serve as a permanent link to promote business, trade, transfer of professional knowledge and technologies between Hong Kong, China, its neighboring region, California and Hawaii," according to its website. Choi says he sees the organization as a matchmaker, trying to find the right businesses to partner with each other.

Today, he sees more interest from Asia-based companies that want to invest in technology ventures in Silicon Valley or San Diego. He said many of its Asia members are not interested in investing in Hawaii unless they are in the market for a luxury home.

Choi said during the Cayetano and Lingle gubernatorial administrations, the chamber went on trade missions but it has stopped in recent years. He added that it is difficult for Hawaii companies to go to China because they are often times too small, so he tries to match them up with a California member for a joint venture to Asia.

Jason Ubay covers tourism and finance for Pacific Business News.

http://www.bizjournals.com/pacific/blog/morning_call/2015/01/hong-kong-china-hawaii-chamber-of-commerce-a.html?ana=e_lulu_rdup&s=newsletter&ed=2015-01-12&u=vxmD4/72cYSRltgpNzXb/J1fUhd&t=1421095034

2015年1月8日世界日報-舊金山記者周吉吉/佛利蒙報導

佛利蒙扶輪社 歡迎蔡港生加入


佛利蒙扶輪社新年第一次每周例會7日中午舉行。會上歡迎來自夏威夷的扶輪社成員蔡港生(Johnson Choi),期待他成為佛利蒙扶輪社新成員。蔡港生是香港夏威夷商會、中國夏威夷商會和加州亞太商會的總裁和執行長,在國際商會界非常活躍。他目前是夏威夷第二大扶輪社分會,檀香山大都會扶輪社成員,平時往返於夏威夷和灣區兩地。雖然在灣區居住地康柯德也有扶輪社分會,但是佛利蒙扶輪社前會長尹集憲(Henry Yin)力邀他加入。蔡港生表示,佛利蒙扶輪社在亞洲有許多公益項目。在夏威夷他參與過扶輪社在亞洲包括中港台在內的許多項目,因此他決定要加入與亞洲有密切聯繫的佛利蒙扶輪社。尹集憲表示,佛利蒙雖然不是灣區最大的分會,但長期以來擁有許多優秀的亞裔成員。蔡港生的加入將使佛利蒙扶輪社延續這一傳統。蔡港生表示,香港夏威夷商會和中國夏威夷商會成立於2002年,協助夏威夷州長開展與台灣、中國大陸、新加坡和香港等地的貿易往來。商會也致力於幫助美國公司在亞洲,尤其大中華地區拓展業務。他指出,亞洲經濟增長很快,中國和印度是帶動經濟增長的主要引擎。

蔡港生說,1985中國剛開放不久,他參與檀香山與海南島締結姐妹友好關係的簽字儀式。這也是他參與的第一個與中國相關的大型活動。談到夏威夷與加州生活的比較,他說夏威夷主要經濟是旅遊業和軍事基地相關服務,沒有工業和高科技業,與加州很不一樣。夏威夷亞裔中以日裔最多,華裔最少。

當天邀請歐羅尼社區學院校長勃朗寧(Gari Browning)分享歐羅尼校園翻新改造的最新訊息。

September 23 2013

Happy China National Day Celebration on October 1 2013

September 8 2013

UH Manoa ranks among the top universities in the world – what goes that really meant to us?

I am a product of the University of Hawaii. When I first read it, I felt proud, but a minute later, the reality sets in.

For almost 40 years, we have tried to promote University of Hawaii to the rest of the world with special focus in Asia.

But who we think we are? Or what the academic world think we are could be night and day to our end users: past, current and future students of University of Hawaii.

Five schools at the University of Hawaii stands out during the past decades: Medical School, Law School, Cancer Research Center, Astronomy and School of Travel Industry Management (TIM School).

I have just returned from Hong Kong 10 days ago helped put together the largest alumni event in UH history attended by more than 170 international guests from around the world. Many have flown in spending 1,000s of dollars just want to be part of it. We have raised almost US$100,000 in one single evening for one of the top schools at UH which happened to be UH top brand in Asia. http://johnsonchoi.com/chuckgee.htm  

Would you believe me if I tell you UH had tried for 5 years to shut down the School supporting the largest industry in Hawaii purely for political considerations. UH Chancellor Tom Apple has now promised at the UH reception at the Waialae Country Club on Aug 27 2013 that it will not happen under his watch. As a fellow Rotarian at the Metropolitan Rotary Club of Honolulu, I believe him. We are not saying other schools are not good. The question is how our end users sees it: our students.

Last week at a UH Alumni get together in San Francisco, there were other friends graduated from other colleges at the dinner. One of the discussions was one of the friend's daughter is making plan to attend college. And it happened that fall into the five schools I listed above.

We have suggested to the parents and their daughter to apply to the University of Hawaii. They are not interested. Their main reason is if their daughter could go to a University in a big city (they consider Hawaii too country), the alumni network could enhance their daughter's future career path. The parent is making good income. Just like so many parents in Hawaii making good income with smart children, they do not mind to send their children to universities in big cites costing them 4x more. They also want their children to expose to the real world, able to compete and survive in big cities.

Yesterday we ran into a friend and a very successful businessman while shopping at Costco, he asked why Kapiolani Community College does not even offer a food program to train Chinese cook? And everything is so political here. Sport programs at the University of Hawaii seems to trump our academic programs. His two children also attended mainland universities and they are not coming home to Hawaii.

When our taxpayers are paying 4x more to send their kids to mainland colleges. Many thought it applies to the riches in Hawaii – Not so. We have clients working in the low pay service industries jobs. Between the parents, work 3 – 5 jobs, save enough money or mortgage their home to send their children to mainland universities. 

From the financial prospective, it does not make any sense at all. But for most of the parents willing to bite the bullets, not belonging to the rich elite in Hawaii repeatedly told us, they have seen enough of Hawaii on where it is heading. Hawaii is not the place for young people smart with brains. Going to mainland universities is the best way for their kids to get exposed to the real world by interacting with the local there and the international students with deep network from their home countries.

Therefore when we tell our Ohana (family) that University of Hawaii is the top 100 university in the world. It does meant something, especially for us – the alumni. After getting over the moment of pride, the reality does set in.

In the academic world, top 20 or top 50 or top 100 is great. But in the business world, unless you are the top 10, you are just part of the crowd.

Therefore before we raise the champagne glass to toast to congratulate ourselves, we need to ask again why the young smart people with brain continue to leave Hawaii by the 100s every month? And why those that are very successful making 2 – 10 times income of their pier group in Hawaii not returning home.

Yes, I do care University of Hawaii at Manoa is the top 100 university. But I am having hard time selling it to the rest of world.

But since 80% of the people live in Hawaii never been to the rest of the world. Does it really matter to the majority of the taxpayers in Hawaii?

For many of the sport fans, we know what is more important to us. Do you?

See UH article: http://www.hawaii.edu/news/article.php?aId=5387  

Johnson Choi
President
Hong Kong.China.Hawaii Chamber of Commerce
Hawaii - San Francisco - Hong Kong - Shanghai
http://hkchcc.org/index.htm 
 

July 8 2013

http://www.kitv.com/news/hawaii/asiana-airlines-victims-part-of-chinaus-educational-program/-/8905354/20886312/-/nb5dtz/-/index.html#ixzz2YVDKHMKD

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szY21jewh7k or http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNTgwNjk3NzMy.html

Asiana Airlines victims part of China-U.S. educational program - by Pamela Young

Hong Kong.China.Hawaii Chamber of Commerce President: Hawaii schools not as equipped as those in California.

The two 16-year-old girls from China who died in the Asiana Airlines crash in San Francisco on Saturday were part of an educational program that connects Chinese youth to American schools, including some in Hawaii.

Hong Kong China Hawaii Chamber of Commerce President Johnson Choi is part of the program.

He said some of the visiting students were directed to California instead of Honolulu because of our lack of facilities.

Choi says the scarcity of dormitory space here is a major impediment to bringing more Chinese students to Hawaii.

"I talked to all the major schools in Hawaii and there are a lot of schools in Hawaii that want to do it but they are not as equipped as those in California, San Francisco, L.A., San Jose, Palo Alto," said Choi. "More and more students coming over during summertime."

Choi says the chamber supports the program because more interaction will mean more business and tourism between the two countries. He says he does not believe Saturday's tragedy will have a negative effect on the program.

Ye Mengyuan and Wang Linjia were the two 16-year old girls who perished in that crash. They were participating Choi says the Chamber supports the program because more interaction will mean more business and tourism between the 2 countries. He says he does not believe yesterday's tragedy will have a negative effect on the program.

December 18 2012

Hong Kong.China.Hawaii Chamber of Commerce (HKCHcc) wishes you a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year. We are thankful for the tremendous support and participation of our members trying our best to make Honolulu and Hawaii a wonderful place to live, work and do business. In observance of Christmas and New Year, the HKCHcc offices will be closed Dec 24 - 26 2012 and Dec 31 - Jan 2 2013.

Sincerely,
Johnson Choi
President
Hong Kong.China.Hawaii Chamber of Commerce
Hawaii - San Francisco - Hong Kong - Shanghai

November 18 2012

Hong Kong.China.Hawaii Chamber of Commerce (HKCHcc) wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving. We are thankful for the tremendous support and participation of our members trying our best to make Honolulu and Hawaii a wonderful place to live, work and do business. In observance of Thanksgiving, the HKCHcc offices will be closed Thursday, Nov. 22 and Friday, Nov. 23 2012.

During the time of Thanksgiving, let us do not forget 17% of the people in Hawaii now live under the poverty line = 238,000 of us. We have moved from the 18th place to the 4th place in the United States. Hawaii also has the honor to be the top five anti-business States in the nation.

With the above record, we are hoping the worst in over.

Sincerely,
Johnson Choi
President
Hong Kong.China.Hawaii Chamber of Commerce

October 2 2012

Honorable Leung Chun-ying
Chief Executive
Hong Kong SAR Government
c/o Mr. Donald Tong

Mr. Donald Tong
Hong Kong Commissioner for Economic and Trade Affair
Washington DC USA

Mr. Jeff Leung, Director
Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office San Francisco
San Francisco, CA, USA

Dear Honorable Leung Chun-Ying, Mr. Tong and Mr. Leung:

On behalf of the Hong Kong.China.Hawaii Chamber of Commerce (HKCHcc), we would like to express our condolence over Monday's deadly ship collision in Hong Kong.

38 lives were lost including many children and some are still in critical condition in the hospital.

We would also like to convey our sympathy to the injured and the families of the victims of the collision.

Sincerely,
Johnson Choi
President
Hong Kong.China.Hawaii Chamber of Commerce

February 17 2012

China Vice President Xi Jinping sets right tone for stable relations with the United States

More pictures on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150551334586984.374838.562941983&type=3&l=2906aa2561

China Vice President Xi Jinping Policy Speech February 15, 2012 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENBRSSJxrJE

State Department Lunch Honoring Vice President Xi Jinping of China http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0iLP4rl50xw

President Obama's Bilateral Meeting with Vice President Xi of China on 2-14-12 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_3vtbZmy88

Iowa before Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping's visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Teh1rUY0Cgg



The leaders of China and the US do not have to be the best of friends, but they should at least be on friendly terms. Vice-President Xi Jinping's meetings in Washington this week with senior American officials should have been the start. In a presidential election year, though, nothing can be taken for granted. Scoring political points seemed more important to US President Barack Obama than getting to better know the man widely seen as being the next Chinese head of state.

While Xi spoke pragmatically of the need for mutual respect and the benefits of working together, his hosts raised a lengthy list of grievances. Obama warned that Beijing had to play by the same rules as other major powers when it came to the global economy. The vice-president's opposite number, Joe Biden, highlighted a well-established litany of concerns, from human rights abuses to theft of intellectual property. Beijing was criticised for joining Russia in vetoing a UN Security Council vote on sanctions against Syria, for not dramatically revaluing its currency and for perceived unfair trade practices.

China has its complaints as well. Obama has made the Asia-Pacific region the focus of American military strategy, raising tensions, while Beijing blames US restrictions on Chinese imports for worsening the trade imbalance. But whereas Chinese officials typically go on the defensive when faced with criticism, Xi called on both countries to improve communications to reduce misunderstandings and suspicion. There was none of the stiff lecturing of President Hu Jintao , whom Xi is tipped to succeed; instead, he was realistic and ready to admit that China could do better.

As a leader-in-waiting, Xi cannot make grand gestures. Consequently, his trip has been full of symbolism, not substance. Its purpose was for both sides to get to know one another better. For nations lacking trust, it is an ideal way to help bridge the deficit.

Avoiding a row with a senior leader from a rival country is difficult at the best of times, but tricky indeed when elections are in the offing. Beijing and Washington have to make every effort to ensure that rhetoric causes no damage. For that to come about there has to be tolerance and understanding and, importantly, dialogue at all levels.

The world needs a fruitful, stable relationship between China and the US. Together, they can help solve a host of problems, from getting the global economy back on track to stability on the Korean peninsula. By coming to terms with one another's different and sometimes conflicting interests, they can prevent the possibility of conflict and their economies will benefit. A friendly demeanour through talks and negotiations, not political grandstanding, is the way to make this happen. Xi has set the right tone.

Secretary Bryson Highlights Balanced Trade Growth, Promotes Exports at U.S.-China Trade Forum in Los Angeles

 

Commerce Secretary John Bryson spoke today at the U.S.-China Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum in Los Angeles, highlighting ways the U.S. and China can cooperate to establish a level playing field, generate economic growth and create good jobs. In his remarks, he addressed the need to achieve balanced trade growth and increase U.S. exports to China.

Bryson also highlighted the progress of President Obama’s SelectUSA initiative, led by the Commerce Department, which is designed to help businesses from around the world, including China, make direct investments in the U.S. and create jobs for American workers.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, California Governor Jerry Brown, and Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sánchez also spoke. Vice President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China was the keynote for the event.

The forum was part of Vice President Xi’s week-long visit to the U.S., the second of the planned reciprocal visits between the Vice Presidents announced by President Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao during the latter’s state visit to Washington last year.

Also today, President Obama announced new steps aimed at promoting American manufacturing and increasing U.S. exports to help U.S. companies build things here and sell them everywhere. 

In case you missed it, you can read an op-ed published today by Secretary Bryson highlighting the fact that American manufacturing and exporting are showing signs of growth, and how the President and the Commerce Department are helping to build on this progress and create an economy that's built to last.

China and US economic and trade relations can be further enhanced in the future if trade barriers are removed, said Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping at the China-US Economics Trade Forum during his visit to Los Angeles on Friday.

Xi said that trade cooperation is the biggest achievement of US-China relations, citing figures that agricultural exports in 2011 amounted to $23.3 billion, breaking down to an average of $4,000 in exports for every American farmer.

Investment ties have been tightened as well, Xi said, with the scale of bilateral investment approaching $170 billion.

“Currently, there are more than 60,000 investment projects from the US, which generated sales revenue of $223.2 billion in 2010.”
According to a survey conducted by the American Chamber of Commerce in China, nearly 85 percent of the US companies in China saw increased profits in 2010, and 41 percent of the companies said the profit margin in China is bigger than the global average.

Xi, during the speech, stressed the agreement reached by Chinese President Hu Jintao and US President Barack Obama that China and US should continue to respect each other and seek mutual benefit.

He added that it is the responsibility of the Chinese and US governments to maintain sustainable, steady and healthy trade relations, which are anticipated from companies in both countries.

Xi again called on the US to adjust its economic policies to end restrictions on high-tech exports to China.

“The restrictions have caused many American companies to lose the potential opportunities in the Chinese market,” Xi said, citing figures that in the last decade, China’s high-tech import volume has expanded from $56 billion to $463 billion, with a yearly increase of 23.5 percent on average.

“If the high-tech export from the US can remain level in 2001, its export value to China can increase by $50 billion.”

February 16 2012

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping to visit Los Angeles

Johnson Choi, Vice Chairman of the Hawaii Pacific Export Council and President of Hong Kong.China.Hawaii Chamber of Commerce will be attending a reception invited by The City of Los Angeles and The Consulate General of The People’s Republic of China in Los Angeles to Join The U.S-China Economic & Trade Cooperation Forum and Signing Ceremony.



Vice President Xi Jinping of The People’s Republic of China Will Deliver a Keynote Speech

Friday, February 17, 2012
Forum: 9:00am-12:00pm Lunch:12:00pm-1:30pm
Platinum Ballroom, JW Marriott, Los Angeles L.A., 900 West Olympic Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90015

Agenda of the US-China Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum & Signing Ceremony

9:00 - 9:50 Opening ceremony - Keynote speech by Vice President Xi Jinping, P.R.China, Vips include US Vice President Joe Biden (invited), US Commerce Secretary John Bryson, China International Trade Representative Gao Hucheng, Governor Jerry Brown
Governors of Chinese provinces, Mayor of Los Angeles Antonio R. Villaraigosa etc.

9:50 - 10:00 Tea break

10:00-10:15 Signing ceremony

10:15-12:00 Seminar

10:15-10:40 Expand Chinese import from the US (Under Secretary of Commerce Mr. Sanchez, speaker from China to be confirmed)

10:40-11:05 Cooperation between the US states and Chinese provinces (speakers:Governor Jerry Brown (to be confirmed) Mayor Huang Qifan of Chongqing)

11:05-11:30 Cooperation in new fields (speakers:Rich Lavin, Group President of Caterpillar, and Mr.Wang Yusuo, Chairman of Xin Ao Group)

11:30-11:55 Cooperation in infrastructure (speakers:Deputy Mayor of LA Matthew Karatz MR. Liu Zhenya, General Manager of State 
Power Grid Corporation of China)

12:00-13:30 Lunch

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, who is expected to be his nation's next president, will begin a day-and-a-half trip to Los Angeles Thursday that will include a visit to the Port of Los Angeles, the expected announcement of an entertainment deal involving a major studio and an economic forum downtown.

Xi will also watch Friday's Los Angeles Lakers game with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

Xi's visit is the first to Los Angeles by a high-level Chinese official in 13 years.

His trip is expected to be largely ceremonial and symbolic, but analysts say it could be an important relationship building opportunity for the shipping, tourism and entertainment industries.

Analysts also expect Villaraigosa and Gov. Jerry Brown to push hard for Chinese investment in a planned high-speed rail project from Los Angeles to San Francisco and regional Los Angeles County transit projects.

Xi's flight from Iowa is scheduled to land at Los Angeles International Airport around 1:30 p.m. Brown and Villaraigosa will be on hand to welcome Xi, who experts believe will become China's president next year and hold the post for 10 years.

The officials will then travel to the Port of Los Angeles to visit the China Shipping terminal, which is undergoing a $121 million expansion that will more than double the company's space at the port to 142 acres.

Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Geraldine Knatz said she is honored to host Xi at the port.

"For many years, China has been and continues to be the port's leading trading partner in terms of both imports and exports," Knatz said.

In 2011, total trade between China and the Port of L.A. was valued at more than $133 billion.

Xi has no public events Thursday evening, but a packed schedule on Friday.

Xi is expected to announce a deal Friday with DreamWorks Animation to jointly build and operate a studio in Shanghai with two state-owned Chinese media companies, Shanghai Media Group and China Media Capital.

The deal, which would have the three companies produce original films and television programs for the Chinese audience, would give DreamWorks Animation the most significant access to China's media market of any company, the Financial Times reported.

Xi, Commerce Secretary John Bryson and Villaraigosa will speak at the China-U.S. Economic Trade Forum at the JW Marriott near L.A. Live Friday morning.

Afterward, Xi, Bryson and Villaraigosa plan to rendezvous with Vice President Joe Biden at a Los Angeles school before a welcome luncheon hosted by Villaraigosa at the JW Marriott.

Chinese officials will also attend a private agreement signing between city officials and the Chinese telecommunications company ZTE Corporation.

The city will commit to helping the company find possible sites for expansion and network with possible clients in the city. ZTE will commit to expand the company's scope in Los Angeles.

Brown will host a U.S. and Chinese Governors' Roundtable at Walt Disney Concert Hall scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m.

Xi's visit comes on the heels of Villaraigosa's trade mission to China and other Asian countries in December, when the two met to discuss trade and business opportunities in the city.

Villaraigosa, who met with Xi during a trade mission to China in December, took credit for the vice president's visit.

"I am honored that Vice President Xi Jinping accepted my invitation to visit Los Angeles as we continue to foster relationships that were renewed during my trade mission to China in December," Villaraigosa said this week.

"I am committed to strengthening our local economy by expanding Chinese trade, tourism and investment in Los Angeles and exploring ways that we can expand local business opportunities in China."

Chinese-owned businesses in the city employ about 600 people and pay $32 million in wages, according to the mayor's office.

The trip is largely intended to send symbolic messages to the Chinese public, said Clayton Dube, associate director of the U.S.-China Institute at the University of Southern California.

The trip will communicate that China's power succession is proceeding, that the U.S.-China relationship is an important one, and that both sides are trying to improve the relationship, Dube said.

An investment delegation from Chongqing, one of China's fastest growing cities, will be looking at ways to invest in shipping infrastructure, tourism- related businesses, film and video partnerships and possibly transportation projects, Dube said.

Villaraigosa is also actively looking to Chinese companies for investment in regional transportation projects and a high-speed rail line connecting Los Angeles to San Francisco.

"Yes, that's one of the things I'd like to talk to (Xi) about and look forward to working with him," Villaraigosa told City News Service. "What it will be is an opportunity to participate in what should be one of the most significant projects of its kind in our state's history."

"The biggest issues out there in terms of economic relations, is whether China begins to invest seriously in real assets in the U.S., assuming partial ownership of businesses here, not just treasuries and agency debt," said Kenneth Lieberthal, director of the John L. Thornton China Center at the Brookings Institute in Washington, D.C.

Lieberthal said it's "perfectly feasible" the transportation investments could be the first high-profile test of how the American public would react to Chinese co-ownership of public assets.

"Foreign ownership even of toll roads has been politically difficult elsewhere in the U.S.," Lieberthal said.

Villaraigosa said co-ownership is not the focus of talks at this point.

"They're not looking at that as much, certainly, as they are at a rate of return," Villaraigosa said.

Xi's delegation is scheduled to include China's ministers of foreign affairs, education and agriculture, the vice minister of commerce, a trade representative, the Chinese ambassador to the U.S., other senior government officials and embassy and consular staff.

Xi will conclude his trip Friday night by joining Villaraigosa in attending the Lakers game against the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center.

Xi is scheduled to leave Friday around 10 p.m. from Los Angeles International Airport.

  

As Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping makes his way across the U.S. in a five-day tour, Chinese American community leaders in Southern California are putting the finishing touches on their high-profile welcome banquet. Many Chinese American business leaders, professors and residents have been trying to score a ticket to the invitation-only event Thursday night. "My phone has not stopped ringing," said Sue Zhang, president of the Roundtable of Chinese American Organizations and the head of the 15-person welcome committee formed to prepare the banquet. "Everyone's asking me if they can be added to the guest list, and I have to tell them, 'No, there's no room.' " Zhang wants to ensure that every sector of the region's Chinese American community — commerce, education, media and science — has its best representatives at the banquet, which is to be held at the JW Marriott hotel at L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles. "We all hope to properly welcome him and bridge our communities," Zhang said. Ling Wang, a teacher at a San Gabriel Chinese school, was among those trying to get on the list. "I called too late; I know I've missed this opportunity," Wang said in Mandarin. "I'm just one of many who want to go and welcome the official most likely to be the next leader of China." Attendance has been limited to 500 seats, with more than 100 filled by Xi's delegation. Despite all the last-minute phone calls, the final guest list is unchangeable because of the high security. The night's events will include cultural performances, as well as a speech by Xi, who is expected to replace Chinese President Hu Jintao next year. David Fang, a Taiwanese-educated attorney in Los Angeles, was lucky enough to land a VIP ticket. "The media may report it slightly differently," he said, "and I want to see his mannerisms, the way he speaks. He represents so much in terms of China's economic strength, foreign investment, future trade relations — it'll be an honor just to hear his speech firsthand."

December 15 2011

Dear Members and Friends of the Hong Kong.China.Hawaii Chamber of Commerce (HKCHcc):

As you know, over the last several months, we have lobbied with the U.S. Travel Association in support of several visa provisions that were included by the Senate in the fiscal year 2012 State Department funding bill. Since the House of Representatives did not include the same visa reform language, we urged the House Appropriators to agree to adopt the Senate language as they negotiated a final bill. 

The House released the text of the fiscal year 2012 State Department bill today and I am pleased to report to you that it includes an amended version of the visa provisions the Senate Appropriations Committee approved earlier this year. Please see the visa text below. 

The language accomplishes three key goals. First, Congress is now on record directing the State Department to take the necessary steps, including hiring additional personnel, to reduce visa processing times in China, Brazil and India. Second, Congress directs the State Department to consider new approaches to increasing efficiency in the processing of visas by directing it to report on the risk and benefits of waiving the visa interview for people reapplying for a leisure or business visas if their visa has expired. If the interviews could be waived for a larger number of visa renewal applicants, it would free up State Department resources to focus on new visa applicants. Finally, the bill reaffirms Congress's previous support for the testing of videoconferencing technology for visa interviews in order to grant applicants greater access to the U.S. visa process. 

The House and Senate are considering voting on the State Department funding bill as part of a larger omnibus spending package that will contain nine bills. We are hearing that a few policy items are holding up the final agreement, but if they can get those items settled, the House could vote on the omnibus tomorrow and the Senate would take a vote on the same bill on Saturday sending it to the President for his signature.

This visa language is a win for our visa reform campaign and I want to thank all of you for helping us move it through Congress in just a few short months. We will now focus our attention on the 6 authorizing bills before Congress that will help us accomplish additional long-term visa reforms including setting a 12 visa processing standard and expansion of the Visa Waiver Program. 

Page 236-237
http://www.rules.house.gov/Legislation/legislationDetails.aspx?NewsID=661 

Consular Affairs
Section 7076

(a) The Secretary of State shall implement the necessary steps, including hiring a sufficient number of consular officers to include limited non-career appointment officers, in the People's Republic of China, Brazil and India to reduce the wait time to interview visa applicants who have submitted applications.

(b) The Secretary of State shall conduct a risk and benefit analysis regarding the extension of the expiration period for B--1 or B-2 visa for visa applicants before requiring a consular officer interview and, unless such analysis finds that risks outweigh benefits, develop a plan to extend such expiration period in a manner consistent with maintaining security controls.

(c) The Secretary of State may develop and conduct a pilot program for the processing of B-1 and B-2 visas using secure remote videoconferencing technology as a method for conducting visa of applicants: Provided, That any such pilot should be developed in consultation with other Federal agencies that use such secure communications to help ensure security of the videoconferencing transmission and encryption: Provided further, That no pilot program should be conducted if the Secretary determines and reports to the Committees on Appropriations that such program posses an undue security risk and that it cannot be conducted in a manner consistent with maintaining security controls.

Johnson W. K. Choi
President

October 6 2011 3:16pm

Dear Hong Kong.China.Hawaii Chamber of Commerce Members:

Special Invitation from the Hong Kong Government required your action by 10/11/11

The Hong Kong Government will host a Reception during the APEC Leaders' Meeting Week for the local Hawaiian business and political community. Top official from Hong Kong Government will address attendees on the latest developments of Hong Kong and what it means for Hawaii in terms of business and investment opportunities. The Hong Kong Government would like to extend invitation to our members. 

Our Privacy Statement does NOT allow us to release members' information for any 3rd parties.

If you are interested in attending the event, please let me know and I'll pass your contact information to Hong Kong Government for the issuing of invitations. 

If you are interested, please return the following information to jwkc8168@yahoo.com by providing:

1) Name
2) Title
3) Business Affiliation
4) Email Address

The deadline is Tuesday, 10/11/2011

Thank you.
Johnson W. K. Choi, MBA, RFC.
President

April 3 2011

  Image via spreadshirt.com

Since the Japan Earthquake more than 2 weeks ago, we could witness cities and countries took actions to help.

I have read daily news articles on how the Japan earthquake will impact on Hawaii's economy. Since there is NO visa requirements for Japanese National to come here, why not come to Hawaii? What did our Federal and State Government offering the Japanese to help them to relocate to Hawaii?

For the past 20 years, DBEDT and Public Sectors Leaders have been promoting the idea that since we have more than 300,000 Japanese American in Hawaii, the connection with Japan is tight and natural. 

There is another city across from the Pacific taking very positive steps in the past 2 weeks.

1) Offering work VISA to more than 250 business executives located there is just 2 weeks time.

2) Raise more than US$12.5 million for the Japanese earthquake relief in 2 weeks and climbing fast.

3) Hotel rooms are booked solid

It is the City of Hong Kong.

The Chinese word "danger" "危機" if you split up the word "" = danger and "" = opportunities.

In Hawaii, rather than focus on the negatives, may be we should take some positive action and see if we can do what Hong Kong has been doing for the past 2 weeks?

Since the Japan Earthquake more than 2 weeks ago, cities and countries have been taking action to help Japan nationals. In Hong Kong, more than 250 business executives from Japan were granted work visas in just 2 week’s time. The Hong Kong Immigration Department has also received a further 300-plus inquiries from professionals in Japan worried about radiation from the crippled Fukushima nuclear fuel plant and further earthquakes.

“Since there is NO visa requirements for Japanese nationals to come to Hawaii, why is Hawaii’s government not offering to help relocate Japanese nationals to Hawaii?” asked Johnson W. K. Choi, Past President/Director of the University of Hawaii Travel Industry Management Alumni.

"Many applicants were very glad that we could grant the visa within two days," said Hong Kong’s newly-appointed director of immigration Eric Chan Kwok-ki as he disclosed the figures, "Those applicants can bring economic benefit to Hong Kong. We hope that they consider long-term settlement in Hong Kong."

They are the first official confirmation of a trend which has been apparent as Japan struggles to cope with the aftermath of the twin disasters, which have left 11,800 people confirmed dead and 15,500 missing, and with the crisis at the Fukushima plant 250 kilometers northeast of Tokyo. Nuclear power shutdowns triggered rolling power blackouts across much of the country.

Chan said fast-track approval was necessary because professionals leaving Tokyo were eyeing other jurisdictions as potential alternatives.

He said most of those given visas were senior managers of multinational companies in Japan, mainly in the financial sector. Their titles include chief executive officer, vice president, senior investment manager, analyst, and strategist.

"We have received inquiries from multinational companies and human resources companies applying for visas for their staff working in Japan who would like to leave Japan after the quake," Chan said.

The 270 applications were received and approved between March 17 and 31.

An assistant director of immigration was appointed to speed up the process so that applicants could have a visa within two days. Chan said it was the "first time in immigration history" such procedures had been put in place. It usually took six to eight weeks to process an application.

"Those applicants might decide to go to other countries if we did not provide a speedy approach," he said.

The applicants included Europeans, Americans, and Japanese working in Japan. A large number of them were earning between HK$100,000 and over HK$200,000 a month, according to the Immigration Department.

One Tokyo executive who arrived in Hong Kong told the Post that executives in Japan were fleeing to Hong Kong, Taiwan, and even as far away as Australia and the United States after the quake. The man said worries about radiation were not the only reason people were leaving Tokyo. Their business had been affected as offices were badly damaged. "Time is money in my business," he said.

Among the 270 applicants granted a one-year visa, 158 were granted on an employment or investment basis, 62 were for their dependants, one for studying, and 49 applied to extend their visas as they were in Hong Kong right after the earthquake happened.

Last year, 26,881 working visas were granted for employment or investment in the city and 20,385 dependant visas in the same period.

January 27 2010

Wake up Hawaii

The subprime mortgage that blew up late 2008, almost one-half year ago, many thought Hawaii could stand up to the challenges. I think we did it in a very different way. While the businesses continue to struggle, our State government continues to raise tax, fee and the latest round is a big increase of the Hawaii State Unemployment Tax.

Unless the law is amended, the average annual State Unemployment Tax paid by employers in the fund is scheduled to shoot up nearly twelvefold — from $90 annually to $1,070. For an average employer with 10 workers, the bill would skyrocket from $900 annually to $10,070. When many employers are struggling to make payroll with declining sales, this could be the straw that will break the camel's back.

Tourism as a percentage of the State GDP continues to decline, from 25% in the 80s to less than 20% today. The decline will continue unless some drastic change is made.

More tourist destinations are coming online. The latest is Hainan China, also known as the "Hawaii" of China. When I was member of the Honolulu City delegation visited Hainan in 1985 to sign the sister-city agreement, the Sanya beach which stretches for the distance equal from Diamond Head to Sand Island had no infrastructure, building or hotel. Hawaii was at least 20 years more advance than Hainan. Fast forward 25 years later, Hainan not only catch up to Hawaii, she also provide better value for the visitors with superior service.

When most tourist destination seeks out to provide a product mix cater to their customers, Hawaii seems to be satisfied that no change here is needed.

As I listen to President Obama's State of Union address that other nations are not standing still, American need to move forward to compete to win. During the Hawaii 2050 Sustainability Plan and a group of high school students were asked if they will come home to Hawaii after college education - NO ONE raise their hand. We are hoping these high school students have not already labeled Hawaii as loser therefore not coming home.

If this is not a wakeup call, when?

March 18, 2008

Hong Kong.China.Hawaii Chamber of Commerce (HKCHcc) is "2008 Minority Small Business Champion of the Year" - join us at Mandarin Oriental Hotel Washington DC April 21 - 23 or Honolulu Hawaii on April 30th 11:30am at the Hilton Hawaiian Village

We are informed by Mr. Steven C Preston, Administrator of the United States Small business Administration (SBA) Washington DC that Johnson Choi, President of the Hong Kong.China.Hawaii Chamber of Commerce (HKCHcc) has won the Top SBA Award in our category, the "2008 Minority Small Business Champion of the Year" as defined by the SBA is "To Honor Individuals Who Have Fulfilled a Commitment to Support and Assist Minority Entrepreneurs & Small Business Owners" (Note: HKCHcc have won the "Hawaii award" as well as the "Regional Award" – topping the other Minority Small Business Champs in 50 States and Guam to qualify to compete and winning the "national" award, the top honor in our category). The award with be presented during the SBA National Business Week at the Mandarin Oriental Washington DC April 21 – 23 http://www.nationalsmallbusinessweek.com/schedule/  

HKCHcc is probably the "first" Chamber of Commerce in the United States working with minority owned businesses in the nation focusing on promoting business between Hawaii, North America, Hong Kong and China wining the top honor.

We want to thank my sponsors; the First Hawaiian Bank and its Vice President Naomi Masuno who helped guide me through the application process http://www.fhb.com/

We are going to Washington DC April 21 – 23 to receive the award. It will be held at the Mandarin Oriental Washington DC. http://www.nationalsmallbusinessweek.com/schedule/
***

Webcasting - SBA will be webcasting all of the award events*** and the forums!! click on this link to log onto the website the day and time of the event and you will see a link to the webcast.

Hawaii Women's Business Center hosts Small Business Awards Luncheon on April 30 2008 11:30am - 1:30pm at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Online Registrations: Individual Group of 10 - Return form with payment no later than April 25, 2008 to The Hawai'i Women's Business Center is located in downtown, Honolulu, in the Heart of Chinatown: 1041 Nu'uanu Avenue, Suite A, Honolulu, Hawaii 96817; Phone: 808.526.1001; FAX: 808.550.0724 Cost: $45.00 per person, $450 for table of 10 (Check payable to Hawaii Women's Business Center)

We could not win the "top" honor in the nation without the support from all of you, especially from our Officers, Directors and Members located on both sides of the Pacific and Hawaii.

I am hoping to bring pride to the State of Hawaii, Business and Friendships across the Pacific.

I wish my parents could be with me who had contributed so much and guided me through advises, setting good examples, encourage us to give our time to public services and providing the best education. My father (Saint Joseph alumni) (1900 - 1992) is my role model, representing Hong Kong in Soccer and Baseball competed in Asia from 1918 - 1953 (retired from soccer due to serious injury) while working full time in the Law Firm Hasting & Hasting raising 10 children, retired in 1985 at the age of 85. http://www.hastings-hk.com/  http://www.scaafc.com/index.jsp  http://www.geocities.com/hkgfootball/2006-07/south_china.htm 

Many have asked why I seem to be always on time for appointments. My father (TSOI Ping Fan) taught us when we are very young that being on time is a "promise" you made to others. It may be a small promise. But if we cannot even keep a small promise, how can anyone take you serious when we do bigger things!

My first employer Mrs. Carolyn Tong Chee (Narcissus Queen 1955), my mentor and successful developer with her husband Doctor Percival Chee encouraged me to start my own business in 1980 and said will hire me back if I failed.

My father has suggested my attending UH TIM School because of TIM Night, 800 hours of practical training requirements and Chuck Gee. Dean Emeritus Chuck Gee of School of Travel Industry Management at the University of Hawaii at Manoa is my mentor during my adult life in Hawaii, setting good examples, providing help and opportunities to so many students from Asia http://www.tim.hawaii.edu/default.aspx  http://www.johnsonchoi.com/chuckgee.htm

College of Business Administration (Shidler College of Business Administration) has also played an important part of my education at the University of Hawaii between 1974 and 1977. It has continued to play an important role with the support from current Dean and Interim Associate Dean Vance Roley and David Yang on National and International Businesses http://www.shidler.hawaii.edu/

After consulting with the Director of HKETO SF, Annie Tang in 2001, Dean Emeritus Chuck Gee, Brenda Foster (AmCham Shanghai President), Paul Tang (GM and VP of Hyatt Regency) and with the blessings of many executives in both public and private sectors in Hawaii have supported forming the Hong.Kong.China Hawaii Chamber of Commerce (HKCHcc) to focus on doing business between Hawaii, North America and Asia with special focus on Hong Kong and China http://www.hkchcc.org/endorsment-support.htm

Father Xavier, Principle Emeritus of Rosaryhill High School (RHS) Hong Kong who is always there for us. We are always your students and friends. RHS gave me 13 years of good solid education prepared us for higher education. I am proud to be a Catholic and a friend for more than 40 years http://www.rhs.edu.hk/  http://www.b2bchinadirect.com/rosaryhill.htm.

My wife Carmen, who has to put up with me, working long hours doing non-profit work sometimes jokes about it, "where is the beef"? Carmen has been tremendously supportive. I owe her a lot for my continuous success to bring in new projects and adding on new responsibilities.

Stephen and Susan Uemura of Commercial Insurance Agency Inc from 1983 until merging into BISI 3 years ago http://www.bisihi.com/

Ron Ota of Royal Alliance Associates Inc (AIG) for more than 10 years http://www.royalalliance.com/

Michael G Taylor and Gary Kimata of Manulife for the mentorship and supports http://www.manulife.com/corporate/corporate2.nsf/Public/Homepage

Quoting Mr. Stephen B. Metter, CEO and Principal, MW Group, Ltd. and MW Commercial Realty, Inc with US$450 million of Real Estates Portfolio started his Company 17 years ago has no money with his partners also with no money and knew no one in Hawaii said at a meeting on Wednesday, Feb 27th, "You have to love what you do and do it well with passions. If you do it only for money, it is not the right way....you cannot work with your partners or associates that you have to always watch your back, lack the integrity .......say or do things that could do you harm" http://mwgroup.com/

I am bless to have the opportunity and continue to have the opportunity working with all of you.


Johnson Choi, MBA, RFC.
President
Hong Kong.China.Hawaii Chamber of Commerce
"Hawaii-China Guan Xi, We Get Things Done™"
Offices in Honolulu, San Francisco, Hong Kong and China
http://www.hkchcc.org 
Vice Chair - Hawaii Pacific Export Council (HPEC)
http://www.hkchcc.org/hawaiipacificdec.htm
http://www.johnsonchoi.com/resume.htm

Business Survey by
 

***********************************************
U.S. Small Business Administration
-- News Release --
***********************************************
Release Date: March 12, 2008
Contact: Cecelia Taylor (202) 401-3059
Release Number: 08-24
Internet Address: http://www.sba.gov/news

SBA Salutes the Nation’s Best Entrepreneurs at National Small Business Week April 21-25, 2008

SBA to Celebrate 55th Year with Women’s Business Centers, New Executive Panel Forums, and the Naming of National Small Business Person of the Year

WASHINGTON – The nation’s top entrepreneurs will be hailed at the U.S. Small Business Administration’s National Small Business Week events April 21-25, 2008, in Washington, D.C., and New York City. This year marks the 55th anniversary of the agency, and the 45th annual proclamation of Small Business Week.

Small business owners from across the country will be honored for their accomplishments as the nation’s leading small businesses. The highlight of events will be the announcement of the National Small Business Person of the Year.

“Small businesses drive our economy, creating jobs and opportunities for Americans in every community across the country,” said SBA Administrator Steve Preston. “The SBA is very proud of the vital role it plays in enabling America’s entrepreneurs, and we are excited to be able to recognize a few of these great success stories during the week.”

National Small Business Week 2008 will begin with three days of events in Washington, D.C., at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, where more than 100 outstanding business owners from across the country will be recognized. In addition to the State Small Business Persons of the Year, men and women involved in disaster recovery, government procurement, small business champions as well as SBA partners in financial and entrepreneurial development will be honored.

A focal point this year will be a series of executive panel forums on Health Care, International Trade, Energy, and Finance. In addition, there will be a procurement session with corporate buyers and prime contractors who will discuss small business partnering and mentoring opportunities for small businesses seeking government contracts.

On April 24, Small Business Week moves to New York, where SBA will participate in the closing bell ceremony at NASDAQ to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Women’s Business Center program. The program has served more than 650,000 new and growing small business owners in the past five years alone. An awards event celebrating the top small business lenders and a financial forum on community investment, cosponsored with the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, will culminate activities in New York.

Among the featured speakers confirmed are Secretary Mike Leavitt, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Ambassador Susan C. Schwab, United States Trade Representative; Newt Gingrich, former House Speaker; David Latimore of the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City; John Bryant of Operation HOPE, and other prominent business leaders, CEOs and politicos.

Small Business Week 2008 cosponsors include: Sam’s Club, Administaff, Raytheon, IBM, Chevron, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Cisco, Lockheed Martin, Salesforce.com, Lowe’s, Banco Popular, Minority Business Development Agency, General Services Administration, MyBizHomepage, Dun & Bradstreet, National Association of Development Companies, Direct Selling Education Foundation, Association of Small Business Development Centers, National Small Business Association, Federal Allies Institute, Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, Consumer Energy Alliance, National Federation of Independent Business, and SCORE

The 2008 National Small Business Week award events will include the following individuals and groups:
• The National Small Business Person of the Year, selected from the 53 State Small Business Persons of the Year.
• The Champion Awards, recognizing both individuals and organizations for their achievements on behalf of small business, including minority, women and veteran-owned small businesses.
• The Phoenix Awards, recognizing a public official, a business owner and a volunteer whose efforts have helped their businesses or communities recover successfully from a disaster.
• The Lender of the Year, honoring financial institutions, including those that provide financing for small business exporters and inner city businesses.
• The Entrepreneurial Development Awards honoring Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers and SCORE for their innovation and excellence in assistance to entrepreneurs and small businesses.
• The Dwight D. Eisenhower Award for Excellence, recognizing large prime contractors who have excelled in their utilization of small businesses as suppliers and subcontractors.
• The Gold Star Award, recognizing exemplary performance of federal staff who manage the aggressive goals and strategic initiatives that help ensure a role for small business in the federal marketplace.
• The Frances Perkins Vanguard Award, honoring government and industry for excellence in the use of women-owned small businesses as prime contractors and subcontractors.
• The Small Business Prime Contractor and Small Business Subcontractor of the Year, honoring small businesses that have provided government and industry with outstanding goods and services as prime or sub contractors.

Small Business Week award winners will meet with top agency officials, congressional representatives and national business leaders. The State Small Business Award Winners and recipients of the Champion and other Entrepreneurial awards are nominated by local trade associations, chambers of commerce and business organizations and government agencies.

Media outlets are encouraged to cover National Small Business Week events, and can register online. Additional information on the Small Business Week 2008 events is available at www.sba.gov/sbw

Small Business Week 2008 Schedule of Events (Note to Press: Seating is limited at all events and the events schedule is subject to change.)

Monday, April 21, 2008
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Opening Reception & Entrepreneurial Development Awards
U.S. Department of State, Diplomatic Reception Rooms

Tuesday, April 22, 2008
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Health Care Forum — Health Care Solutions for Small Business
Mandarin Oriental, Oriental Ballroom
Cosponsor: NFIB

12:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
National Awards Honoring State Small Business Winners &
National Small Business Person of the Year
Mandarin Oriental, Grand Ballroom

3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Technology Forum — Going Global: Leveraging Technology to Expand Markets,
Mandarin Oriental, Oriental Ballroom

Wednesday, April 23, 2008
8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Phoenix Awards — Disaster Recovery Award Winners
Mandarin Oriental, Grand Ballroom

10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Energy Forum — Going Green: A Practical Approach for Small Business
Mandarin Oriental, Oriental Ballroom
Cosponsor: Consumer Energy Alliance

12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
National Procurement Award Winners
Mandarin Oriental, Grand Ballroom

3:00 p.m. – 6:00 pm
Alliance Partnerships with Prime Contractors
Mandarin Oriental, Hillwood Room

5:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Champion Award Winners
Mandarin Oriental, Grand Ballroom

Thursday, April 24, 2008
4:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
NASDAQ Closing & 20th Anniversary Celebration for Women’s Business Centers, NASDAQ MarketSite,
New York City

8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
OSDBU Procurement Matchmaking Event
Show Place Arena, Upper Marlboro, Md.
For information, please visit www.fbcinc.com/osdbu
SBA Administrator Steve Preston will be a guest speaker at this event.


Friday, April 25, 2008
11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Lender Award Winners & Financial Forum: Achieving Returns on Community Investment,
The Westin New York at Times Square, New York City

Media Contacts:
Dennis Byrne                           Cecelia Taylor
dennis.byrne@sba.gov            cecelia.taylor@sba.gov
(202) 205-6567                        (202) 401-3059

Small Business Week 2008 cosponsors include: Sam’s Club, Administaff, Raytheon, IBM, Chevron, Cisco, Lockheed Martin, Lowe’s, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Minority Business Development Agency, MyBizHomepage, Dun & Bradstreet, Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, Consumer Energy, Alliance, National Federation of Independent Business, and SCORE

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s participation in this cosponsored activity does not constitute an express or implied endorsement of any cosponsor’s, donor’s, grantee’s, contractor’s or participant’s opinions, products, or services. All SBA programs and cosponsored programs are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Reasonable arrangements for persons with disabilities will be made, if requested at least 2 weeks in advance, by contacting sbw@sba.gov.  Co-sponsorship Authorization #SBW2008

September 26, 2007

Dear Honorable Governor George Ariyoshi and Jeanne Schultz-Afuvai, Hawaii Institute for Public Affairs:

Thank you for asking us to submit comments to the www.hawaii2050.org Sustainability Task Force.

We are rare minority that really thought can make a difference. I felt Hawaii has already past the point of no return.

When Communist China shifts much of the business to the private sector, in Hawaii, the State and City Government still want to control all aspect of business with ever increasing red-tape and taxes.

Few countries, except Singapore, allowing the Government to take the lead and become successful. The main reason is senior Prime Minister Lee uphold high morale standard with a virtue corruption free government.

It does not matter how good intention we have. The people in power lack the knowledge or the will to make it happen. How many business round tables did we go through during the past 2 decades? How many study groups did we have the past 2 decades? The interesting points was the same 30 – 40 people always became members of the study group or advisory board due to their business and political affiliation. When the last report failed to meet expectation, the same group of people produced the last failed recommendation got called back to do another study! When it failed again, the process kept repeating itself, each time use a different name – we call it hawaii2050 this time, may be a different name next time. The end result is the same – status quote.

The reason why mass transit is profitable and successful in Hong Kong is because business takes the lead - no tax increase by giving development right of mass transit system to developer in exchange for subsidizing the system. I have shared my comment with a couple of city council members; they look at us with strange faces. I asked my friends who are in the construction business later what is the problem giving it free to Honolulu taxpayer - the reply was putting developers into the long approve process ensure unlimited campaign contribution not only from developers, but also from the entire building industry.

Hawaii need a State of the Art movie studio (see note #1).

Warner Bros strategic plan to shoot the next Batman movie could be having the film qualified as a Hong Kong production for easy access to the China market and to save 100s of thousand of potential tax levy against foreign films. The US$170 million State of the Art Shaw's Studio in Hong Kong is the best in Asia funded by private sector money. The latest Ang Lee award winning film "Lust" was partly produced in the Shaw's Studio.

While people unfamiliar with the Asia situation always focus on the copyright issues on movie productions, especially in the China market. They are behind time and missing the boat as there are ways to do it correctly not through Shanghai or Beijing, but through Hong Kong.

Beijing new policy to allow domestic investment to go to Hong Kong expecting up to US$100 billion will enter Hong Kong within the next 12 months looking for investment inside and outside of Hong Kong. In business, especially the SME in Hawaii, we must follow the money as most do not have the time and resources to go to China to party, wine and dine with government officials to build the relationship. U. S. Commercial Services Hawaii took 7 companies to Hong Kong (no government officials) in May 2007, 3 companies already got orders from Hong Kong representatives. I meant real orders and not those for news media consumptions only. For the past 10 years, rather than helping Hawaii’s SME (Small Medium Enterprise) to become successful to take advantage of the growing Asian market lead by China, we choose to do a lot of wine and dine trade mission allowing selective branches of the government official good time at taxpayers expenses producing practically no business value for the State of Hawaii.

When we travel back to Hawaii, the Hawaii promotional film shown inside the plane prior to our landing tell us not to bring back anything to affect our natural beauties. It will be most helpful if our Governor will also tell our visitors that besides tourist trade - we do have real business in Hawaii "besides" tourism. I hope you will agree.

We still see quotes from top Hawaii government officials yesterday that companies should come to Hawaii since we are the gateway to the Pacific because we are in the middle of the Pacific. It is only true geographically, no longer in business sense as we lost our advantages more than 15 years ago. We can continue to say what we want to say, but the regular comments I received from people knowledgeable in the Asia Pacific when they hear the out-of-date Hawaii advantages comments were we are out of touch with reality. Do we have a Fortune 500 Company (may be except A&B) using Hawaii as a base to manage their Asia operations?

I have visited the Hearst Castle in SF as a tourist. 1 week ago. The California State National Park escort asked us to introduce ourselves prior to the tour. I said I am from Hawaii and a consultant taking American Companies to China. Her comment was "we know Hawaii is the 50th State, but is there business other than tourism in Hawaii" It drew a few laugh (more than 45 people were in the group), I felt a little offended. one day later, I was in the round table discussion in SF on doing business in Hong Kong and Foshan China. The attitude towards the Hawaii representatives, while more polite than the California Park Service employee, yet you could feel that for serious business matters, we saw puzzles in their eyes why we were there - sad, but true!

The Super ferry situation, whether it is right or wrong is projecting a negative business image about Hawaii from the comments we have received during the past few weeks. Most in the business community are in support of the Super ferry. It will be helpful if the Chamber of Commerce from all islands can take a strong business stand.

Hawaii business must take the lead, unlike the 70s; there is practically no major Hawaii base business here. Mainland companies come to Hawaii to pay minimum wage to the sons and daughters in Hawaii, few profits, if any stay in Hawaii.

The smartest and the best educated kids continue to leave Hawaii in thousands by going to Universities in the mainland USA or stay to obtain their degree courtesy of the University of Hawaii before relocating to the mainland USA or Asia - talking about brain drain. Comparable jobs between Hawaii and San Francisco (both places have similar standard of livings), Hawaii's job is at least 40% less pay. In order to maintain same life style, many Hawaii employees must take on a 2nd job to subsidize their income just to stay in par with their San Francisco counterparts.

I am really hoping Hawaii2050 can make a difference - I meant real difference not to allow the citizen of Hawaii to become the servants of the rich and famous from here, USA and around the world. We are losing the battle.

Johnson Choi, MBA, RFC.
President - Hong Kong.China.Hawaii Chamber of Commerce
15 Collaboration Porters, 20,000 Members Worldwide
USA: 1188 Bishop St, Ste 3403, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813 (from May 15, 2007)
China: 31-35 Yongjia Rd, #520, Shanghai 200030
Hong Kong SAR: 253 Des Voeux Rd #1305, Central
San Francisco USA (415) 691-6138; Hawaii USA:(808) 524-5738; China:(86) 1316-297-7837; HKSAR:(852) 8171-3118; USA Toll Free Fax (877) 852-8548
Company Affiliations: http://www.johnsonchoi.com/resume.htm

(note #1) Warner Bros. has applied for local permits to shoot a portion of Batman sequel "The Dark Knight" in Hong Kong this fall. In director Christopher Nolan's follow-up to "Batman Begins," the caped crusader will leave Gotham for the first time in the history of the film franchise to fight evil in another city -- or cities -- although it's unclear whether Hong Kong will be called Hong Kong or a fictional metropolis. As it stands, the Warner Bros. project is hoping to touch down in the former British colony for a skedded nine days of shooting in November. Warners wouldn't confirm the reports. Pic, whose plotline is being kept under tight wraps, also is lensing in Chicago and London. "Dark Knight" returns Christian Bale to the big screen as Batman. Heath Ledger and Michael Caine also star. Hong Kong production services companies have been abuzz for months with talk of what may be the highest profile foreign shoot for several years. Warner has apparently applied for permits to shoot in the glossy business district of Central and neighboring Western. And one sequence could include the nightly Symphony of Lights laser show, a key tourist trademark for the city. Local politicos have suggested that helicopters and night shooting could cause traffic chaos and noise pollution. "We welcome the movie but want to ensure arrangements are hassle free," said Kwok Ka-ki, a local legislator. It is not clear whether the Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures production will make use of the new Shaw Studios. State-of-the-art facility has lain unused for best part of the two years since its skedded completion, though it has recently been home to some commercials, including one shot by Ridley Scott's RSA, and is hosting Josh Hartnett-starring movie "I Come with the Rain" by helmer Tran Anh Hung.

August 18, 2007

U. S. Administration Opposes On-going Legislative Efforts on China Currency

Ever since President Bush was first sworn into office in January 2001, his administration has favoured a distinctly conciliatory and collaborative approach in its trade dealings with the Chinese government. Administration officials have held the view that closer and continuous engagement with China would eventually help resolve the various irritants that naturally develop between major economic powers in an increasingly globalised world. The United States has sought to address a range of critical issues in its bi-lateral economic relationship with China through both formal and informal channels, well aware that the Chinese government generally likes to implement reform in a gradual and cautious fashion.

In its February 2006 top-to-bottom review of U.S. trade policy towards China, the administration clearly stated that the two countries had entered a new phase of their economic relationship that demanded more balanced and equitable treatment for U.S. exports. Washington suggested at the time that the U.S. would continue to follow a conciliatory approach toward China but warned that it would not hesitate to pursue targeted enforcement actions to ensure China's compliance with its WTO obligations. The administration has in fact followed through on that warning, extending the application of countervailing duty law to imports from non-market economy countries and filing WTO dispute settlement actions on such key issues as subsidies and intellectual property rights. These actions should not be viewed as an overhaul of the administration's modus operandi but rather as a gradual evolution toward a more multi-faceted approach similar to the one the U.S. has taken over the years with respect to the European Union or Japan.

While it is clear that the Bush administration continues to base its trade policy toward China on dialogue, the same cannot be said of Congress, which has significantly hardened its stance in recent years on trade issues involving the mainland. Irked by a widening trade gap and the relentless erosion of U.S. manufacturing employment, lawmakers have engaged in a number of legislative efforts aimed at penalising China for various perceived offences, including the undervaluation of the yuan. While these efforts have not borne much fruit to date, it strongly appears that may change this year and that Congress will pass some sort of China-related legislation.

On the Senate side, the Finance and Banking committees recently approved bills aimed at resolving contentious currency issues between the U.S. and other countries. Among other things, the Finance Committee bill would require the Treasury Department to identify fundamentally misaligned currencies to Congress twice a year, classifying some countries for "priority action" if the misalignment is clearly caused by a foreign government's economic policies. Treasury would be required to consult with countries found to have fundamentally misaligned currencies. The legislation also imposes a number of immediate consequences for countries designated for "priority action," including accounting for currency undervaluation in determining whether a country should graduate from non-market economy status for purposes of U.S. antidumping rules. If a country identified as a "priority" country does not adopt new currency policies within 180 days, the Department of Commerce's calculations of dumping margins for products produced or manufactured in that country would have to reflect the currency undervaluation, which is expected to result in higher AD margins.

For its part, the measure approved by the Senate Banking Committee on 1 August would continue the current process of designating currency manipulators but would eliminate the "intent" component, focusing only on those countries that have both a material global current account surplus and a significant bi-lateral trade surplus with the United States. Treasury would be required to submit within 30 days of any such designation a detailed plan of action to remedy the situation. The plan would include specific timeframes and benchmarks and Treasury would be authorised to file a WTO case if they are not met within nine months.

Concerned that these legislative efforts could have a destabilising effect on U.S.-China trade relations, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez and U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab sent separate letters to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Democrat-Nevada), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Republican-Kentucky) and the top Democrat and Republican leadership at the Senate Finance and Banking committees warning that the bills recently approved by these committees "would be counter-productive and undermine the U.S. position as we continue to work with China on essential economic reforms." The administration officials contended that these measures would create a risk of broad trade disruption, as China could potentially impose sanctions against U.S. exports or take other retaliatory measures and a vicious global cycle of protectionist legislation could be set off. In addition, the officials believe that certain provisions in the bills that are designed to enhance trade litigation "appear to raise serious concerns under international trade remedies rules and could invite WTO-sanctioned retaliation against U.S. goods and services."

Instead, the officials said, "the best way to achieve results is through continued intensive dialogue and engagement with China bilaterally and through multilateral institutions, coupled with appropriate reliance on WTO litigation and WTO-consistent trade remedies available under U.S. law." They pointed out that efforts through mechanisms such as the Strategic Economic Dialogue and the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade have yielded results. For example, China has taken steps to increase exchange rate flexibility, the yuan has appreciated nearly 10 percent against the dollar and the pace of appreciation has tripled since the SED was initiated last year.

The letters suggest that the administration will not substantially alter the way it formulates and conducts trade policy toward China in the near-to-medium term. Likewise, it is also apparent that President Bush is willing to veto any congressional measure that undermines his administration's stated policy of engagement.

July 31, 2007

Positive Actions Taken by China to Address Product Concerns

View KITV Channel 4 News Coverage on Aug 2 2007 5:00pm - Courtesy of YouTube

Hawaii Chinese News Coverage (click on the picture for full view)

The China Food Safety issue has been a hot topic, the alleged problems can be seen on major news media almost on a daily basis.

There were more than 90 different food products recalled by the FDA made in USA and Canada for the past few months. But the product scares and recalls the US media seems fixated on are the ones from China. It is the faulty tires, toothpaste, pet food, seafood and toys with a China connection that are making all the news, with cover stories, editorials and television programs harping on how China's "substandard" manufacturing methods are putting American consumers at risk, how the factory to the world is actually one big sham, and proffering ways to keep off products with any trace of China.

The Bush Administration also formed a cabinet level panel to recommend how to guarantee import food and products safety. The move seems to say that USA and Canadian made product does not pose a threat.

There is a perception that China import cost American Jobs.

According to Cato Institute, at the most 150,000 jobs are lost in the US every year because of imports from China, compared with 15 million jobs that disappear annually in the US economy primarily as a result of technological changes and the consequent increase in productivity.

Productivity gains have actually taken a bigger toll on employment in China than the USA. A study by Alliance Capital Management LP in New York finds that while the number of manufacturing workers in the USA dropped by 11 percent from 1995 through 2002, in China it dropped by 15 percent.

And in any case, Chinese imports in the US are mostly replacing imports from other Asian countries, not American products themselves. And manufacturing is no longer the foundation of the American economy as it begins to deindustrialize as part of a global economic shift.

Therefore the American job argument is very weak at best.

Many of us who have lived through the rising of the Japan's economic power in the 80s, the Japanese bashing, the killing of Vincent Chin (mistaken as Japanese) by two layoff auto workers in 1982 resulted in no jail time. Many has worried the entire scenario might replay itself with new target toward Chinese in the USA and China.

Products from China are being held up at USA Customs for extensive period of time, according to many importers, with no apparent good reasons. We have seen news reports and through importers from China that American products are being held up at China custom. The move could hurt importers and exports from both sides of the Pacific.

In Hawaii, The Chinatown Merchants told us privately that the anti-China-Product sentiment has cost many up to 40% of lost sales. While the merchants are complaining privately, few are keen to tell the world about the bad news. In the Asian culture is all about face, not to lose face to their family, colleagues, customers and more important not to let their competitors to take advantage of it.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said on Friday (July 27, 2007) that China would strengthen exchanges and cooperation with other countries to cope with the issue of food safety "in a responsible way" at a national work meeting in Beijing. The following are measures the Chinese government has taken since China’s food quality was called into question both locally and globally. (1) China and the United States will hold a vice-ministerial-level talk on food security in August and the two sides will sign a memorandum of understanding on food safety by the end of this year to enable the two countries to resolve food safety issues more effectively. (2) The U.S. Health and Human Services officials will visit China at the end of July to exchange views with Chinese officials on the U.S. detention of four categories of aquatic products (catfish, basa and dace, shrimp and eel) that were alleged to contain banned substances. (3) China pledged on July 25 to provide regular and detailed information about potentially dangerous exports from China based on European complaints during the visit of Meglena Kuneva, the European commissioner for consumer protection. (4) China has established bilateral mechanisms and multi-lateral mechanisms on food safety with its trade partners including the United States, the European Union, Japan and the Republic of Korea.

The action taken by China is a positive step in the right direction. It is most helpful if the Chamber of Commerce that represent Chinese business interest throughout North America will spread the news that food products from China is safe. Hong Kong.China.Hawaii Chamber of Commerce (HKCHcc) is working with our Collaboration Partners in Hawaii, North America and Asia to get the words out.

China Export Scares Affect Local Stores By Lisa Kubota - By  lkubota@kgmb9.com 

Concerns about the safety of Chinese products prompted Gov. Linda Lingle to take action. She hit the streets of Chinatown on Monday to find out if recent negative publicity has slowed down sales. Chinese products have come under scrutiny lately after pet food problems, toxic toothpaste and even a seafood scare. The concerns started in March with poisonous pet food. Scientists said an ingredient imported from China and used by Menu Foods led to pet deaths and a massive recall. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also issued an import alert on five species of contaminated seafood from the country, then warned about toothpaste made in China.

Lingle walked around with several leaders of the local Chinese community. She stopped at a few stores and spoke to the owners. Danny Au of Bo Wah Trading Co. told the governor the negative news may have caused a 20 percent decline in his sales. "It has been slow you know since the few incidents about Chinese foodstuff happened few months ago. Everybody kinda skeptical," Au said.

Lingle wanted to know if customers were asking questions about food safety, and if other merchants had noticed a drop in business. "All the merchants I spoke with, except one, felt that any decrease in business was really tied to a seasonal issue that they experience every summer at the end of June," Lingle said.

But some still believe this is more than just a seasonal issue. The president of the Hong Kong China Hawaii Chamber of Commerce said he spoke to more than a dozen merchants who told him their companies are hurting due to the publicity. He asked local business leaders to help the get the word out about what the Chinese government is now doing to make sure exports are safe. The governor's visit will likely help, but he said he is still worried about the future.

"It will help to maybe ease the concern of the local business and give them some encouragement, but I think we need to do more than that," said Johnson Choi.

Feb 2 , 2007

Hawaii Travel Industry Annual Income has declined from 13 (1989 dollar adjusted for Inflation) to 11 Billion in 2006 and No Longer the Gateway to Asia by Planners in the 1970s

Writing from the 35/F of the Galaxy Starworld Hotel (Executive Suite) Macau SAR (China)

Last visit to Macau was May 2006; a few more new hotels including this one, the Wynn's and others are now opened. The Venetian will be open mid-summer adding another 3,000+ rooms.

In 7 short years, with a pro-business Government Macau has transform with a mob controlled city to a modern clean city took in more revenue from gambling (US$7 billion) than Las Vegas, more mainland China tourist than Hong Kong - 16 million (total tourist count of 22 million) in 2006. It is also the premier location for the Grand-Prix Car Racing in Asia for more than 50 year (largest and best in the world since 2005).

By talking to people in both public and private sectors with strong ties to Hawaii during the past 24 hours, we all hoped Hawaii could be different, but it is not.

There is so much life and energy in the city, that also hold true in Hong Kong and China.

Most no longer look at Hawaii as a place to do business, no direct flight from most Asia Financial Center has also eliminated Hawaii as a convenient vacation spot by most.

In 1970 / 1980 Hawaii was the premier place to train tourism executives and for parents to send their children to. Today the landscape has completely changed not to our favor. There are plenty of competition from many schools with many more times resources, combined with low tax structure and a friendly pro-business (Hawaii is consider as very anti-business in Asia) Government dropped Hawaii from the choice list by many.

A reality check that Hawaii need, but ignored by both public and private sectors executives and leaders.

We must also realize that the large Asian population in Hawaii meant we know Asia is only a myth when promoted by many key policy makers for non-business political reasons only.

December 27, 2006

One of our members has written a letter to his son last week. I have obtained their permission to share it with you.

"Daddy is so happy that you have completed your Electric Engineering Degree at the Oregon State University.

I am a little disturb you might entertain returning to Hawaii after your Parents put you through private school education in Hawaii and additional expenses to send you to Oregon State University hoping you will consider your future career in North America or Asia, not in Hawaii.

No Parents want to send their children away, like many Chinese immigrants came to Hawaii and USA the past 200 years, we are all hoping to find a place to provide the best future for our children.

Like our father before us who has wanted to find a place to provide the best opportunities for their Children – HAWAII IS DEFINITELY NOT ON THE LIST, at least not now.

I will try to explain to you why.

The Hawaii Mass Transit

Let me use the most recent event as an example, in a few days, the City and County of Honolulu will decide on the largest project in the State History, funding the Mass Transit at huge cost to Honolulu taxpayers. The proposed system will cost US$6.2 billion and 15+ years. The entire proposal is put together by the Government wanting to sell it to the taxpayers to justify further real estates developments at the Ewa Plain. Hawaii taxpayers are to put up 80%+ of the cost. Unlike Hong Kong or Tokyo, it will never breakeven or dream of making any money. After talking to the experts, the real cost will probably US$10+ billion and take 20+ year to build.

Who is going to pay for the cost overrun – my son, it is going to be you and your children!

I am for the Mass Transit run by the private sectors with little government involvements. For projects costing 10s of billion, the money tree does not allow the government to turn it over to the private sector as it is the source of fund for 100s of legislators in the form of political campaign contributions for decades to come.

The elevated Mass Transit is also ugly, ruin the natural beauty of Honolulu.

Source of Jobs

There are three major sources of jobs in Hawaii:

Travel related industry
Government (Federal, State and Government)
Military

Travel related industry – Most of the job is low paying. Even if you can move to the management level, your chance to promote severely limited due to the lack of new hotel properties. To earn a promotion would mean your ability and flexibility to relocate to outside of the State of Hawaii.

Government – Federal government probably provide you with the highest paying job and the ability to get job assignments (promotion) outside of the State of Hawaii. State and City jobs pay tends to be lower and offer little flexibility, political consideration and connection could improve your prospect to promote and not necessary your ability – but you must play ball. The major concern is most private sectors employers do not want to hire former government employees.

Military – Washington DC need to find a made-to-believe (perceived) enemy in order to continue to improve and build up the military infrastructure providing 100s of million of political contributions to elected officials. I do not know whether it is a blessing or a curse that they choose China. With the help of our senior Senator Dan Inouye, billions and billions are being pump into Hawaii as the major staging ground for future military actions in Asia. If you must work for a major military contractor, consider working for a contractor with offices throughout North America and best around the world. Senator Dan Inouye is 82 years old. The next one will not have the seniority or the ability to continue to bring the billions to Hawaii. The money train may probably stop within the next 5 – 10 years when it is the time you may want to get marry and have children.

Other source of jobs

The other sources of jobs that we have much talk about in Hawaii are:

Film
Technology/Bio-technology
Aquaculture

Film – it is fueled by Hawaii State Tax credit with limited contribution to Hawaii State economy.

Technology/Bio-technology – it is fueled by Hawaii State Tax credit. If you have a chance to visit the high-tech and bio-tech parks throughout Asia, it will be difficult for us to be a real player. Most of the Tech/Bio-tech projects in Hawaii are funded by Federal Government; many are military related projects not open to everyone.

Aquaculture – it is promising, but small

Hawaii as the gateway to Asia?

We had our opportunity in the 70s to have an open sky policy for Hawaii when most air planes must refuel in Hawaii. We had also an opportunity to ask for an exemption to the Jones Act in the 70s, allowing better and competing non-USA shipping companies to enter the Hawaii market. The challenges in the 70s and today is neither the Union in Hawaii, nor our Congressional Delegation or most people here understand that we are the only state that everything must be shipped in/out of Hawaii by Air and Ship only. Hawaii has no natural resources. We need to import almost everything from outside of Hawaii and cannot be treated same as the other 49 States. 911 is a fresh example how valuable we are. Have we learnt our lesson yet?

How Hawaii conduct ourselves in the international trade/business arena?

Hawaii has an excellent reputation in tourism and our natural beauty, rank top 5 worldwide. In terms of Hawaii as a business destination, we are nowhere to be seen. It is so bad that both major corporations in North America and Asia does not want to hold major conferences in Hawaii as shareholders have difficult times believing that serious meetings will be conducted in Hawaii. When we conduct serious business in Asia, the common joke is “Where is the hula girl”?

What about the 100s of trade/business delegations to Asia for the past 20+ years?

Since working with major trade promotional units both in Asia and Hawaii since 1982, it has allowed me to draw a comparison.

Most of the trade/business delegations to Asia are politically motivated with little or no intention to bring business home.

A typical trade/business delegation is conceived when a high ranking government official want to go to a country to visit but lack legitimate reason to do so. At such time, a trade/business delegation will put together using the necessary political cards, in many situation, the big businesses in Hawaii with no intention to do business in Asia must contribute staff and money to support such trade/business delegation for political considerations in Hawaii in order to pay to play to get their Hawaii business sail smoothly without any unnecessary obstacles. Not to go along may have high price to pay affecting their local projects.

After doing the smoke/mirror show by the Hawaii Trade Promotion Unit for so many years, it has lost its purposes, increasingly becoming the travel office for State Government Officials at all level. It is also difficult for the Hawaii trade promotion unit to say no as funding came from various legislative branches. If the legislators are not happy with the travel arrangement, they may risk losing the funding for the following year. Trade Mission has become a perk to many political figures.

If is obvious after 100s of Memorandum of Understanding signed between State of Hawaii and 100s of private and public sectors in Asia for the past 20 years, we should have foreign companies setting up offices from Fort St to Bishop St, from the Airport to Waikiki. But where are they?

The cost of doing business?

We rank top 5 in terms of cost of doing business; top 3 on highest tax burden and at the bottom of the list in terms of pay forcing many families to take multiple jobs. It is not unusual for parents to have 2 full time job and 2 – 4 part time jobs to pay for housing and sending their children to private schools (30% of our families send our children to private school – the highest in the nation – a broken Hawaii public school system)

Where Hawaii is going for the next 20 years?

If you have rich parents or politically connected, Hawaii is for you, just don’t do any stupid things and get into business that could lose it all.

If you are rich, Hawaii is a beautiful place to retire.

If you are not rich and not well educated, expect to serve the rich for the rest of your life.

My Dear Son, like many Chinese immigrants that came to Hawaii and USA 200 years ago hoping for a better life for their Children. I am asking you that now you are in America, you have the other 49 States and the World to choose from. I am asking you to do the right thing…Do not come home to Hawaii, it will put your future in serious peril.

Unless Hawaii are serious about business or your becoming very successful, the pasture is definitely much greener in Mainland USA and Asia. More than 100,000 former Hawaii Residents on both sides of the Pacific can share with you their thoughts and network that might help you there."

January 17, 2006

Re: Annual Membership Meeting on January 17, 2006

May I wish everyone a Happy New Year; Chinese New Year will be on January 29th, the Year of the Dog!

Congressman Ed Case; Lawrence Tang, Head - Investment Promotion and Yue Mei Chow, Senior Manager of InvestHK from the HK Economic and Trade Office in SF; Paul Tambakis – Honolulu Director of the United States Department of Commerce; Donne Dawson, Film Commission of the Hawaii DBEDT; Benita Brazier, Film Commissioner of the Maui Economic Development Office; Lisa Miruyama, Executive Director of the Pacific & Asian Affair Council, Sharon Narimatsu – former Deputy Director of Hawaii DBEDT and current President of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce; Carol Tsai, President of the Hawaii Chinese Association; Piia Aarma, Chairman of the Hawaii Pacific District Export Council; Vernon Ching, President, U.S.-China People Friendship Association; D J Halcro, Chairman of SCORE; Lori Wang, President of the Hawaii Mainland China Oversea Association, Our many friends from DBEDT, Emogene, Richard, Alex, Marlene, and Milton, Journalist Sunny Xie from China Daily, Tina Quan from Xinhwa News Agency, Hong Kong.China.Hawaii Chamber of Commerce’s Members Officers and Directors:

It is my duty as President to provide you with an annual report on how we did for the past year and what is planning for 2006?

We will be 5 years old in June. During the past 5 years, we have continued to focus on helping Hawaii businesses taking their business to Asia with special focus in Hong Kong and China. Most of the Hawaiian Companies are small to go to Asia alone. We have therefore built relationships with more than 16 collaboration partners throughout Asia, North America and Europe to provide us with additional resources. The collaboration has allowed us to have overseas offices in Shanghai and Hong Kong run by people in private sectors where tangible results is the only way to measure success.

We are very proud to share with you that our Vice President, Brenda Foster has become the President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. AmCham Shanghai is the largest American Chamber of Commerce in Asia. There is a special message from Brenda included on the program in front of you.

During the past year, we have partner with the Shanghai TV station, Hawaii DBEDT, United States Dept of Commerce Honolulu Office, Office of Economic Development, City and County of Honolulu, CMC Consulting and Many Distinguished Businesses in Hawaii to produced 4 Episodes of “Hawaii’s China Connection” shown in Shanghai and Major Cities around China viewed by more than 100 million people. It was also featured at PBS Hawaii just a few months ago.

In April, a Hawaii’s China Connection seminar was presented at the East West Center, attending by more than 100 people.

In May, Members of our Chamber of Commerce joined a Special High-Tech Business Delegation from Chicago, New York, California, Oklahoma and Hawaii attended a week long meeting with Canton Venture Capital and Guangzhou Venture Capital Association, Guangzhou, China - The technology park there covers an area larger than our downtown Honolulu. The Universities in China are graduating 600,000 engineers each year, compared to less than 70,000 in the United States.

In May, we have a members’ business networking cocktail reception at my home in Hawaii Kai.

In June, in partnership with the UH School of Travel Industry Management and TIM International Inc, the alumni association of School of TIM, we traveled to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong with special focus on education and travel related businesses.

In October, we participated at the China National Day Celebration.

In November we have attended the Strategic Energy Forum in Hong Kong. We have learnt China is requiring all power companies that 5% of their electricity will have to come from renewable energy sources by 2010, less than 5 years away. Total installed capacity of all of China’s power plant in 2005 reached 508 gigawatts, expecting to reach 1,000 gigawatts by 2020. It has presented excellent opportunities for Hawaii companies willing to partner with major companies outside of Hawaii.

Also in November, we have participated in the Small Medium Enterprises Trade Show in Hong Kong.

In December we have co-sponsored a Major Tourism Summit partnered with TIM International Inc, the alumni association of the School of Travel Industry Management and Shunde Polytechnic School of Travel, Tourism and Hotel Management in Shunde, Guangzhou China attended by more than 250 executives from around the world. It has lead to serious discussion on business opportunities for our members both in Hawaii and around the world. China is experiencing labor shortage in many sectors. Let me just focus on the China’s Hotel sector. One major hotel need to hire 29,000 new employees between now and 2008 and they are have difficulties. It may force them to slow down on their expansion plan as they do not want to hire untrained employees that will affect their services. When you multiple it by more than 20 major hotel chains are expanding rapidly in China. The demand for qualify new hired estimated at 600,000 by 2008.

Fast forward to 2006, Chinese New Year Celebration party with our Collaboration Partners is scheduled for Sunday, Jan 22nd at the McCoy Pavilion of the Ala Moana Park next to the tennis courts. Food and Performances are planned for your enjoyments.

Next month, on Feb 24th, Friday Luncheon, our topic will be “From Aloha to China Guanxi”. The keynote speaker will be Mike Rowse, Director General – InvestHK of the HKSAR Government. All the guests attending the luncheon today will be our guest next month. Hosted by the organizers and sponsors – we are buying you lunch, it is free, but RSVP is required. You can find the information flyer on your table. It will be an excellent and practical follow up talk after listening to our Distinguished Congressman Ed Case after lunch today.

I want to share a few things about Hong Kong with you:

1) Hong Kong is smaller than the Island of Kauai with 7 million people
2) More than 40% of the Direct investments into China go through Hong Kong
3) Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta growth rate for the past 5 years exceeds 13% compared to China’s National Average of 9%
4) Many of the Hawaii Company’s China projects are funded by the Hong Kong investors or Money from Asian Countries through Hong Kong
5) Many Hong Kong Companies has offices in China
6) Hong Kong has more than 30 years of experiences working in the China market
7) Hong Kong legal system is British Common Law and the Court of Final Appeal is in Hong Kong and NOT Beijing
8) Many good projects in Hong Kong and Pearl River Delta are funded locally. In other words, you could leave your check book at home.
9) If you have a good projects or ideas, you can do all of your sourcing and research in Hong Kong before going into China –The ICAC, Independent Commission Against Corruption was in place since 1972 to ensure Hong Kong a clean and corrupt free city to do business!

Mr. Mike Rowse will tell you more when he speaks to you on the Feb 24th!

In December, we are planning to partner with Shunde Polytechnic again to do the 2nd in Shunde Guangzhou China. International Movie Star Jackie Chan will be one of the keynote speakers.

Our mission is simple.

“WE GET THINGS DONE WITH TANGIBLE AND MEASUREABLE RESULTS”

OUR FOCUS IS HAWAII AND BEYOND

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED TO DO BUSINESS IN HONG KONG, CHINA OR ENTER CHINA THROUGH HONG KONG TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE HONG KONG EXPERIENCES FOR MORE THAN 30 YEARS – Hong Kong.China.Hawaii Chamber of Commerce is your answer – may we help you?

Johnson W. K. Choi
President & Executive Director

August 13, 2005

Hawaii is ranked #1 again!

Milken Institute has ranked Hawai'i once again as the most expensive state in the nation when it comes to doing business, according to the 2005 Milken Institute Cost-of-Doing-Business Index.

University of Hawaii Center on the Family release a report as part of a study for Aloha United Way (AUW) that the gap between rich and poor has long been apparent in Hawai'i, and despite improvements in the state's economy, the two groups are growing more distant.

The poorest 20 percent of the state's population lost 7 percent of their income since the 1970s and the richest 20 percent saw a 31 percent increase in theirs, said Sylvia Yuen, director of the Center on the Family, the organization that collected the data for AUW's study.

We have draw the same response from the usual people shifting the blame to Workman Compensation, shipping cost, fuel cost, land cost, none of the stakeholders seems to take responsibility. It is the same "I am not responsible" attitude turn Hawaii into the most expensive place to do business and continue the brain drain.

Hawaii will turn increasing for the playground for the "rich" controlling both the wealth and political establishments.

Meanwhile we may want to ask those could make a difference on the followings:

1) Why does it take up to 12 years to develop a real estates project adding 10s of thousands of dollar to each housing unit?

2) Why can't we allow foreign airline to pick up and drop off passenger to and from mainland USA?

3) Why can't we allow foreign container ship to pick up and drop off cargo to and from mainland USA reducing the shipping cost by up to 70%?

4) Why does the minimum wage earning family has to work for another 40 - 72 hours/year to pay for the Mass Transit currently used by less than 8% of the Honolulu Residents? Many has already working 2 - 3 jobs!

It will not be surprise that some may suggest to do more studies, more reports, more round table discussions and to tell the world we are trying to do something, but in fact nothing.

Increasing the majority of the Hawaii resident has to tell their children to leave Hawaii for a better life. For the 100,000 small businesses in Hawaii, the struggle continues......

July 21, 2005

Direct Link  PDF format

Unpeg of China's Yuan (RMB) and Moving to Currency Basket

After years of speculation dated back to as early as the late 2000s by bankers, traders, importers, exporters and speculators, The People's Bank of China announced today that the Chinese Yuan will no longer PEG with the U. S. Dollar but rather with a basket of currencies. It will allow the RMB exchange rate regime greater flexibility.

Many believe the basket of currencies may include U. S. dollar, euro, Japanese yen and British pound.

Politically, it will also ward off accusation by Washington politicians that China deliberately keeps it currency low to fuels its exports.

We do not expect the RMB to moving beyond the trading range of 2 - 4%, beyond that only if the dollar falls against other currencies too.

China's decision may also raise the cost of the mega retailer such as Wal-Marts that purchase inexpensive clothing from China.

China's central bank will announce the Yuan's exchange rate against currencies such as the dollar at the close of each trading day in China.

A gradual appreciation of the RMB without giving current China's financial system shock waves will be of great interest to Beijing.

Depending on the how soon and how much RMB goes up in value, it may impact China's current 9%+ growth rate and slow down its export. International Companies and exporters may be able to offset the increase cost by moving their facilities to the Western regions of China with savings up to 20 - 40% compared to those cities located near the coastal regions.

Feb 28, 2005

Does Honolulu Need a New Mass Transit System? 

Almost everyone agreed that Honolulu need some form of Mass Transit System (MTS). The political establishments from all levels are favors a brand new MTS. Others have argued to upgrade and improved on current Bus System. 

I think it is fair to say we need some form of public transportation to supplement or upgrade current Honolulu Bus System. 

It is no doubt that the commuters using the MTS will benefit with the cost pick up by all Honolulu residents, military families and tourist alike. 

The biggest benefactors will be the landowners and developers. Depending where the MTS began and end, it is quite safe to assume all landowners on the Ewa Side and land along the MTS route will benefit the most.   

There is vested interest at all levels wanting the MTS to move forward, not to abort it for the 3rd time. 

We feel the MTS if done correctly may benefit Honolulu both in short and long run. It will help ease the grid lock if enough drivers switch from their car to use the MTS. 

There is a possible downside since the MTS will be managed by current or future government entity. When you look at the MTS run by governmental agencies both in the United States and around the world, all of them are losing money. With the deepening of United States Federal deficit and the aging of United State Population, Hawaii cannot assume the Federal government will bail us out. Any future increase of operation deficit will probably assumed by Hawaii taxpayers. 

Why don’t we turn over the Honolulu Mass Transit system to experience private operators to build and run it without adding new tax burden to Hawaii taxpayers? The operator will assume the risk of any deficits? Union workers, Architects, Engineers and Suppliers have plenty of work to do. The Hawaii taxpayers do not have to take on the huge tax bills and passed it on to our Children and Grandchildren. Hawaii has one the highest tax in the nation, additional taxes will give us the credit we do not want and drive more businesses away. 

Have we leant from our own Hawaii convention center? One of the smallest in the world and continue to lose money year after year? 

We can invite mainland or foreign experience Mass Transit operators to bid on the project in return for development rights to be worked out between Federal, State, City and the qualify candidates? 

How the proposed Honolulu MTS will be financed and run may be a good indication on future business climate of Hawaii?  Instead of defending ourselves as an expensive place to do business, this is our chance and opportunity to demonstrate to the business world that Hawaii is serious about business and taking the first step to proof it!

Feb 18, 2005

Stung by Our (Hawaii) Reputation (Letter to Pacific Business News - Honolulu, Hawaii USA)

 In PDF Format

When I left Hong Kong to attend the UH School of Travel Industry Management in 1973, friends and family questioned whether I was in Hawaii for fun, hula girl, beaches or really getting a college degree? I have proved them wrong that I got my BBA and MBA in 5 1/2 years.

32 years later, Hawaii as a tourist destination associated with fun, hula girl, sun and beaches has not changed. Hawaii as a serious place to do business still questioned by many.

If you live in Hawaii long enough, it is rather confusing who promote trade, business, tourism and film festival. After doing business with Asia for more than 25 years, almost any group going to Asia from Hawaii involved a lot of parties. Parties is an important element of networking and business, but should not be the chief component. Few, if any serious business actually get done.

Many of the decision makers who had enjoyed the Hawaiian parties during the past 25 years are decision makers today. For the same decision makers, the table is now turned that decisions must be made whether to go to the Hawaiian parties or to talk business with serious business delegations from throughout USA and around the world. Post Enron era and with Company's interest first, it has become an easy choice not to engage Hawaii or to stay away from Hawaii.

It is really regretful that many of us that are serious about doing business in Hawaii and in Asia continue to face questions on our real intension - business or pleasure in the name of businesses!? It may be a wake up call for some, but probably business as usual for many.

February 4, 2005

Bush Administration Expected to Pursue Dynamic Trade Agenda During its Second Term

Reinforced by a relatively comfortable victory at the polls in November 2004 and significant Republican gains in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, the Bush Administration is gearing up to pursue an active and widely diverse trade agenda during its second term. President Bush has long affirmed his commitment to trade liberalization and its importance to US prosperity, and is expected to support a broad range of free trade policies in the next four years. A few protectionist hiccoughs may emerge from time to time, however, particularly in the area of textiles.

One of the principal trade priorities of the Bush Administration during the second term will be the advancement of economic integration in the western hemisphere. This will be pursued in two fundamental ways, by achieving (i) Congressional passage of the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA) and (ii) the successful conclusion of FTA negotiations with Panama and four Andean countries (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru). Congressional consideration of the DR-CAFTA will likely begin in the spring of 2005 and is expected to be a very tough fight for the Administration. Proponents of the deal face stern opposition from a coalition which includes labor and environmental groups, sugar and textile interests, and an amalgamation of Democrats and Republicans that tend to favor protectionist policies.

If the DR-CAFTA and the FTAs with the Andean region and Panama are ultimately approved and implemented, this may convince the Brazilian government to expedite the negotiation of the hemisphere-wide Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), which had originally been scheduled to be concluded by 1 January 2005. Although not forgotten, it is undeniable that the FTAA has taken a back seat to bilateral and multilateral (i.e., Doha Development Round (DDR)) trade negotiations in the minds of US officials.

The Administration is expected to devote substantial time and human assets in the next two years to ensure the successful conclusion of the DDR. The DDR negotiations came to a halt after the acrimonious collapse of the September 2003 World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial meeting held in Cancún, Mexico, but have gradually gathered momentum ever since. Nonetheless, there are several outstanding areas where progress in the coming months is imperative in order for the DDR to be concluded by the end of 2006, which is the generally accepted current deadline. For example, members have agreed to use a non-linear formula to reduce tariffs in non-agricultural products, which would force countries with higher tariff rates to implement larger cuts, but there is still no consensus on the particulars of the formula itself. Some countries, including the US, are also pushing for reciprocal duty elimination on a sectoral basis to complement the formula cuts.

As regards trade in agricultural goods, perhaps the most politically sensitive area in the entire DDR, negotiating chairman Tim Groser has stated that members must produce a "first approximation" or rough draft of the negotiating modalities for agricultural liberalization by August 2005. This working document would be the basis to achieve a firm commitment on modalities at the Hong Kong ministerial meeting planned for December 2005. Urgent progress is also needed in other critical areas, most notably services.

The concept of "free and fair trade," which has traditionally been embraced more by Democrats than Republicans, was featured prominently in the Republican platform for the presidential elections and is expected to play a more visible role in the Administration's trade policy. The Bush team has warned in the past that it will not tolerate "foreign practices, rules, and subsidization that put our exports and manufacturers on an unequal footing." Free and fair trade will generally be advanced through bilateral/regional FTAs and, perhaps to a lesser extent, the DDR. A judicious application of US trade remedy laws is also expected from the Administration, which is also likely to seek resolution of various disputes through the WTO dispute settlement mechanism. In this regard, it is very possible that China will be the target of one or more dispute settlement cases in the next four years.

Speaking of China, Sino-US trade relations will certainly remain a focal point in the Administration's trade policy, and a number of outstanding bilateral issues are likely to be resolved during President Bush's second term. An increasingly larger number of legislators and domestic industry groups have blamed the ever-growing trade deficit with China for the steady decline in US manufacturing employment and have urged the Administration to be "tough on China." The Administration has been relatively immune to these protectionist cries and has managed to avoid thorny confrontations with China, developing a rather fluid working relationship with Chinese officials instead. In fact, this cooperative approach has produced concrete results in the areas of intellectual property rights (IPR) and market access and is expected to yield more dividends in the future.

The trade priorities of the Administration vis-?vis China are unlikely to change during the second term. The US will seek to enhance IPR protections for US products and copyrights in China and will closely monitor the commitments made by the Chinese government within the framework of the US-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT), the WTO, and the US-China bilateral intellectual property agreement of 1995. The US is particularly concerned with China's enforcement efforts in this area. Other issues that will capture the spotlight during 2005-2008 include the alleged undervaluation of the yuan, China's compliance with its WTO commitments, and textile-related issues.

China has proclaimed its commitment to move towards a market-based system on several occasions, most recently during last year's celebration of the 16th US-China Joint Economic Committee meeting in Washington, DC. Some studies in the US have suggested that the yuan may be undervalued by as much as 40%, and the Administration has worked diligently with the Chinese government to achieve greater exchange rate flexibility in the relatively near future. Most experts agree, however, that China's banking system is far too fragile at the present time to handle the demands of a floating exchange rate. The Bush Administration understands that the introduction of a floating exchange rate should take place only after the Chinese government has taken all the necessary steps to strengthen its banks and bank supervision, so that these institutions can withstand the demands of exchange rate flexibility. This careful treading on the part of the Administration should not be mistaken for passivity, however. US officials are expected to continue to urge their Chinese counterparts to implement a market-based system as soon as possible.

As regards textile trade, a recent injunction by the US Court of International Trade prevents the Bush Administration from taking any action on the threat-based safeguard petitions filed in the fall and winter of 2004 against a host of Chinese-origin textile and apparel products. The Administration has taken a rather protectionist stance in textiles and it seems that this injunction will only serve to delay what increasingly appears inevitable, that is, the invocation of the textile safeguard on a broad range of products sometime in 2005.

China is by no means the only priority in Asia for the Administration. The US is currently negotiating an FTA with Thailand and may pursue FTA talks with such countries as Malaysia and Sri Lanka. The Administration may also support a bill to provide preferential duty treatment to certain developing countries stricken by last December's tsunami. Such relief may include duty relief for textile and apparel imports, as well as other key products not covered by the Generalized System of Preferences. The US may also conceivably remove the anti-dumping duties currently in place on such products as shrimp and canned pineapple from Thailand.

The Bush Administration is also expected to conclude a WTO accession deal with Vietnam as early as the spring or summer of this year. Although it is much too early to tell at the present time, that agreement may ultimately include a textile safeguard clause similar to the one included in China's Protocol of Accession to the WTO. The EU struck an accession deal with Vietnam in October 2004 where it was able to secure significant market access commitments in industrial goods, agricultural goods, financial and business services, transportation, telecommunications, and tourism. Once all interested parties have signed bilateral agreements with Vietnam, the WTO Working Party will incorporate the various negotiated terms into Vietnam's Protocol of Accession.

Renewal of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which allows the President to negotiate trade agreements that may not be amended by Congress, is scheduled to take place during the first half of 2005. The President must request a renewal by 1 March, which will be granted automatically unless the House or Senate adopts a resolution of disapproval before 1 June. According to various sources, any such resolution would be killed at the committee level (i.e., House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee) where trade proponents have strong numbers. The renewal would extend TPA only for two years, until 2007.

There are a host of other issues that the Administration will consider during 2005-2008, including: (i) the successful conclusion of FTA negotiations with Oman, the United Arab Emirates, the Southern African Customs Union, and possibly Egypt, Kuwait, and New Zealand; and (ii) achieving a smoother trade relationship with the EU and resolving outstanding disputes concerning anti-dumping relief in the form of the Byrd Amendment, the subsidization of the commercial aircraft sector, customs procedures, and the food-related provisions of the US Bioterrorism Act.

November 28, 2004

A forum for Hawaii's business community to discuss current events and issues Sunday, November 28, 2004 - Direct Link  PDF Format

THE ROUTE TO CHINA - North American Airlines’ bid for China route deserves isle support The airline promises routes that stop in Honolulu if it wins the flights next year By Johnson W. K. Choi

When Singapore Airlines stopped its direct flight service from Hong Kong to Hawaii in 1989, it created great inconveniences for both business and leisure travelers to come to Hawaii.

You can see a drop of Hong Kong visitors, including business executives, visiting Hawaii.

During the past 10 years, trade between United States and China has substantially increased.

Many businesses doing business with China preferred to set up their offices in California, which has the comfort of many choices of daily direct flights to and from all major cities in Asia.

During the past few years, we have had discussions with many accounting firms and found that more Chinese businesses left Hawaii, especially after 9/11, due to the difficulties traveling to and from Asia (except Japan).

The required stopovers at one or more connection points is a common complaint by business travelers.

I have received a solicitation for support from North American Airlines to fly directly to Shanghai and Guangzhou. I do not know too much about the airline.

But I've heard about direct flights from Hawaii to China for more than 10 years with almost annual discussion with foreign carriers planning to start direct flights from China/Hong Kong to Hawaii.

It has become old news.

We believe an American airline willing to fly to Shanghai and Guangzhou direct from Hawaii makes more economic sense as domestic carriers are allowed to pick up and drop off passenger between U.S. cities (foreign carriers are not allowed to do so).

It is great news that Hawaiian Airlines intends to fly direct to China from Hawaii in 2006 -- but it is two years away. It is not as desirable since it planning to do the direct flights four times per week.

If North American Airlines is able to fly daily directly to Shanghai in 2005 and Guangzhou in 2006 it should be good news for Hawaii. It will also give business travelers better choices and cut down their travel time to/from Hawaii.

I am asking you to take a look at it and see if you can support their efforts.

Johnson Choi is president and executive director of the China.Hawaii Chamber of Commerce.

China.Hawaii Chamber of Commerce http://www.hkchcc.org/president's_corner.htm

November 26, 2004

China Hawaii Chamber of Commerce (HKCHcc) and The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry form Alliances - Agreement in PDF format  Pacific Business News - Direct Link  PDF format

China Hawaii Chamber of Commerce (HKCHcc) and The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry agree to enhance the liaison and cooperation in the area of import and export, investment, business information and other commerce related activities for the benefit of the members of both organizations. Under the agreement of mutual cooperation, both organizations agree as follows: 

  1. That the two organizations will cooperate on all such measures that in the opinion of the respective parties would be beneficial in creating trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.
  2. To take as many steps as resources allow and feasible to promote trade and economic cooperation between the two organizations.
  3. To notify each other of plans for trade exhibitions and fairs in the two countries, and where possible and applicable to help each other in the holding of trade exhibitions and fairs for the promotion of products and services offered by members of the two organizations.
  4. To exchange trade and market information and to disseminate information available on the goods and service to the members of both organizations respectively.
  5. To encourage exchange visits for the expansion of bilateral trade between the two countries. To provide the assistance of corresponding business activities for the visiting members and businessmen.

Johnson W. K. Choi, President of HKCHcc and Arturo Vasquez, President of BCCI

August 16, 2004

 China Business Open Doors for American Firms

Hong Kong China Hawaii Chamber of Commerce (HKCHcc) is part of the International Business Delegation from Hawaii, California, Oklahoma, Hong Kong and Guangzhou visited Urumqi, Xinjiang China between Aug 10 - 15 to explore multi-million business opportunities in Real Estates, Wine, Meat Operation and Water Park worth RMB$400 millions. This successful business mission was lead by private sectors business leaders. There was no government official accompany the business delegation. During the 5 days visit, we have met with Honorable Wang Lequan - Full Politburo Members and Secretary of CCP Xinjiang Autonomous Region, Honorable Yang Gang - Secretary of CCP Wulumuqi City of Xinjiang Province, Honorable Shokrat Zakir - Mayor of Urumqi City of Xinjiang Province and Honorable Ms. Wang Jian Ling - Vice Major Urumqi City of Xinjiang Province. It was rare and exception for the top Officials from the Provincial and City level to receive the small but powerful business delegation to work on projects benefiting the City of Urumqi and the Province of Xinjiang.

When we first visited China to sign the Sister-City Agreement between the City of Honolulu and the Hainan Island in 1984. The entire visit must be handled by the 2 governments including all business meetings. Businesses in Hawaii were playing a minor role during the visit there. Increasingly the 1980 government/business model does not work for the modern China. More and more businesses in China want to engage Western businesses on the front line, prefer to have governments on both sides to play an important, but supportive role. China Government does not want to be in the way of business. In fact China has turned most of its State Owned Enterprises (SOE) into the hands of private business owners. They have further encouraged business enterprises to contact individual business directly.

Business Executives in China has been instrumental to set up meetings with Government Official when needed, rather than a requirement to do business there. Many preferred no Government Official to tag along with a business delegation as they must schedule meetings with local Governmental Officials even when there is no need to do so, thus taking away valuable time on serious business dealings and negotiations.

The Western Regions of China has presented exceptional opportunities for Hawaii and Smaller Companies. The impression by most Americans never visited Western China thought the area to be backward and difficult to do business there. But many upon their first visit were surprised on the ease to do business there without facing fierce competitions from the big Enterprises around the world. Most of the modern amenities are there. Internet and the tools of doing business are readily available at a very reasonable price. If the business delegation wish to schedule meetings with local government official, support letter from your own Federal, City and State Government Official is more than sufficient therefore saving the taxpayer 1,000s of dollars of travel expenses.

For a small State like Hawaii, Hong Kong China Hawaii Chamber of Commerce (HKCHcc) has been very successful working with businesses in Mainland USA and Asia to increase Hawaiian Companies' financial resources and diversities.

We are expecting to undertake more similar business mission and initiative in the future focusing on tangible and measurable results.

July 24, 2004

中国夏威夷商会 輿 美國商業部少數族裔商業發展署 火奴魯魯辦公室成立聯盟共同發展商機Strategic Partnership between Minority Business Development Center (MBDC) of Honolulu operated by Jean Williams, Inc. and Hong Kong China Hawaii Chamber of Commerce formed strategic partnership to help minority owned business to achieve tangible and measurable results.

MBDA/MBDC 2004 Award - PDF format

Sing Tao - Direct Link  PDF format  World Journal  - PDF format

               

March 31, 2004

"China Hawaii Chamber of Commerce" and "China Chamber of International Commerce Guangzhou Chamber of Commerce (CCPIT)" agree to enhance the liaison and cooperation in the area of import and export, investment, business information and other commerce related activities for the benefit of the members of both organizations have decided to extend their agreement signed on September 30, 2001 indefinitely. The business relationship has resulted in more than US$10,000,000.00 of trade and business between Guangzhou, Hawaii and California. We are expecting the agreement will take further advantage of the CEPA arrangement between Hong Kong and Pearl Delta Region.

    Click on the small picture for the full view

February 26, 2004

"Hong Kong China Hawaii Chamber of Commerce" and "City of Chengde, Hebei, China" agree to enhance the liaison and cooperation in the area of import and export, investment, business information and other commerce related activities for the benefit of the members of both organizations signed Memorandum of Mutual Cooperation in Honolulu Hawaii on February 26, 2004.

                

Sing Tao Chinese Newspaper Web Coverage in PDF Format  Newspaper Coverage in PDF Format

Hawaii Chinese News Coverage in PDF Format  World Journal Newspaper Coverage in PDF Format

Speech by Johnson Choi, President & Executive Director of Hong Kong China Hawaii Chamber of Commerce

Honorable Wang Ke
王克, Deputy Mayor, Chengde People’s Municipal Government; (王克承德市人民政府副市长); Mr. Liu Jiafu 刘家福, Director General, Chengde Urban Planning Bureau (刘家福承德市规划局局长); Mr. Gao Zhongwei 高中卫, Chairman, Chengde Planning & Landscaping Institute (高中卫承德市建筑规划设计院院长); Mr. Chen Zhanwen 陈占文, Senior Engineer, Chengde Planning & Landscaping Institute; (陈占文承德市建筑规划设计院高级工程师); Ms.Liu Yinong 刘艺农, Deputy General Manager of World Trade Center Shijiazhuang, CCPIT Hebei (刘艺农 河北省贸促会石家庄世界贸易中心副总经理); Director Liu, (Director for International Liaison & Business, WTC Shijiazhuang), Chief Editor – ZHU Xian Liang, Senior Editor – FENG Qiao, Producer – WANG Wen Yu, Assistant Producer – DING Jian Xin and Art Director – ZHANG Shao Jun of the Shanghai TV Station – Documentary Channel, Director Tambakis, Director Paul Tambakis, (Area Director of United States Department of Commerce), President Terrill Chock, 卓少华会长 (President of The Chinese Chamber of Commerce), President Michael Zhang, 张 少 炯 会长 (President of the China Club), Ms. Yen Chun, Director of the Sun Yat Sin Foundation – Hawaii, Officers, Directors and Members of the Hong Kong China Hawaii Chamber of Commerce, Honor Guest, Ladies and Gentleman. Aloha.

On behalf of China Hawaii Chamber of Commerce, I would like to extend our warm welcome to our friends from Chengde
承德, Hebei, China. We appreciate your making a stop in Hawaii to strengthen our ties between our two organizations.

We have a very distinguish group of business leaders in the room who are friends of China for many years. Many of them have business ties with China.

It was back in 1985 when Yen Chun, a few of our Chamber members, and I visited Hainan Island representing the City and County of Honolulu to sign our Sister City Agreement. Now as you all may know that Hainan is a province of China and has extended the Sister State Agreement with Hawaii.

In 1991 China Hawaii Chamber of Commerce signed a collaboration business agreement with CCPIT Guangzhou. It resulted in more than 10 million of trade and business between Hawaii, California and China. Last year we signed a collaboration business agreement with CCPIT Hebei. In a few minutes, we will signing a collaboration business agreement with the City of Chengde, Hebei.

Our Chamber of Commerce has more than 15 collaboration business partners in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Singapore, Hawaii, Mainland USA and Canada focusing on doing business and getting things done.

Our collaboration business partners have continued to provide valuable information on the ground level to us helping us to navigate through the maze of information. We have continued to reach out to those that are willing to do business.

Since our Chamber is 100% supported by our members and receive no funding from government. It enables us to focus on projects that make business sense benefiting our members.

The city of Chengde (
河北省承德市) in northeastern Hebei Province is the site of the summer resort of the Qing emperors. It is about 200 kilometers from Beijing and is easily accessible by either train or long-distance bus.

The magnificent Mountain Resort and the 12 Buddhist temples at its periphery were built during the Qing Dynasty, the last feudal Chinese dynasty. It served as the second political center of the Qing imperial court and the emperors of the early Qing Dynasty often spent their summers there, conducting state affairs and engaging in important political activities. The Mountain Resort and its temples and palaces have made chengde a famous historical and cultural city, and one of china's leading scenic spots. The imperial Resort was listed in the directory of the world's cultural heritages in 1994.

The construction of the Mountain Resort took place over a period of 90 years-starting from the 42nd year of Emperor Kangxi's reign (1703), rebuilt and expanded during the reign of Emperor Qianlong, and completed in the 57th year of Emperor Qianlong's reign (1792). It is China's largest existing imperial garden, covering an area of 5.64 million sq. m., double that of the Summer Palace, and eight times that of Beihai Park in Beijing. The 1O-km. wall around It winds its way through plains and high mountains like the Great Wall. There are more than 90 towers and pavilions scattered around the Mountain Resort as well as small bridges, inscriptions on precipices, rockeries of various sizes, many gates, horizontal inscribed boards, palaces, terraces and other buildings.

The agreement we are about to sign is only the first step on a long-term relationship. How the relation will grow depends on the efforts of our esteemed organizations, members and its leaders. We feel the agreement with Chengde is a good one and present excellent opportunities for Hawaii Companies.

We are looking forward to report back to you in 12 months and share with you many successful stories.

Thank you very much.

Johnson W. K. Choi, MBA, RFC.
President & Executive Director

January 18, 2004

Happy New Year Song by 12 Smart Monkeys - New Year Day on Jan 22nd!

On behalf of our Chamber of Commerce, we would like to wish everyone a Happy, Prosperous, Safe New Year - the Year of the Monkey.

People born in the year of Monkey are intelligent, well read and always extremely eager to learn. They have an extremely good memory and there are many Monkeys who have made particularly good linguists. The Monkey is also a convincing talker and enjoys taking part in discussions and debates. Their friendly, self-assured manner can be very persuasive and they usually have little trouble in winning people round to their way of thinking - it is the reason that the Monkey often excels in politics and public speaking. They are also particularly adept in PR work, teaching and any job which involves selling.

They can, however, be crafty, cunning and occasionally dishonest and they will seize on any opportunity to make some quick gain or outsmart their opponents.

They have so much charm and guile that people don't realize what they are up to until it is too late. But despite their resourceful nature, they do run the risk of outsmarting even themselves. They have so much confidence in their abilities that they rarely listen to advice or are prepared to accept help from anyone. The Monkey likes to help others but prefers to rely on their own judgment when dealing with their own affairs.

With so many diverse talents, the Monkey is able to make considerable sums of money, but they do like to enjoy life and will think nothing of spending their money on some exotic holiday or luxury which they have had their eye on. They can, however, become very envious if someone else has got what they want.

The Monkey is an original thinker, and despite their love of company they cherish their independence. They have to have the freedom to act as they want and any Monkey who feels hemmed in or bound by too many restrictions can soon become unhappy. Likewise, if anything becomes too boring or monotonous they soon lose interest and turn their attention to something else. The Monkey often lacks persistence and this can often hamper their progress. They are also easily distracted and it is a tendency which all Monkeys should try to overcome. They should concentrate on one thing at a time and by doing so will almost certainly achieve more in the long run.

The Monkey is a good organizer and even though they may behave slightly erratically at times they will invariably have some plan at the back of their minds. On the odd occasion when their plans do not quite work out, they are usually quite happy to shrug shoulders and put it down to experience. They will rarely make the same mistake twice and throughout their lives they will try their hand at many things.

The Monkey likes to impress and is rarely without followers or admirers. There are many who are attracted to them by their good sense of humor, or simply because they instill so much confidence.

Monkeys usually marry young and to be a success with their partner must allow them time to pursue their many interests and the opportunity to indulge in their love of travel. The Monkey also has to have a variety in his life and is especially well suited to those born under the signs of the Rat, Dragon, Pig, Snake and Goat. The Ox, Rabbit, Snake and Dog will also be enchanted by the Monkey's resourceful and outgoing nature, but the Monkey is likely to exasperate the Rooster and Horse and the Tiger will have little patience for the Monkey's tricks. A relationship between two Monkeys will also work well - they both understand each other and are able to assist each other in their various little enterprises.

Provided the Monkey can curb their desire to take part in all that is going on around them and concentrate on one thing at a time, they can usually achieve what they want in life and should not suffer any disappointments, the Monkey is bound to bounce back. The Monkey is a survivor and their life is usually both colorful and very eventful.

Johnson W. K. Choi, MBA, RFC.
President & Executive Director

October 20, 2003

"China Hawaii Chamber of Commerce" and "China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) Hebei Sub-Council" agree to enhance the liaison and cooperation in the area of import and export, investment, business information and other commerce related activities for the benefit of the members of both organizations signed Memorandum of Mutual Cooperation in Honolulu Hawaii on Oct 20, 2003.

Governor Linda Lingle's Commendation (PDF File)

Cooperative Agreement (PDF File)

Sing Tao Newspaper Website Coverage (PDF File) Sing Tao Newspaper Print Version Coverage

World Journal Newspaper Print Version Coverage (PDF file)

Pacific Business Newspaper Coverage (PDF file)

Hawaii Chinese News Coverage (PDF file)

Speech by Johnson Choi, President & Executive Director of China Hawaii Chamber of Commerce 10/20/03

Chairman Wang (Chairman of CCPIT Hebei), President Meng (President of Hebei Jinguang Yuan Group), President Liu (President of Hebei Qianxibe Group), General Manager Chang (General Manager of Industry Co, Hebei Construction Investment Group), Director Liu, (Director for International Liaison & Business, WTC Shijiazhuang),  Director Liu, Director Ted Liu, 刘恩博 主任 (Director of Hawaii Department Business Economic Development & Tourism ), Director Manny Menendez, 孟士德主任 ( Director of the Office of Economic Development, City & County of Honolulu), President Tollefson (President of The Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii), President Terrill Chock, 卓少华会长 (President of The Chinese Chamber of Commerce), President Vernon Ching, 陈惠昌 会长 (President of the U. S. China People Friendship Association - Honolulu Chapter), President Michael Zhang, 张 少 炯 会长 (President of the China Club), Dean Emeritus Chuck Gee (Dean Emeritus of the School of Travel Industry Management, University of Hawaii at Manoa), Vice President Su (Vice President of the China Student and Scholar Association, University of Hawaii at Manoa), Honor Guest, Ladies and Gentleman. Aloha.

On behalf of China Hawaii Chamber of Commerce, I would like to extend our warm welcome to our friends from Hebei, China.  We appreciate your making a stop in Hawaii to strengthen our ties between our two organizations. 

We have a very distinguish group of business leaders in the room who are friends of China for many years. Many of them have business ties with China.  

It was back in 1985 when Yen Chun, a few other Chamber members, and I visited Hainan Island representing the City and County of Honolulu to sign our Sister City Agreement. Now as you all may know that Hainan is a province of China and has extended the Sister State Agreement with Hawaii. The State is planning a visit to Hainan in December. The seeds we helped planted are showing results. 

In 1991 China Hawaii Chamber of Commerce signed a collaboration business agreement with CCPIT Guangzhou. It resulted in more than 10 million of trade and business between Hawaii, California and China. 

Our Chamber of Commerce has more than 15 collaboration business partners in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Singapore, Hawaii, Mainland USA and Canada focusing on doing business and getting things done.  

Our collaboration business partners have continued to provide valuable information on the ground level to us helping us to navigate through the maze of information. We have continued to reach out to those that are willing to do business.  

Since our Chamber is 100% supported by our members and receive no funding from government. It enables us to focus on projects that make business sense benefiting our members.  

Hebei is located in the Jing-Jin-Ji (Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei) Economic Region (京津冀經濟圈)and the Bohai Bay Economic region (環渤海經濟圈).

It is a major producer of iron and steel.  In 2001, Hebei's output of iron and steel ranked the first and third in China. 

In 2001, Hebei's industrial output totaled Rmb376.7 billion or US$46 billion (+9.9%).   Heavy industry amounted to RMB 246.2 billion or US$30.02, i.e. 65% of the province’s total industrial output.

The North China Pharmaceutical Plant, locates in Shijiazhuang, is the major antibiotic producer in China with its output of penicillin ranking the highest in the world.

In coming years, Hebei will actively attract foreign funds and introduce advanced technology in all production sectors. The province aims to upgrade the overall productivity and product quality of its industrial enterprises and raise market competitiveness. Meanwhile, Hebei also targets to boost the tertiary sector such as finance, banking, information services and tourism.

Hebei is a popular tourist spot in Northern China with many historical sites such as the Chengde Summer Resort(承德避暑山莊), the Shanhaiguan Pass of the Great Wall(山海關), the Beidaihe(北戴河)Summer Resort, the Eastern Tombs and Western Tombs of the Qing Dynasty.   Beidaihe is the Camp David of China and the place has hosted many important politburo meetings.

The agreement we are about to sign is only the first step on a long-term relationship. How the relation will grow depends on the efforts of our esteemed organizations, members and its leaders. We feel the agreement with Hebei is a good one and present excellent opportunities for Hawaii Companies.  

We are looking forward to report back to you in 12 months and share with you many successful stories. 

Thank you very much.

Johnson W. K. Choi, MBA, RFC.
President & Executive Director

October 10, 2003

VISA: Increase Visitors from China to Hawaii requires Multi-State Efforts

Direct link to Pacific Business News

It is rather interesting to see China VISA issues kept coming up. Many have came up with creative ways to make Hawaii unique that somehow visitors to Hawaii will have a easier time to obtain VISA from the U. S. Consulate in China. Prior to 911 and the Homeland Security Act came on line, creative way to do the "Hawaii only" type VISA had limited success.
 
The biggest challenge and few want to talk about to settle the VISA questions and allowing more China travellers to come to United States including Hawaii is to have "Destination Country Agreement" between China and the United States.
 
The "Destination Country Agreement" must be in place before China visitors are allowed to visit Hawaii without forcing many of them to cook up with a business reason to come here.
 
Hawaii is not known to be a business destination in China and as a matter of fact throughout Asia. Once the "Destination Country Agreement" is in place, wealthy Chinese tourists will be able to come to Hawaii. Based on the statistic obtained from Hong Kong, Chinese tourist outspent Japanese & American tourist by more than 50%.  Rather than looking "quantity", we should look at the "quality" of tourist we are attracting.
 
The "Destination Country Agreement" is between two countries. Therefore USA and China government must negiotiate for a workeable agreement. In order for Hawaii to benefit from the "Destination Country Agreement", we must work with other States sharing our vision to convince the Federal Government to began the negiotiation. California, Nevada and New York States are natural partners due to their business, gaming and diverse ethnics appeals.
 
According to Madam Shen Huirong, Director General, International Liaison, China National Tourism Administration & Mr. Shen Jianxiang, Executive General Manager, China Merchants International Travel Company. In order for USA (Hawaii) to take advantage of the Chinese outbound tourist. A destination country agreement must be in place. There are 20 countries, most of them are in the Southeast Asia have agreements with China. United States of America does not have an agreement with China. Hawaii cannot cut a separate agreement with China! The latest agreement was signed with Germany in 2002. Therefore, news reporting about Chinese Airlines coming to Hawaii will probably not materialized as China travel agents are not allowed to promote a destination like Hawaii that China does not have an agreement with. Destination like Hainan trying to promote themselves as “Mirror of Hawaii” will probably not wanting to send their people to Hawaii. Business people travel between Hawaii and Shanghai will not book on charter flight that offers service only twice weekly.
 
The most popular destinations for China outbound tourists are Hong Kong, Macau and Thailand. Travel package cost is a major factor. But on the other hand, after reaching their destinations, China tourists outspent any tourist groups including the Japanese and the Americans.
 
Japan, Australia and New Zealand are destination countries open to Chinese citizens from Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing. If and when an agreement is signed between USA and China, Australia model to handle Chinese inbound tourist has been successful with less than .05% of Chinese visitors overstay their VISA.

Johnson W. K. Choi, MBA, RFC.
President & Executive Director

September 19, 2003

Invitation from Mr. Ted Liu, Director, Hawaii DBEDT:

Johnson Choi
President
Hong Kong China Hawaii Chamber of Commerce

Dear Johnson:

I am pleased to invite you and the members of the Hong Kong China Hawaii Chamber of Commerce to attend the Inaugural Asia-Pacific Homeland Security Summit & Exposition to be held in Honolulu, Hawaii, from November 19-21, 2003 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.  

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge is scheduled to deliver the opening keynote address.  

Other confirmed speakers  include:
Admiral Thomas Fargo, Commander of U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM);
Ambassador Cresencio Arcos, Director of International Affairs, Department of Homeland Security,
James Woolsey, former head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA);
General William Lennox, Superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point;
Lt. General (Ret.) Henry Stackpole, President, Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies
Dr. Rohan Gunaratna, world renown Al-Qaeda and terrorism expert.  

Other invited speakers include:
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta,
U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Sam Bodman,
U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce, International Trade Administration, Grant Aldonas,
Governor Ishihara of Tokyo,
Governor Ohta of Osaka, as well as Ministers with responsibility for national security or commerce from Australia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand.  

The Summit is being organized in collaboration with the East-West Center, the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies and the Pacific Basin Economic Council and will be the region's premier homeland security conference.  It will include the participation of several hundred heads of governments and NGOs, senior corporate executives, technology experts, world-renowned scholars and other distinguished leaders, through a special, invitation-only track.  This track will be limited to fewer than 200 participants.  We expect 750 attendees in total.  

The Summit is designed to maximize participant interaction and will stimulate new ideas and innovative approaches through a combination of roundtable and panel discussions, plenary sessions, three in-depth tracks and an exhibit hall.  Hawaii's unique homeland security resources, training and technology exports will also be presented.

With its rich agenda of timely reports and discussions, provocative debates, and networking opportunities, this Summit will be the most effective venue for leaders from all sectors to engage on this mission critical topic.  One objective of the Summit is to provide information so that government and corporate leaders can develop tailored, individual strategies and methods to meet the new security challenges they each face.  These challenges include physical, chemical and biological, and infectious diseases threats.  We will also address shared regional security challenges and concerns.  

This year's inaugural meeting could not be timelier as historic changes continue to unfold in this region of the world.  The theme of the meeting is "Homeland Security: Developing Public and Private Sector Solutions for the Asia Pacific Region.." This Summit promises to be the ideal forum for developing collective solutions to public and private sector security threats in the Asia Pacific region.  

We would appreciate the Chambers's assistance in helping us publicize the Summit to your membership.  Please encourage your members to visit our website at
www.scd.state.hi.us/summit for the most up-to-date information.  

Should you have any questions, please contact my Deputy Director Ray Jefferson at (808) 586-3035 or email:
rjefferson@dbedt.hawaii.gov.   

I look forward to seeing you at this important event.
Sincerely,
Ted Liu

August 10, 2003

Hawaii’s Reality Check 

In 1980 when I did my exit interview with my last employer before starting my own business, my former boss told me that Hawaii will be the place for the rich, famous and the established few. Most of our children will have to leave Hawaii for better opportunities. That was 23 years ago. The reality has spoken for itself! 

The multi-billion dollars contract for the housing redevelopment brought in by the military is indeed good news for those that are in the A/E/C/S (Architect/Engineer/Contractor/Suppliers) businesses. After making more than 20 phone calls to many former Hawaii residents and Chamber members outside of the State of Hawaii. Hawaii need to have a more diversify business base and offer more friendly transportation options, unless they are in the A/E/C/S businesses, it has offer little comfort for them or any good reason for them to come home. 

While many parts of the world have become more connected to make face to face meeting easy, Hawaii is becoming more isolated. Except for Japan, traveling to Hawaii from any financial centers in Asia takes longer than going to California, Nevada, Washington State or Western Canada even though the actual distance is shorter. Most airlines must stop over Hawaii for refuel in the 1970s find it more economical to fly over Hawaii with the new long distance fuel-efficient jets. Airlines are continuing to reduce their airlift coming into Hawaii making visiting Hawaii even more difficult, less choices and much more expensive. 

One of our chamber’s members recently ordered two new cars from a local auto dealership. The car arrived into California port on May 15th, took those 2 weeks to leave California port and after dropping off the cars in Honolulu, took those cars 10 days to allow the local auto dealership to pick it up. The customer is naturally very upset. The local auto dealership said that 2 companies are controlling shipping of automobile. Neither is offering better services since they control the market.  

Hawaii has one of the most recognized name brand, mostly associated with tourism and its natural beauties. After one or two visits to Hawaii, many tourists found Hawaii rather boring and lack of attractions. It is a frustration commonly shared by many inbound tours operators here.  

Have Hawaii done our own reality check? Other than offering Sun, Sea, Surf, Sand, Hula Girls and Natural Beauties of Hawaii, what else is Hawaii offering to the tourist? Who are the purchasers of our business ideas, education/training, technology and biotechnology? Who are our competitors? And most importantly, are they willing to pay for it? I have seen focus group and business round tables formed to envision what we can sell – have we ever found out from the perceived buyers’ requirements? And are they willing to pay for it? 

Johnson W. K. Choi, MBA, RFC.
President & Executive Director

July 2, 2003

This Hawaii Investment Survey is being conducted through a Social Enterprise Endowment of Harvard Business School, with the support of the China-Hawaii Chamber of Commerce, and Enterprise Honolulu, an economic development organization. 

The purpose of the survey is to collect aggregate data on the current and potential investment capital flows into the state of Hawaii.  This research is being conducted to identify investment trends and make recommendations to improve the future investment climate in Hawaii  

All data collected in the survey is strictly confidential and will be reported only in aggregate form (with all company-specific information withheld).  It is important to note that your response is greatly appreciated, whether or not your company has made past investments in Hawaii. 

Participants will receive a free copy of the Hawaii Investment Survey research findings upon conclusion of the project in September 2003. 

Please check the appropriate responses in the attached form and send the survey back to dcook@mba2004.hbs.edu, fax back to 808.536.2281, or simply fill the survey out online at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=34994233796.  Please call 808.521.3611 with any questions regarding the survey. 

Thank you for your participation.

Johnson W. K. Choi, MBA, RFC.
President & Executive Director

April 29, 2003

We thank all of you who have called to show concern and support for Hong Kong at this difficult time.  I can report that the situation there is stabilising.  Daily, Hong Kong government and heroic medical teams are gaining experience and winning ground in the battle against severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).  Over the recent holiday period, the number of SARs patients who went home from hospital after successful treatment outnumbered new admissions, which has lifted spirits.  

Some friends have asked if they can confidently conduct trade with Hong Kong at this time. The answer is a resounding “yes” for the following reasons:

o       Imports and mail from Hong Kong do not pose a health risk.  That is a World Health Organisation fact.

o       Production is going on as usual in Hong Kong’s widespread network of factories in the Chinese mainland and elsewhere.

o       Goods are flowing to overseas markets with minimum disruption.

o       Trade fairs are going ahead in Hong Kong for an extended spring buying season, with stringent health protection measures in place.  At Hong Kong Trade Development Council's (HKTDC’s) consolidated fairs for gifts and houseware (April and July) more than one third of reconfirmed exhibitors are from overseas.  Hong Kong also look forward to welcoming overseas buyers with open arms, VIP treatment and attractive travel packages.

o       Life is going on in Hong Kong, with people going to work every day and schools re-opening on a phased basis.

o       Nimble and innovative Hong Kong firms are finding new ways to connect with customers, including setting up of temporary showrooms overseas.  

The HKTDC, too, has stepped forward with special initiatives such as web conferencing, virtual exhibitions and catalogue shows in your markets to broaden your business communication channels with Hong Kong, Details are listed on our Resource Center page.

The entire Hong Kong community is united to overcome this problem.  It is also the top priority for leaders on the Chinese mainland.  Temperature checks and health screening at Hong Kong’s airport are restoring confidence in air travel.  High-tech screening will soon be installed at Hong Kong’s land crossings with the mainland, in close co-operation with health authorities there. 

It would be a tremendous help if you would help us pass these messages on.  Meanwhile, please don’t hesitate to call us at 808-222-8183 if you have any questions.  

Johnson W. K. Choi, MBA, RFC.
President & Executive Director

April 17, 2003

Many of the businesses are facing serious challenges in the Far East on the outbreak of the SARS. While progress is being made, solution to solve the problem and cure are not close in sight. It is disturbing to see SARS rumors being spread throughout major cities in North America including Honolulu where major Chinese population is located. While there are various theories and speculations on where the rumors came from. It is important that we do not use this occasion to add fuel to the fire. We are hoping that millions of Chinese live in the North America will stand up to ensure that Chinese are responsible citizen. Chinese establishments inside and outside of Chinatown are safe place to visit and to do business with.

Hong Kong China Hawaii Chamber of Commerce (HKCHcc) is encouraging our members to use our influences and relationship to build bridges, take away the opportunity for those using the SARS to profit from people's miseries.

Johnson W. K. Choi, MBA, RFC.
President & Executive Director

February 22, 2003

Go to Hawaii Reporter for complete story

If you are involved with trade and businesses outside our geographic boundaries during the past decade working with entities representing various government interests, the easy first step has been sending/receiving high profile speakers telling you “how the pasture is greener on the other side”! Most of the speakers have brought with them years of experiences. Their job is to provide a convincing message to the audience. Many of them did an excellent job sharing their success stories. Most audience will leave the meeting or dinner on a high note. Most of the time, the bus stops here just with a good feeling. It is usually difficult for the attendees to follow up with out of town speakers. Getting additional information from the local sponsors can be very difficult in time.

Have you attended one of the meetings described above in the past?

If you are interested to expand your business outside of Hawaii, what is the value to you attending a presentation by an expert for example in China trade showing you the opportunities to take advantage of the trade worth billions of dollar? If your interest is to increase knowledge of general trade and business, most of you will probably satisfy with the information provided! For many of us wanting to take the newly acquired knowledge to the next level to implement what we learnt into practice, you will find major obstacles.

Where are some of the obstacles?

  • Sponsoring organizations may not have extensive knowledge on the subject matter presented.
  • Event use as mean for public relations only
  • Unable to obtain additional information and follow ups

A recent meeting with one of the Federal agency, the retired Director said the major challenge is their advisors inability to provide complete and satisfy answers to businesses wanting to expand their business overseas. Information is presented in piece meal and seldom complete. People try to obtain information find themselves going around in circle.

What to look for if you are really interested to expand your business overseas?

  • Seek out local entities focus on promoting and actually doing business locally and internationally
  • Look beyond the name – it could be misleading
  • Get connected with the local Chamber of Commerce in the region of your interest
  • For Americans, get connected with the local American Chamber of Commerce
  • Call the organization you have in mind, find out how much do their Officers and Directors know anything about business overseas (if that is your target market) – the number of trade missions attended is not an accurate gauge for experiences as many are paid for by government as a mean to reward loyalty. It has nothing to do with trade.
  • Who are their collaboration partners?

Once you have located a credible entity to work with you. You are required also to do your homework.

  • Find out if there is a market for your products and/or services
  • Consider working with a reputable partner
  • Observe local rules and customs
  • Invest some money and time
  • Do not lose your focus – it is so often when you hear business executives came back from a foreign trip impressed, if you look closer, they were impressed by things other than business and for the wrong reasons!

Like marriage, a lasting relationship takes time to know each others before taking the dive. The wine and dine during courting are fun things. But it is by no mean a measurement for successful relation.

Johnson W. K. Choi, MBA, RFC.
President & Executive Director

February 1, 2003

Hong Kong China Hawaii Chamber of Commerce (HKCHcc) expresses our condolences to the family and friends of the crew members on space shuttle Columbia. Shuttle commander Rick D. Husband; pilot William C. McCool; payload commander Michael P. Anderson; mission specialists David M. Brown, Kalpana Chawla and Laurel Clark; and Israel's first astronaut, Ilan Ramon, died when the shuttle came apart during re-entry.

The loss of Columbia this morning brings back painful memories of the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger as it took off from Cape Canaveral on January 28, 1986, also killing all seven people on board.  One of the crew members on the Challenger was mission specialist Ellison S. Onizuka, a Japanese American from Hawaii.

The following information is being provided for those who would like to personally send their condolences to the families of the Columbia crewmembers.

Written condolences can be sent to the following address:

Astronaut Office
NASA Johnson Space Center
Mail Code: CB
2101 NASA Road 1
Houston, TX 77058

The following web page is available also to send condolences:

http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/feedback/condolence/

The following address is for sending messages to Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon's family:

ilanfamily@mail.idf.il

The Hawaii community is saddened by the tragedy.

Johnson W. K. Choi, MBA, RFC.
President & Executive Director

December 7, 2002

Enter to View Unedited Readers' Comments        

On behalf of the Hong Kong China Hawaii Chamber of Commerce (HKCHcc), we would like to wish our members and friends happy, healthy and safe holiday seasons.

2002 has been a very exciting year for us. Our Board of Directors have just completed a focus business initiative for year 2003. HKCHcc goal continues to be helping Hawaii to broaden it's economic and business base by assisting Hawaii Companies to take a practical approach to explore business outside of Hawaii. At the same time, encourage firms outside of Hawaii to look beyond the Sun, Sea, Surf and Hula girls to find out what our business community can offer them.

HKCHcc is proud to be the Ambassador for the State of Hawaii and Advocacy of Business without spending $1 of State Government money.

It is very exciting to look at opportunities in Hong Kong and China, the 2008 Olympic game in Beijing, 2010 World Expo at Shanghai and the 2003 FIFA Women World Cup Soccer in China. The cultural differences and expectations have sometimes make closing a business deal difficult. News media tends to focus on either failed business deals or news release put out by government agency as the headliners to sell newspaper. Many successful stories like the Motorola, Emerson Electric and hundreds of Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) who took their time to learn the market is reaping huge financial success. The fact that you see 100s if not 1,000s of products at stores like Wal-mart is solid example.

The Government of China will continue to play an important role in many business dealings. China's membership in the WTO and Beijing's efforts for a more cleaner government will create a more level playing field for the SMEs. HKCHcc Collaboration Partners in the Pacific Rim Countries have continued to provide us with valuable information and partnership for our current and future projects. We are encouraging our members to take advantage of our Collaboration Partners experiences (Collaboration Partners).

We take great efforts to provide business news and information daily with special focus in Hong Kong and China (Hong Kong China & Hawaii Biz), highlights of many of our business activities (Photo Album), doing business with China information from our resource center and business links. I am asking you to bookmark it and visit with us frequently.

Feel free to contact us at info@hkchcc.org or 808-222-8183 if you have any questions.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Johnson W. K. Choi, MBA, RFC.
President & Executive Director

September 10, 2002

Re: A Statewide Moment of Silence to Pay Tribute to Those Who Lost Their Lives on September 11, 2001.

On September 11, 2002 we invite you to honor the victims of this National tragedy, and the families and friends they left behind. If you can, please step outside your home, school or workplace and join hands with your friends, families and co-workers. Or if you prefer, you might choose to reflect on your own. Together, we can observe this moment of silence in a show of support and unity.

10:05am    Statewide Bell Ringing

10:06am    Moment of Silence

June 17, 2002

On June 20th HKCHcc will be leading a business delegation visiting Shanghai and Beijing. We are very exciting and looking forward to the meetings lined up expecting to yield positive results. Our focus will be beyond education, high-tech, training and tourism.

When the meetings were planned, we were worried since no government entities is involved (I was involved with 5 government funded business/trade mission), the reception from the China will be cool. To our surprise, our counterpart and collaboration partners welcome a pure business mission to focus only on the business agenda.

This trade mission is entirely funded by private sectors. It is also an indication that business going on this trip are very serious about doing business with no government subsidies. We are not only representing Hawaii Companies, but in partnership with Companies located outside of Hawaii.

We are planning to meet with our Chambers members in Shanghai and Beijing and to spend time with our private sectors collaboration partners there.

Our Directors and Founding members have determined to make HKCHcc a true business organization to shy away from window dressing to yield positive results. We are getting there and our membership is growing attracting Executives and Owners of Companies inside and outside of Hawaii.


Johnson W. K. Choi, MBA, RFC.
President & Executive Director

February 11, 2002

       

I would like to take this opportunity to wish members of HKCHcc, our Collaboration Partners and Friends a healthy, Cheerful and Profitable "Year of the Horse". 

The New Year will bring fresh opportunities. HKCHcc will continue to build bridges and explore opportunities for our members, collaboration partners and friends.

I have received phone calls that callers were informed that to do business in Hong Kong & China. Entities will get favorable treatment if he/she belong to certain "Federation" and/or "Business Association".

Hong Kong Government (HKETO) and Organizations like the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) welcomes all business interested to do business in Hong Kong. They are NOT requiring any entity to belong to any "Federation" and/or "Business Association" to obtain favorable treatments.

If you have come across the same misinformation, feel free to contact our office.

Be sure to check out many exciting events located on our "Event" page.

I am sharing a "Chinese New Year" Song with you (click on this link). It is fun, upbeat and with well wishes. I am sure you will enjoy it.

Johnson W. K. Choi, MBA, RFC.
President & Executive Director

September  15, 2001

Attack on America - Sept 11, 2001

The tragedy we witnessed in New York and Washington, D.C., on September 11th is cause for tremendous sorrow. It has affected individuals and organizations worldwide. The imminent prospect of war and further terrorist attacks has increased the emotional and economic turmoil. It is also a source of pride in how the people of America have come together to care for the victims, to mourn, and to begin the process of moving forward as the strong nation we are.

As we continue to hear news on the horrific attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, let us send our prayers to the survivors and the relatives and friends of the deceased who are suffering from the physical and/or emotional trauma of this event.

For our members looking for ways to help in the rescue, recovery, and rebuilding process, here are two

1) To arrange to give blood, the American Red Cross has established a clearing house for information about locations and scheduling. Their toll free number is 1-800-448-3543. Their web site is http://www.redcross.org/

2) To contribute financial support for the American Red Cross relief and recovery efforts, send your donation to American Red Cross, 15751 Street NW, Washington, DC 20005

Please contact our Office if you have further questions.

Johnson W. K. Choi, MBA, RFC.
President & Executive Director

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