China trade rep seeks to open doors for Nevada firms | nnbusinessview.com

China trade rep seeks to open doors for Nevada firms

John Seelmeyer

Robert Young has no shortage of prospects 925 million of them, to be exact and the big job for Nevada’s new trade representative in northern China is determining where to begin.

Young, newly named as the state’s trade representative to Beijing and 17 provinces in northern China, brings long experience in trade and international investment to the position.

Working with the Nevada Commission on Economic Development, he will target northern Chinese companies that might build facilities in Nevada as well as Chinese investors who could bring capital into the state perhaps through investment in Nevada companies or outright purchases.

Young his Chinese name is Mingchuan Yang is chairman of the Asian Chamber of Commerce in Las Vegas, where he’s made a living as a money manager and real estate investor for nearly 20 years.

Before coming to the United States, he worked in the export-import business in Taiwan.

Young expects to use all of his experience on both sides of the world in his new role as one of the state’s three trade representatives in China.

The state’s trade representatives aren’t paid directly. Rather, they take a cut of any deals they put together.

Young, whose northern Chinese territory includes a population of 925 million, says one strong possibility for Chinese investment in Nevada is processing facilities for the state’s mineral resources.

Extensive exploration is under way, for instance, to identify lithium deposits in the state. As they’re discovered, Young suggests it makes sense for Chinese companies to build processing plants and facilities to manufacture lithium batteries close to the mineral deposits rather than haul the mineral halfway across the world.

Another possibility, he says, is Chinese investment in Nevada real estate, whose price has been beaten down by the recession.

He quotes a Chinese maxim about the reasons to prefer real estate over stocks as an investment vehicle: “A piece of land is better than a piece of paper.”

The same desire to find bargains in Nevada may lead some Chinese investors to look to take equity positions in distressed manufacturing companies in the state, or perhaps to buy them outright.

Working with Young in China will be Julia Zhang, an executive of his Joy Communications, a company with offices in Shanghai and Las Vegas.

Zhang says potential investors in China often know little about Nevada.

“They know more about Las Vegas than they know about Nevada,” she says.

Another opportunity for Young and Zhang will be potential Chinese interest in the so-called “EB-5 Regional Centers” that are being created in Nevada. In those regional centers, foreigners who invest at least $500,000 can get a visa to be a permanent resident of the United States.

That’s no small inducement, particularly to Chinese parents who want their children to receive a U.S. education, Young says.

Al Di Stefano, director of global trade and investment for the Nevada Commission on Economic Development, says state officials still hope to see private developers either Chinese or American step forward to create a China trade center in Nevada.

Those plans gathered some momentum about five years ago, but were stalled by the recession.


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