Asian investors eye Oregon properties, green cards

Asian investors eye Oregon properties, green cards

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0411_AsianMoney_03
James Mei opened one of the first American law offices in China. // PHOTO BY LEAH NASH
Chen’s attorney and golf buddy, Davis Wright Tremaine partner James Mei, has been bridging the gap between China and Oregon for more than two decades. He moved to Oregon from Shanghai in 1985 and attended Willamette University, graduating with a law degree in 1989. He joined Davis Wright Tremaine in 1993 and helped it become one of the first American law firms to establish an office in China. From there he helped Nike close its first equity deal in China and worked with key Oregon companies such as Lattice Semiconductor and Tektronix as well as top global businesses such as Ford Motors, Intel, Microsoft and Starbucks.

Most of the early deals Mei worked on involved helping American companies to gain a foothold in China, manufacturing products at first and later selling them in China as Chinese buying power grew.

With time the money began flowing in both directions. “After years of attracting investment and double-digit growth, the Chinese shifted to outbound investment,” Mei says. State-owned Chinese powerhouses led the way, followed by smaller private groups such as Chen’s investors.

Mei has experience with the EB-5 program — he worked with a Taiwanese investor seven years ago to navigate the system and obtain green cards for his family — and he sees the logic behind the renewed interest in the program. In his view it grows from powerful trends: the lingering credit crunch that makes it hard to finance projects without new sources of money; the rising value of the Chinese currency driving greater buying power; an improved bureaucratic process for attracting foreign investment driven by need; and China’s one-child policy and the determination among the newly rich Chinese to get the absolute best for their children, including access to education in the U.S.

But the most important factor, as Mei sees it, is business acumen. “More and more people in China can afford to do this because they have achieved so much success,” he says. “They know how to make money.”

Mei traveled to China recently to meet with three huge Chinese firms interested in building high-speed rail lines connecting Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco, and Eugene and Seattle. He notes that Chinese engineers have completed more than 5,000 miles of tracks, giving China the largest high-speed rail network in the world. By comparison, the ongoing planning process for high-speed rail projects in the United States is expected to last about 25 years.

 



Comments   

 
China Man
0 #1 ChinaChina Man 2011-03-28 14:50:27
Yup. Won't be long CHINA will own the whole USA.
Opps, they do now..

Why doesn't our government step in and help the people of the USA..Instead of offering deals to other countries. Ya Right
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Karen Williams
0 #2 Karen Williams, Carroll Community Investments LLCKaren Williams 2011-04-01 17:15:59
Mr. Jacklet gives us too much credit! John Carroll, Bill McCrae and I been privileged to participate in projects we care about, all of which took the efforts of many talented people. Community development is complex and rewarding work, but above all else, it's teamwork. While we hope we were able to make meaningful contributions, the projects got done because of the creativity and leadership of many people from the public and private sectors.
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Rick Waible
0 #3 Hey China Man with the comment on 3-28Rick Waible 2011-04-20 07:12:03
I was born and raised right here on Oregon. I have served in the US Army and am as patriotic as it gets.....to a point. The US has changed to a culture of sissy laws where we cannot discipline our children or we lose them, our kids are living in a world of sloth habits, most playing video games and not building tree forts and having rock fights. The boy in a bubble race that sues for gain rather than getting up and working for a living. The handout free money every week to buy alcohol, junk food, and depression meds is sitting back and making a population of garbage humans. I say if China can come from poverty/3rd world conditons, and its population is working its way to wealth, and they want to spend it here on assets we were too stupid to hold....go for it China, it seems the US is going to need a sugar daddy.
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