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|Articles - April 2011|
|Tuesday, March 22, 2011|
Page 6 of 8With a flood of Chinese capital poised to wash over Oregon’s weakened economy, familiar concerns are resurfacing. Bill Wyatt, who has traveled to China and back 25 times since taking over as executive director of the Port of Portland in 2001, says the prevailing tension around China’s rise reminds him of worries of Japanese dominance during the 1980s, “You hear a lot of questions like ‘What does it mean? Where are we headed? Are they going to eat our lunch?’”
Up to this point, relatively few Oregon assets have passed into Chinese hands. But experts expect that to change over time. Raymond Cheung, a partner at Portland accounting firm Geffen Mesher who represented the Hong Kong-based investors who bought the Halsey pulp mill, says: “This is just the spark. You are going to see more and more acquisitions… We need more investments like this in Oregon because they will create jobs and we need the jobs.”
Cheung was born and raised in Hong Kong. When he moved to the U.S. in 1993 to attend George Fox University, none of his friends and family knew of Oregon. He was the only Chinese speaker at the entire university, and the language barrier did not make for an easy college experience. But his hard work is paying off. Cheung is fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese and English, and he is a certified public accountant in Hong Kong as well as in the U.S. He was the first Chinese speaker to make partner at Geffen, and his international business is growing rapidly.
“Next we will see Chinese mutual funds and venture capital groups investing,” he predicts. “They will be coming in to buy.”
Akana Ma, chair of Ater Wynne’s global trade group in Portland, agrees with that assessment. Ma represents “a number of investors purchasing assets in Oregon.” He doesn’t offer specifics other than to say, “A lot of Chinese companies are actively scanning the horizon for steel mills, pulp and paper mills and other types of factories that still have useful lives.”
Ma recently helped a Chinese manufacturer of power generation equipment, Wuxi Kipor Power, set up an office in Portland in February. He is also involved in EB-5 projects in Washington state as well as Oregon.
Wyatt, like most observers, sees the trend as inevitable. “Trade is going to become more global, not less,” he says. The port has formed a relationship with one of the largest ports in the world, in Tianjin, and will begin exchanging executives this year. Wyatt expects business and travel connections between Oregon and China to grow steadily, eventually bringing direct flights. “In a 10-year time period, [direct flights are] likely.”
Monday, March 03, 2014
Check out interviews with employees from some of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon winners and find out what makes their company a great place to work.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY SOPHIA BENNETT
The coastal town of Coos Bay appears poised to land every economic development director’s dream: a single employer that will bring hundreds of family-wage jobs and millions in tax revenue.
Thursday, March 27, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB WEB EDITOR
Watch this OB Original Video about three Oregon companies and how crowd-funding "kickstarted" their business ideas.
Tuesday, April 01, 2014
BY APRIL STREETER | OB CONTRIBUTOR
Three years ago, PPS set out to begin to convert the 1930s-era boilers from diesel/bunker fuel to cleaner-burning natural gas. Oregon’s largest school district has realized impressive carbon dioxide emissions reductions, setting an example for public and private institutions.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Our 100 Best Companies project turned 21 this year, so pop open the Champagne. Our latest survey gives us plenty to cheer.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY JOE ROJAS-BURKE | OB BLOGGER
The medical research enterprise wastes tens of billions of dollars a year on irrelevant studies. It’s time to fix it.
Friday, April 04, 2014
BY ERIC FRUITS
The rapidly rising cost of higher education has left even the smartest researchers and the wonkiest of wonks wondering what’s happening and where’s all that money going. More and more, prospective students—and their families—are asking: Is college worth the cost?
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