Home Back Issues April 2011 Asian investors eye Oregon properties, green cards

Asian investors eye Oregon properties, green cards

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Articles - April 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
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By the numbers
With 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.”

 



 

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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