My visit to China with a delegation of business people from the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce began early Monday morning with presentations by individuals either already established in China or in the business of helping others get a foothold in the growing China economic market.
One of those is a young woman who is the managing director of the Kentucky China Trade office. Li Hanwen is also vice president of her own consulting firm and consults with businesses who want to do work in China.
There are a number of Kentucky companies already doing business in China: Yum, UPS, and Alltech have been here for years. Alltech founder Dr. Pearce Lyons likes to tell the story of arriving in Shanghai 20 years ago, carrying one suitcase and no clients. Today, Alltech has a number of facilities in China and their animal nutrition business in the East continues to grow. In the past couple of months, Alltech has exported their Kentucky Ale beer and it’s doing well in this big brew-drinking nation. Yum, Inc., headquartered in Louisville, attributes an uptick in recent company economic reports to strong growth in China; folks here love their KFC.
An important piece of advice from all of those giving a short presentation on doing business with the Chinese is have patience; it appears that virtue goes a long way when trying to establish business in China.
I’ll have more from Beijing in a special One to One report from China coming up soon on KET.