Sunday, April 15, 2007

Onorato in China, looking for business.

Onorato in China, looking for business
So the coverage of this trip comes to us from a Toledo reporter. Interesting.

Members of the Pittsburgh trade delegation are going to be blown away by the evidence of China's new wealth. It will be outside their hotel, at airports, at shopping centers, along the streets, and in the Olympic Venues too. It will be in schools, playgrounds and museums. Everywhere.

Flashy shopping and style are throughout China's cities. Furthermore, should Dan get an opportunity, he should go on a shopping spree.

The last time we went to China, I packed one change of clothes and a bunch of t-shirts and shorts. They don't have many shorts. I got a lot of new clothing at a cheap cost. The prices are not the same in the upscale stores, of course. But there are plenty of shopping options throughout the cities.

We don't need to have the country investing in Pittsburgh. Dan's quote is goffy. Hours after arriving in China's capital city yesterday as part of the delegation, Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato said he hoped the country would invest in the Pittsburgh area as well.

"The grand goal is to make sure when China sends money to the U.S. they have a relationship with southwest Pennsylvania," Mr. Onorato said.

That isn't the goal I'd set. We don't need to look like beggars to CHINA. We need to put the relationship at the front. And, they want a relationship with the people of southwest PA. They have no need to have a relathionship with the geogaphy and grounds of SW PA. Plus, I hate to see Dan there in a pissing match with people from Toledo as well.

A trade delegation in Onorato's world might turn into a fight on foriegn soil between Pittsburgh and Toledo. That is just what we don't need.
At a price tag of $6,677 to Allegheny County taxpayers, Mr. Onorato and development director Dennis Davin are part of a 21-member mission to China that will tour the cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin through this Saturday.
I wish that the coverage in the newspaper would be more with a focus on the non-government economic opporutnities and less with the development officials and government folks who can't navigate their way around a Chineese Fortune Cookie.

They will dine in an 18th Century Chinese home converted into a restaurant. Meanwhile, we think that the Civic Arena is old and needs to be torn down. I hope they are not offended when they are given opportunities to celebrate history and the past elements of culture.

The group will visit the Great Wall and an imperial palace today. It will then stop at the Chinese facilities of companies with Pittsburgh-area footprints, Bombardier Systems and Westinghouse Electric in Beijing, Kennametal and Calgon Carbon in Tianjin, and Maglev in Shanghai.

When you get to The Great Wall, -- dress for wind and cold. It can be a hot day in the city and a COLD day on The Great Wall. Wear shoes or boots ready for climbing. One always "climbs" The Great Wall -- not walks nor hikes.

When you get there, you'll have a choice between the easy way where lots of people go, and the harder way, where there are fewer folks. Go the hard way. Go for it. There will still be lots and lots of people on the wall with you.

Smile too, because you'll be on the onl man made thing visible form space.

Exports to China -- up 35 percent between 2005 and 2006 for Pennsylvania -- are now a vital component of expanding the county's economy, said Mr. Onorato. Westinghouse, for example, has an agreement to provide China with four nuclear plants, a deal that, along with an increase in domestic nuclear demand, is expected to create 2,000 to 3,000 new jobs in the Pittsburgh region.
China is going to build 300 Nukes. The first four are a dress rehearsal. If we screw up, there won't be any more.

Continued increases in exports may in turn lead corporations to expand, giving the county government a new role in international trade. "If they need to be near the river, we have the brownfields that we've cleared by the waterfront," Mr. Onorato said.
Dan, China doesn't give a care about our brownfields near the river. We care. But they don't. When China wants to come to the US, they want to have finished goods ready for market. When China has a factory to expand, they don't worry about eminent domain either. They've got the land. They've got the rivers. They've got the workforce. They've got most of what they want and need, except the power.

Dan should be talking about power and technology. If Dan is talking about brownfields -- he is lost. Dan, it would be much further ahead if he talked about the Penguins.

Net international investment now flows heavily toward China. The Chinese Central Bank announced last week that it had foreign reserves of $1.2 trillion, a $135.7 billion increase in the first three months of this year. And the U.S. trade deficit with China stands at $233 billion.
In China, they are growing and with new things because they have not over spent. They've saved. Here in the US, we've gone into massive debt.

Even less well-known cities are cashing in on the boom. Officials from Qinhuangdao, a northeastern coastal city of 2.7 million, recently argued that the glut of foreign investment has inflated salaries in certain cities.
Everthing in China is less well-known to Americans. That isn't China's fault. It is ours. We lived in Chengdu. That city is bigger than New York City.

"We are not Beijing, Tianjin, or Shanghai," said Qi Zhonghong, deputy director of the Qinhaungdao Economic & Technological Development Zone. "Qinhuangdao has low wages." The average Chinese worker earns just $1,700 a year.

It is great to know what you are and what you are not. In Pittsburgh, we have a rush to become what we are not, sadly. Pittsburgh needs to be what it is. The lesser-cities in China have a grip on this fact. The cities that are NOT Beijing don't want to be Beijing.

While the $12.5 trillion U.S. economy is a maze of titanic corporations, small businesses, state regulations, and federal laws, China is more of a straight line hierarchy where personal relationships lead to investment partnerships.
I'm not going to buy that for a moment.

One of the standards of success for the delegation will be getting to know Chinese government officials, who control much of the domestic funds necessary to make international deals possible. The delegation's current itinerary includes meetings with two representatives of Beijing's airport and 10 Tianjin city leaders.
So, Onorato and crew are going to meet the guy at the security desk at the airport. Good. Then it is to meet 10 Tianjin city leaders. Humm.
"At the moment, we've been told there are other officials to be announced," said Suzie Pegg, a delegation member with the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, a nonprofit business recruitment organization.
Stay tuned.
In anticipation of the meetings, Mr. Davin had special business cards printed that render his development position in Chinese characters. As gifts for their hosts, the group brought plates of Pittsburgh's golden triangle made by Wendell August Forge in Grove City.Great. Plates from Grove City about Pittsburgh. That sums it up.

Mr. Davin, everyone you talk to in China who is going to help reach the goals of the trade deligation is going to be just fine with English. The Chineese characters on the business card are not necessary.

But for my card, I would not list my blog address, China has a way of blocking mega blog site from web surfers.

"China as a country is where our country was 80 years ago," Mr. Onorato said.
Dan, keep quiet. China isn't where our country was 80 years ago. China isn't in the 1930s. Today's China is not like anything that you can put into a silly one-line statement. Talk about The Great Wall. Talk about the flight. Talk about the others on the trip. Better yet, have the others on the trip do the talking.

Eighty years ago, the US wasn't building 300 N-Power Plants. That is what China is doing. We'd like a bit of that action here in southwestern PA. Don't blow it with silly statements.

And Dan, don't drink the water. No ice in your drinks. Did you take your water bottles so you can lug your own water around as you go to The Great Wall and the Forbidden City?


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