Q: Do you know if they can help US companies handle custom clearance, transportation and phyto issue?
A: Yes. The focus of the Trade Center is to be a one-stop shop for USA based companies that want to export quality US goods to China. At the Trade Center as well as in the US, staff will be available to help companies throughout the process. We call these team members " Evangelist." Their role is to work with the USA based company learning their products and services, and helping them to identify the best buyer match. Areas like custom clearance, transportation, labeling etc. are where the Evangelists shine. They help to remove some of the burdens from small business new to the market or who do not have the time or resources to enter the market. Another feature about the operations at Meishan is that customs is right next door.
Q: Can they help US companies deal with documentation and labeling requirements?
A: Yes, please see the response to number one above. Companies receive assistance with both labeling as well as documentation requirements.
Q: What is the background of the Center? Is it a state-own company or private-invested company?
A: The US Import Trade Center is privately owned by a US wholly owned Foreign Enterprise that is registering in Meishan Ningbo and given a mandate by the local government to operate/trade in various sectors - with an emphasis on supporting USA based companies providing quality products and services. Meishan Ningbo Bonded Port authority entered into an agreement with the USA based company. The Bonded Port Authority has broad leave-way in developing new and innovative programs to increase imports into China. They partnered with Yilaime - USA based company, providing various incentives and credits to the USA based company allowing them to operate the US Import Center in an attractive format that will allow businesses to receive various incentives and significant reduction in costs in selling their products.
Q: Is there any company moving into the Center at the moment?
A: The State of Virginia is the very first state that has stepped forward and is introducing their companies into the Center. As mentioned previously, they are focused on wines, seafood, and nuts. Afterwards other products from the state are planned. By the way, the Governor of Virginia, along with key staff visited Ningbo this past summer to see the Ningbo Port area.
Q: What is the strength of the Center in terms of its geographic location as there are a few similar type of Centers located in Shanghai and other places in Yangtze Delta region?
A: The strength of the centers are many. In the planning stages a SWOT Analysis was conducted to look at Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Please see the attached SWOT Analysis (Attachment First Page- SWOT).
The savings to USA based small business because of the incentives offered exceed any Center in existence. The Centers you may be referring to are centers that focus on any and all products entering China. The USA Trade Import Centers focus solely on USA products and services. The marketing campaigns planned, and the governmental support in China for USA based Imports at the Trade Center far exceeds any Center that focuses on bringing in any and all products. Data clearly shows that in the Centers you reference, USA businesses or either non-existent or because of the support of Governments - especially from the European Union are at a severe disadvantage. The US Import Trade Center, eliminates the European Union Advantage, and put US businesses on an even or better playing feel. various incentives are provided that allow business costs to be lower in turn the price to consumers to be very competitive. Additionally, joint efforts with China Construction Bank, and other private trade banks and the USA Export Bank, allow buyers of the USA products to have a powerful network providing them access to trade credit.
The bonded port is strategically located and one of the top Ports and trade routes in China. Its a major import route providing access to all major trading areas in China.
See the diagram on some areas were the Meishan Bonded Port outshines other areas (Attachment Second Page - Meishan Bonded Port Zone Chart). If you look at the Chart you will see that Meishan encompasses all of the features and benefits of the other programs, then some.
Finally, in conjunction with the US Import Trade Center, we are developing a dedicated platform to introduce and sale USA based small businesses goods and services to the 591 million plus consumers on the Internet.
In sum, there is a total package supported by the Government at Meishan China and designed to help USA based businesses Export to China increasing imports and creating jobs here in the US.
Q: Is your operation similar to a trade show set up where companies will exhibit their products at your location?
A: We are different from a trade show setup. We recognize that some small businesses early on may have a challenge so we have a number of initiatives to overcome those challenges:
1) We have what we call our Test/Sample Program. This is designed to let businesses Test/Sample the market before they make any sort of significant outlay. Businesses send samples of products, including brochures, videos, pamphlets, etc. Our staff works with the businesses one on one.
2) We call this our Evangelist Program. Each small business has an Evangelist assigned (Chinese as well as US). Evangelists get to know the business and matches the business with buyers in China.
3) We take care of most of the leg work including ensuring proper labeling, customs inspections, clearance, transportation, finding buyers, etc. The agreement with Meishan allows us to work closely with customs; who are on site to ensure transactions can be completed promptly. There are other tax incentives as well for clearing business through Meishan. Additionally, depending upon the success of the business, if they chose, businesses have an opportunity to expand exports even more and setup in Meishan and receive incentives theselves including reduced rent, utilities, tax incentives etc.