Experience China in 2010… and Take in the World Expo

The Manatee Chamber of Commerce is offering an amazing trip to China September 1st through the 9th, 2010! The trip is priced at a low $2,000 for Chamber Members and $2,300 for non-Members to enjoy nine days of basking in Chinese culture.  With fantastic meals, 4- and 5-star hotels, incredible shopping and more. All tours are with an English speaking guide.

Join the Chamber, business leaders, members, and friends for a once in a lifetime all-inclusive trip that will leave you breathless. I went myself in October of this year and had the opportunity to meet with several American companies doing business in China as well as American / China Chamber of Commerce officials.  It’s an experience I’ll never forget.

Come see all the beauty and culture that China has to offer as you experience ancient and modern Chinese wonders. This will be a timely, unforgettable experience for you and any guests. The trip will satisfy all different types of vacationers… from sightseers to adventurers and even those wanting to learn about Chinese business opportunities.

The trip will take you to Beijing, Suzhou, Hangzhou, and Shanghai.  You’ll also spend one half day at the 2010 World Expo!

Mark your calendars for an orientation meeting on April 6th, 2010 at 5:30pm in the Manatee Chamber’s Lakewood Ranch Office at the McClure Center.  More details to follow regarding the trip and this meeting.

For additional information or to make your reservation, contact Bob Bartz at 941-748-4842 ext. 112 or email BobB@ManateeChamber.com.

Holiday Season Safety Tips

I attended the Sheriff’s Advisory Board meeting yesterday and a Crime Prevention Officer shared some good tips with us. With the Holiday season upon us, it was suggested that everyone put a loud whistle on your key ring and blow it if you are in danger. People are used to hearing car alarms going off all the time and no longer pay attention to them, but a whistle will get everyone’s attention.

Also when you approach your car after a shopping trip and there is a van parked next to your car, go around to the other side of the car to unload your packages. People have been known to jump out of vans and rob one of their packages and purses. Also do the same if you are putting your child in a car seat and get in the car, lock it and then secure your child.

I thought these were good tips to share. HAPPY Shopping!

China… Business, History and New Developments

temple_of_heavenI recently returned from a trip with the American Chamber of Commerce Executives to China. It was an amazing experience. We had the opportunity to meet with several American companies doing business in China as well as American / China Chamber of Commerce officials. We were able to see the country through a well organized tour.  I was really impressed with the opportunities that exist there for our members and will be putting together a group visit for members and residents to visit China in 2010.

The trip coincided with the 60th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China when Mao Zedong declared its foundation from the Gate of Heavenly Peace in Beijing.  To celebrate, the entire country went on vacation for eight days – many visiting the great sites of national importance, including the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, the Summer Palace, the Great Wall and other ancient locations.

The primary take-away for us was that China is, and will continue to be, a very complex place which takes time to understand yet is open to foreign visitors and investors. With 1.3 billion people in China, the implications of growth are pretty clear; a natural market for many goods and services and the potential to increase the pollution evident in the skies and water.  While many items are manufactured in China, the country has a deficit in business leadership. This is their largest business challenge. The gap was created during the Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976 when education was virtually eradicated in China. Eventually, that changed, but today it has created opportunity for “foreigners” as we were called. Many western companies are now in the country helping develop skills and matching business leadership with the government-encouraged joint ventures.

I have more to say about China, but I won’t overwhelm you in one post.  Come say hello at a Chamber event and I’ll fill you in on more of the trip.  I hope you’ll join us next year with your fellow Chamber members.  It is definitely a country on the move and a country for Americans to better understand.