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Guangzhou promotes Fortune Global Forum in Tokyo

Guangzhou, China’s most integral business center and gateway to the outside world, is enabling a new level of collaboration and innovation between Chinese and Japanese enterprises by following through on a series of progressive business and economic initiatives set forth by the humming southern capital of Guangdong Province. In 2016, import-exports between Guangzhou and Japan grew to USD$ 12.77 billion representing a 12.5 percent total increase from the year prior. Of that, imports from Japan to Guangzhou totaled USD$ 9.31 billion, an 11.8 percent rise, while exports from Guangzhou to Japan increased 14.4 percent, to USD$ 3.46 billion.

 

By the end of 2016, Japanese companies had invested in and established 626 enterprises in Guangzhou with the actual use of foreign capital totaling USD$ 5.24 billion. At the same time, Guangzhou companies continued to invest in Japan, establishing 16 enterprises with a total investment volume of USD$6.65 million.

 

“There’s a powerful synergy that’s growing between our two great nations, with Guangzhou at the heart of it all,” said Guangzhou Vice Mayor Cai Chaolin. “Many leading Japanese enterprises have already recognized the benefits and ample opportunities that exist for them through Guangzhou’s business-friendly environment, and it has been our great honor to work closely with them to advance our two economies. We look forward to an even brighter, more interconnected and collaborative future with our Japanese counterparts.”

 

The Vice Mayor is in Tokyo this week keynoting a private forum on innovative cooperation between Chinese and Japanese enterprises. This event comes as an early precursor as the Chinese city readies to host the highly anticipated 2017 Global Fortune Forum in December. The Global Fortune Forum will convene world leaders and the heads of global business in Guangzhou to discuss the dynamic world of international commerce, creating an opportunity for CEOs of the  Fortune Global 500 to meet and engage with Chinese leaders from the public and private sectors.

 

In Japan this week, the Vice Mayor is joined by additional representatives from the Guangzhou government, the Consulate General of China in Japan, the Chairman of the Guangzhou Automobile Group, Mr. Zeng Qinghong, as well as representatives from the Fortune Global Forum, JETRO, Nomura Holdings and various Japanese Fortune 500 companies. Their locally-hosted forum will welcome 100 executives from major Japanese corporations to learn about and discuss collaboration and innovation between the two regions, and jointly address the best path forward for businesses.

 

Many of the world’s top 500 enterprises have set up stations in Guangzhou, with a broad investment portfolio ranging from electronics to automobiles, fine chemicals, food and beverage, electronic information, metal manufacturing, intelligent equipment and beyond. Already, Japanese auto giants like Honda, Toyota and Nissan have established automobile manufacturing plants in the city to capitalize on its progressive investment offerings and rapidly growing business landscape. In addition, Guangzhou has welcomed the likes of Honda TechnologyResearch, JFE, Denso and other related businesses; Mitsui Sumitomo Bank, Mizuho Bank and other modern service enterprises; as well as Sony, Olympus, Panasonic, Hitachi and other advanced manufacturing enterprises.

 

The Guangzhou Automobile Group is a prime example of the kind of innovative collaboration taking place between the two nations. The Chinese group has successfully endeavored joint venture businesses with Japanese enterprises to form Guangzhou Automobile Honda, Guangzhou Toyota and Guangzhou Automobile Mitsubishi; through these joint ventures the group can hasten the localization process, develop more Chinese products and services and constantly enrich its product line, resulting in a mutually beneficial, win-win cooperation.

 

Foreign-funded enterprises in Guangzhou enjoy high level of localization in terms of management and technical personnel, and many foreign enterprises have established research and development centers in industrial parks of the city, which help them to understand and effectively cater to regional markets.

 

The city is also constantly raising the level of investment and trade facilitation, and developing reforms for entrepreneurs to foster a convenient investment, operational and development atmosphere. This includes the streamlining of administrative examinations and approval permissions. Guangzhou also continues to reduce the burden on enterprises, lowering operating costs and helping enterprises by reducing administrative fees, setting up government funds and implementing policies to reduce insurance rates. In recent years, the city’s talent introduction scheme has also enabled the region to attract more international talent with innovative spirit and drive.

 

As a comprehensive transportation hub, Guangzhou also allows for more global openness and interconnectivity via its vast port, rapidly expanding international airport, far-reaching railways and strong highway system.

 

“Beyond the incredible business environment blossoming in Guangzhou, our city serves as a welcoming cultural interchange, allowing people and enterprises to come together harmoniously,” Vice Mayor Cai added. “Our long summers and warm winters make our home even more welcoming, plus our fantastic food and beverage offerings make this one of the most ideal places to live and work, and that is only becoming more true as we usher in more talent and inspiration from our Japanese friends.”

 

Source: Guangzhou Municipal Government

YONER-Liberia Ends One-Day GIST TechConnect Event

By Mafanta Kromah

The Youth Network for Reform (YONER-Liberia), in partnership with US Embassy on Tuesday March 4, 2017 ended a one-day GIST TectConnect event in improving and promoting entrepreneurship, innovation, science and technology for youth empowerment and socioeconomic development in the country.

 

Speaking on the topic, “building and supporting your start-up community”, Christina D. Taylor, the National Sale Manager Cellcom Technologies who served as the 1st Motivational Speaker noted that entrepreneurship is the act of taking up a risk to start-up a business with the hope of getting a profit.

 

She said an entrepreneur is a person with passion to move from being an employee to an employer, noting that it should be a way that will benefit the community.

Madam Taylor stressed that being an entrepreneur is to avoid the ’30 days Notice’, which she described as working for someone and fear to start your own business because of failure.

 

She maintained that it is good to start business with Other People Money (OMP) which includes loans, partners and government money and apply passion to move to another stage of the business.

 

She encouraged young entrepreneurs to dream big, always make a positive decision, be doer, with determination.

She said dedication to what one is doing is very important along with devotion and detailed understanding of what they are doing.

Madam Taylor who is an adjunct lecturer at the University of Liberia and the owner of a real estate Eagles Landing Apartment Inc. is noted for promoting women professional development.

 

At the same time, the Manager of ICampus, Luther Jeke urged young entrepreneurs to be more creative in whatever part of entrepreneurship they are involved with.

He said they should create sustainable ideas that can go beyond people expectations and collaborate with their fellow young people that might have the same ore similar idea.

 

Jeke noted that ICampus is willing to help any young entrepreneur that has great ideas especially in agriculture.

 

YONER-Liberia is a non governmental organization that seeks to promote the talent of young people through entrepreneurship, innovation, science and technology. It also seeks to promote development through the skills of young Liberians.

New Promotion Film of China’s Guangzhou Unveiled

On the morning of March 28, 2017, a five-minute promo video of Guangzhou was premiered at the opening ceremony of 2017 Guangzhou Annual Investment Conference.

Guangzhou is the capital and most populous city of the province of Guangdong in southern China.

The video, titled “Guangzhou, Flower City in Bloom”, showcases an artistic, international and high-tech Guangzhou with beautiful environment and happy life.

According to a dispatch from Augustus Chen of Information Office of Guangzhou Municipality, the the story of the video is about a foreign man and a Chinese lady, knowing each other and falling in love in Guangzhou. From their perspective, the video shows the city’s legend & originality, color & warmth, growth & vitality. In this video, you can see traditional Guangzhou as well as modern Guangzhou.

Hailed as Flower City, flowers are certainly the highlight of the video, the city flower kapok, azalea along the street, flowers in the park, flower fair, and flower market.

Culture is also an important part being shown in the video. Kwon-glazed porcelain, Cantonese Embroidery, Cantonese Opera, herbal tea, fashion design, sculpture, and more are presented to show Guangzhou’s charm and character.

The main melody of background music is “Colorful Clouds Chasing The Moon” (in Chinese 彩云追月), a classic piece of Cantonese music. It is a new orchestration of Chinese and Western musical instruments, including flute, guitar, gong & drum and jazz drum.

Previous to this, the 30-second version of this promo video was displayed on the “China Screen” at New York Time Square from March 11 to 17, drawing coverage of about 400 foreign media, including USA Today, Yahoo, Deutsch Press Agency, ABC, NBC, and FOX. In only two days, the video was viewed for over 5 million times online, 200,000 times on Fackbook and Twitter, with numerous likes.

A New Zealand net friend Loh Siewling commented that Guangzhou’s changes over the past 20 years are incredible; the city’s airport used to be like a bus station, no highways nor skyscrapers could be seen in the city; now Guangzhou is like any other modern mega-cities in the world.

Netizen Doris King who liked the video said the the city is so beautiful and the buildings are amazing. Many overseas Chinese from Guangzhou also commented that they missed Cantonese morning tea a lot.

FLOWER FAIRS

Guangzhou has the nickname ‘Flower City’, thanks to its year-round warm weather which other parts of the country is denied of. The locals’ enthusiasm for flowers as decorations at home reaches its prime when the annual Flower Fairs is held just before the Chinese New Year.

Usually lasting for around a week and finishing late on the eve or a week after the Chinese New Year, the Flower Fairs are staged in all 8 districts of the city and reaches the climax right on the eve of the Chinese New Year. You should expect to see various types of flowers in rows, as well as the crazy crowd around them. People believe that flowers are symbols of prosperity, so at the turn of the year it’s extremely important to have the flowers with you to change the feng shui and hope for good luck for the coming year.

It is said that Guangzhou has held flower fairs for more than 500 years now and the locals truly believe the old saying, “No flower fairs, no New Year.” If you happen to be traveling to/in Guangzhou during the Chinese New Year times, go and experience it.

SHOPPING PARADISE

Being the center of the Pearl River Delta, also dubbed as “the world’s factory”, Guangzhou is a place where you can find everything at a very competitive price, for foreigners and local Chinese alike. There are quite a number of wholesale markets in the city, ranging from electronic products to clothes, shoes, accessories, bags and suitcases and many others. If you are not up for wholesale, it’s also a retail center! Shopping centers and streets provide loads of options at very attractive prices. Make sure you have a good budget control and are aware of your luggage limits for all your shopping in Guangzhou!

Located on the Pearl River about 120 km (75 mi) north-northwest of Hong Kong and 145 km (90 mi) north of Macau, Guangzhou was a major terminus of the maritime Silk Road and continues to serve as a major port and transportation hub.

Guangzhou is currently, the third most-populous city in mainland China, behind Beijing (2nd) and Shanghai (1st); holds sub-provincial administrative status; and is one of China’s five National Central Cities. In 2015 the city’s administrative area was estimated to have a population of 13,501,100 and forms part of one of the most populous metropolitan agglomerations on Earth. Some estimates place the population of the built-up area of the Pearl River Delta Mega City as high as 44 million without the Hong Kong SAR and 54 million including it. Guangzhou is identified as a Beta+ Global city. In recent years, there has been a rapidly increasing number of foreign residents and illegal immigrants from Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe, as well as from Africa This has led to it being dubbed the “Capital of the Third World”. The migrant population from other provinces of China in Guangzhou was 40 percent of the city’s total population in 2008. Most of them are poor rural migrants, and they speak only non-Cantonese varieties of Chinese, such as Mandarin.

Guangzhou was long the only Chinese port permitted for most foreign traders. The city proper fell to the British and was opened by the First Opium War. It lost trade to other ports such as Hong Kong and Shanghai, but continued to serve as a major entrepôt. In modern commerce, Guangzhou is best known for its annual Canton Fair, the oldest and largest trade fair in China. For the three consecutive years 2013–2015, Forbes ranked Guangzhou as the best commercial city on the Chinese mainland.

 

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Some market women on government’s back

By Mafanta Kromah

Some market women in the Red Light area have frowned on the government of Liberia for what they call failing to empower women and children as promised them by President. Read more

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Senate Protempore Hints 2017 Challenges….Highlights Importance of Coordination In Govt.

Senate Protempore Armah Zolu Jallah has hinted at major challenges facing the nation as activities leading to the much coveted October 10, 2017, general and presidential elections gradually draws nearer. Read more

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Gov’t Commits To Mechanize Financing … For Agriculture Sector

By: Teacee Gbeway

 

Vice President Joseph Boakai has disclosed government’s commitment to ensure that the country’s agriculture sector is designed to provide innovative financing mechanism.

The Liberian Vice President made the disclosure Tuesday, when he served as Keynote Speaker at the opening of a two-day the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Food Enterprise Development (FED) Agric-business Expo held at the Monrovia City Hall.

He said the government’s intervention will include small and medium size enterprise (SMEs), agricultural financing mechanism such as incentive-based risk-sharing facilities for agricultural lending and social bond.

The program, according to the Unity Party (UP) Standard Bearer also disclosed that the innovative financing will also cover catalytic financing facilities, agriculture-relevant e-wallet, and digital financing mechanisms.

Vice President Boakai committed that the government is working closely with the African Development Bank (AFDB) and the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) to design and set up the ” Liberia Incentive Based Risk Sharing Agriculture Lending” (LIRSAL) based on going best practices in Nigeria and other African countries with support from AFDB and AGRA.

He said reducing post harvest losses, strengthening value addition, establishing structured markets and marketing systems can all contribute to sustainable food security.

The Keynote speaker emphasized that the estimated rate of post harvest losses in Liberia is approximately 35 to 40 percent, stressing that the losses are caused by improper processing, poor storage practices and transport constraints, which is one way to attain food security and reduce the rate of post harvest.

He lamented that the government is encouraging stronger framework for collaboration and agreed scorecard for mutual accountability to judge the results of the implementation of huge investments in various programs and projects both by government and development partners and NGOs.

Vice President further emphasized that both the government and development partners should be held accountable for huge sums of funds spent in the agriculture sector, as well as other sectors, for economic growth and transformation for shared prosperity and improved livelihoods of citizens.

“We are impressed that this is taking place with some of the best minds that understand the Liberia agriculture sector. I am confident that the topic will be probed with the rigor and intelligence that it demands” he noted.

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Calm Returns To Cocopa

By: Gborontaye Gboron

 

Calm has returned to the Cocopa Rubber Plantations in Gbannah Clan, Nimba County following demonstration by workers at the plantations in demand of salaries owned them by the plantation’s management.

On Monday September 12, 2016, workers of the COCOPA plantation blocked the main highway between Nimba County and the southeastern region.

Speaking on behalf of the Workers’ Union, the Vice President Alphanso Luogon called on the management to settle the arrears of the balance 679 workers to enable them register their children to school.

He said the management paid 425 workers and resettled their families in other parts, while the remaining 679 are unpaid.

The Vice president issued a three-day ultimatum to settle the arrears to avoid further demonstration that will impede the normal flow of traffic.

Since early 2016, tension has continued to mount between the management and the workers union over the delay in receiving salaries and other incentives.

The workers Union President Sarpah Mahn alleged the management owned over 625 workers resettlement packages as per the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between workers and the management.

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