Cablegate: Taiwan's Kuomintang Representative Given Warm Reception In

DE RUEHSH #0131 1920912
P 110912Z JUL 07




E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Taiwan's Kuomintang Representative Given Warm Reception in

1. Summary: The 18th Harbin International Fair for Trade and
Economic Cooperation attracted participants from all over the world,
showing that what was once largely a Sino-Russian event has become
truly international. Event organizers claimed two hundred of the
world's five hundred largest corporations were represented. However,
corporate representatives took a back seat to Taiwan's Kuomintang
Representative, Wang Chih-kang, who was an honored guest, placed
before any business representatives or representatives of state or
local governments. End Summary.

2. The 18th annual Harbin International Trade Fair, June 15-19,
attracted large delegations from forty-one different countries, with
smaller scale representation from an additional thirty-nine
countries. The American Chamber of Commerce in Beijing sponsored an
American presentation followed by one-on-one meetings hosted by
various American companies. The largest American groups were John
Deere, long a major presence in Heilongjiang (its factory in the
soybean heartland of Jiamusu converted from joint venture to
wholly-owned status in 2004 and last year improved its quality to
earn the right to use the official company logo), and Home Depot,
which sent a large team from Hong Kong and the United States. Home
Depot's goals were two-fold: seeking suppliers while looking for an
entry into to the Harbin retail building-supplies market. Russia,
which is Heilongjiang's number one trading partner (the United
States is second), had the largest number of representatives, with
more than one hundred companies offering a variety of products from
geo-thermal heat pumps to wood products, processed foods, and

3. Harbin's young and dynamic new Mayor, Zhang Xiaolian, hosted a
dinner for high-level guests of the fair. As is typical at such
events, they sat with Zhang at the head table and were introduced in
precise rank order. Introduced first were national level
representatives from Hungary and Czech Republic, immediately
followed by Wang Chi-kang, "the representative of Taiwan Kuomintang
(KMT) central committee" (taiwan guomindang zhongyanghui daibiao).
Wang, formerly Taiwan's Minister of Economic Affairs under Lee
Teng-hui, brought a delegation of over one hundred Taiwanese
businessmen, making it by far the largest one ever sent to the
event by Taiwan. The fourth quest of honor was also from Taiwan:
Chang Han-wen, Chairman of the National Association of Taiwanese
Businessmen. Only afterward did the mayor recognize state and local
government and business representatives.

4. A tour of the various vendor booths revealed a wide variety of
goods, many of which were of dubious origin. There were obviously
fake "Ralph Lauren" goods, along with what appeared to be knock-off
Mont Blanc pens and a variety of phony designer handbags. One of the
vendors told Econoff that the goods were made in Fujian Province and
then shipped to Dalian. Most of the vendors with counterfeit
merchandise hailed from Dalian, in Liaoning Province. Econoff
pointed out the suspect goods to Fair organizers who promptly
chastised the vendors and closed their booths.

5. There was also a dizzying array of legitimate merchandise. John
Deere had an outdoor display that covered nearly 10,000 square feet,
featuring a variety of large farm equipment. Other prominent
products included log-cabin construction kits, solar geo-thermal and
wind-power systems, and a large variety of kitchenware and small
appliances. Most of the non-clothing items on display were of
either Chinese or Russian origin. South Korean manufacturers also
had a robust presence. While several East European countries sent
representatives, their vendors were nowhere to be seen.


© Scoop Media

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