Speaker: Awareness in Asian markets grows

First Posted: 2/23/2015

LIMA — Asia may prove to be a large opportunity for businesses in America, two speakers at the Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce said Monday.

Local business owners and members of the Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce members were taught the benefits of sourcing business and capital from Asia at a seminar led by Brian Hicks and Richard Smith.

Hicks, the managing director of MidAmerican Global Ventures, spoke of EB-5 financing. EB-5 financing allows people from other countries to come to the United States for employment opportunites funded by various companies in the states.

The United States is a slower country to get on board with this type of program, Hicks said, as countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Bulgaria and others widely use this method of employment.

Smith, the head of Corporate Finance at Tractus Asia, said his role is to help “Western businesses do business in Asia.”

“We also help companies who are in Asia who have made mistakes and help clean that up,” Smith said, as well as promoting trade globally.

“The world’s changed” in that consumers are much more resourced in technology than in the past, causing the demand for services in various industries to grow, Smith said.

In the past, however, Smith said the global financial crises were driven by the United States for various reasons. Smith cited the U.S. recession from 2007 to 2009, as well as the drop and shift in the venture capital industry.

“The U.S. is no longer the sole source of capital,” Smith said, noting new market opportunities are born beyond the traditional North American and Eurpoean geograpies. “China has the sencond largest private equity market in the world.”

“Governments are also very involved in entrepreneruism,” Smith said. “Government is your friend in these instances.” Smith said that the China has been “generally driven by an investment economy,” and that the Chinese government is interested in “restructuring that into a consumerist society.”

It is expected the United States will gradually increase their exports to China, Smith said.

“About 10 years ago, no one would talk about investment in these Asian countries,” Smith said, referring to countires such as Singapore, China, Taiwan and others.

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