As a member of the WSCRC Board of Directors, Yamaguchi will contribute to the region’s economic vitality and cultural diversity by working with board members to advocate for increased trade and other economic opportunities.
View original press release on EDASC website.
The Washington State China Relations Council appointed Sean Connell, EDASC Director of Business Development and Global Competitiveness, to its Board of Directors on February 8. The Council, which was founded in 1979 following the normalization of diplomatic relations between the United States and the People’s Republic of China, is the oldest nongovernmental organization advocating at the state level for increased trade connections with China. The Council’s staff and board of directors regularly advise leaders from business, government and civic sectors on issues related to China, and the organization plays a central role in the attraction of direct investment from China into Washington State.
Mr. Connell has worked closely with the Washington State China Relations Council since 2014 to foster economic connections between Skagit County and Northwestern Washington State communities and China. Since July 2016 he has chaired the Council’s Government Affairs Committee, and during 2017 supported the Council in launching its Policy Briefing Series, which engages leading subject-matter experts from government, industry, law, and technology communities to provide in-depth insights on current key issues in U.S.-China-Washington State relations. Additionally, he worked with the Council and Washington State University Skagit County Extension last fall to launch the Skagit County China Briefing Series, an ongoing series of workshops for regional audiences to introduce the fundamentals of doing business in China and key issues in the Washington State-China relationship.
“As a nationally-recognized Asia expert and director of business development and global competitiveness for the Economic Development Alliance of Skagit County, Sean Connell’s appointment as a new board director of the Washington State China Relations Council will expand collaboration between Skagit County and the Council in raising awareness of China and Asia-focused trade policy in Washington state,” stated WSCRC President Mercy Kuo.
EDASC CEO John Sternlicht noted, “Mr. Connell’s appointment not only allows the statewide group to take advantage of his Asia expertise, but also helps elevate Skagit County to potentially garner more attention for foreign direct investment.”
The Economic Development Alliance of Skagit County (EDASC) serves as Skagit County, Washington’s economic development organization, working to improve and diversify the economy for greater prosperity for all businesses and residents. Through its programs targeting business recruitment, retention and expansion, EDASC seeks to foster an advantageous environment for all sectors of Skagit County to prosper. Learn more on our website.
The Washington State China Relations Council is the nation’s oldest statewide organization dedicated to promoting stronger commercial, educational, and cultural engagement with China. The WSCRC has actively worked for over 40 years and their membership is comprised of over 100 companies, financial institutions, ports, municipal governments, institutions of higher education, and cultural organizations.
On December 6, 2017, the Washington State China Relations Council convened the Brown Bag Briefing Series with an informative presentation from Jing Dipiero on, “Healthcare in China: Challenges and Opportunities” in Seattle, WA. Jing, a WSCRC Silver Member, is the founder and CEO of DPR Consulting, a firm which provides comprehensive healthcare solutions to individuals, physicians, hospitals and local governments with a special focus on China.
Having been born and raised in Beijing before relocating her career to the US, Jing has acquired an uncommon depth of understanding and keen ability to navigate within the two systems. She expertly guided the audience through a history of healthcare in China, citing various challenges and reform efforts that have shaped the present structure. Life expectancy has increased steadily, infant mortality has decreased drastically, and access to health services has broadened significantly.
However, Ms. Dipiero’s analysis of healthcare in China compared to the US revealed that the system remains rife with challenges. As per capita income of the Chinese population rises, many patients are seeking higher quality healthcare options, as exemplified in recent upsurge of “medical tourism.” Opportunities for medical professionals, investors and technologists abound throughout the country.
Jing outlined Chinese government plans to enhance the quality of care in clinics, to provide insurance and a family physician for 100% of the population, and to curb individual expenditures. Ms. Dipiero pointed out that each of these objectives will need the support of various medical industries, and explained how a knowledgeable consulting partner such as DPR can assist in navigating the unfamiliar policy landscape of Chinese healthcare to increase efficiency and generate maximum impact.
Over 25 representatives from DPR Consulting, Swedish Hospital, Wyzlink, Oncology Edge Consulting, Seattle Chinese Garden and Seattle-Chongqing Sister City Association, CREATe, SEngine Precision Medicine, Inc., Harris Bricken PLLC, Attune Healthcare Partners, Oregon China Sister State Relation Council and North America China Council attended this briefing.
Summary Author: Trudy Boothman
On November 8, 2017, the Washington State China Relations Council and Gold Member Kidder Mathews convened a panel of real estate experts for a conversation on, “Pacific Northwest and National Real Estate Trends: the China Factor.” Speakers included Holly Yang, Head of Seattle China Services for Kidder Mathews in Seattle, Vik Bangia, founder of Verum Consulting, and Glen Gioseffi, Debt Equity and Finance expert with Kidder Mathews. Brian Hatcher, Executive Vice President of Brokerage for Kidder Mathews, moderated this event at The Bravern Signature Residences in Bellevue, Washington.
Brian Hatcher launched the discussion with a 2017 commercial real estate market update for the Seattle and Bellevue areas. A comprehensive analysis of growth rates in commercial real estate indicates that continued and sustained growth can be expected, as exemplified by the pre-leasing of 50% of the office space currently under construction in Seattle and the 67% pre-lease rate in Bellevue.
Holly Yang expounded on financing options for Chinese investors, including the EB-5 immigrant investor program. She discussed the excessive wait time now associated with the popular EB-5 investment program and Chinese capital controls on outgoing real estate investment funds. Holly concluded that despite the Chinese government’s strong hand in directing capital, funds continue to flow to the US, which is viewed as a “safe haven” for investment money. Glen Gioseffi, who has funded over one billion dollars in commercial debt, contributed his knowledge of the necessity of debt financing to enable growth.
Vik Bangia shared findings from his research into the characteristics of the Millennial employees, a demographic which is occupying commercial space at an increased rate. Vik explained how this demographic tends to prize clarity, flexibility, satisfaction, and significance in the workplace, and how these values can be reflected even in a company’s commercial space. For example, the ratio of square foot to person has dropped in recent years from 200 square feet per employee to a mere 48 square feet per person.
The wide-ranging and extensive knowledge of the panelists created a superb venue for audience members to submit varied queries into the complexities of regional and national real estate trends. More than 60 representatives from the commercial and residential real estate, investment, banking, and legal communities attended this standing-room only event and exclusive networking reception.
Special thanks to Kidder Mathews for convening the panel and co-hosting with WSCRC, and to The Bravern Signature Residences for providing the outstanding venue.
Summary author: Trudy Boothman