U.S. businessman tells years-long love for China

08:08, May 26, 2010      

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American businessman Evan Betzer describes himself as a "China-fan". He speaks fluent and standard Chinese, and his mother-in-law is a Chinese.

Betzer is one of the three principals of a Texas-based investment bank Stoneworth Financial, LLC., which provides capital and consulting for medium- and small-size companies.

In Betzer's office in downtown Houston, a Chinese painting of a horse hangs on one wall.

"My interest in China began in my high school years," Betzer told Xinhua reporters in a recent interview.

He had been studying Chinese throughout his college years. In 1994-1996, he was assigned to Beijing as a visa officer at the U.S. embassy in China.

"In two years, I had interviews with more than 50,000 Chinese who applied for a U.S. visa," he said, adding this experience has greatly enriched his knowledge of China.

Since entering the business world in 1997, Betzen has given much of his attention to the Chinese market.

"The U.S. market is the biggest in the world, and the Chinese market is the most charming in the world," he said.

Of his company's 30 clients, six are from China, according to Betzer.

Betzer said his knowledge of the Chinese market has changed throughout the years.

In 2002, he realized the potential for his company to do business with China. But at that time, he thought companies which can do business with China should be large companies.

However, two years ago, he came to realize that medium- and small-size companies also have the chance to do business with China.

And now, after years of observing the Chinese market, Betzer said that compared with large companies, medium- and small-size companies, which are less likely to be affected by political and other factors, have better chance.

Betzer then began introducing his clients to the Chinese markets. These clients have benefited from their relations with China, he said.

Citing as an example of these clients' success stories, Betzer said that in 2006, one of his clients, a Houston-based plastic plant, was in trouble because some of its products were out- competed by their foreign counterparts.

Betzer found for the U.S. plant a partner in Chinese city Baoding, which was quite strong in producing the products that the U.S. company was not so capable of making. With the help from its Chinese partner, the U.S. plastic plant survived, Betzer said.

At the beginning, U.S. and Chinese enterprises might have teamed up for the purpose of survival, but in the future, their partnership will be for better development, Betzer said.

Betzer believes the investment environment in China has been improving throughout the years, and now its the best time for medium- and small-size businesses to enter each other's markets.



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