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Chamber of Commerce members headed to China

100 members of the business group to visit Beijing in November

Posted: July 7, 2008 1:27 a.m.
Updated: September 7, 2008 5:03 a.m.
International athletes aren’t the only ones who will get a glimpse of what China has to offer this year.
Come November, around 100 members of the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce will make their mark in Beijing.

The business organization is planning a tour of the country for the first time as a way to give its members a firsthand look at the rapidly developing nation.

“It’s probably the fastest growing nation in the world as far as economic power,” said Larry Mankin, president of the SCV Chamber of Commerce.

The trip, set for Nov. 2 to 10, is designed to give attendees a chance to experience popular attractions, like the Great Wall and Tiananmen Square.

Mankin also hopes the trip will create a networking opportunity among not only the members, but the Chinese.

Of the 160 available spots, so far 70 people have signed up for the weeklong trip, Mankin said.
Those 70 represent industries ranging from retail to financial services and even public relations. The cost is $1,599 and includes airfare, transportation, hotel accommodations and meals, among other costs.
“It’s a pretty good reflection of this community,” Mankin said.

Calvin Hedman, president of Hedman & Associates in Valencia, said the chamber’s trip will mark his first time to China.

“I’ve always wanted to go to China because a lot of my clients do business there,” he said.
When the chamber’s “economical trip” came along, Hedman decided to sign up.

Along with exploring China’s business operations, Hedman, who will be traveling with his wife, said he is looking forward to seeing the major sights and getting to know the chamber members he will travel with.
Scott Wilk, owner of Liaison Communications, also will be traveling to China for the first time.
He cites his “passion for life-long learning” as one reason for his interest in the trip.

Wilk is looking forward to the business component of the trip, which will pair businesses from the U.S. with those from China.

“There might be an opportunity to do business,” he said.

For the time being, Wilk said he has a “wide array of business interests,” and plans to do more studying about the country until the trip.

“I got a bunch of books on the night stand about China,” ranging in topics from history to economics, he said.

While the first few days of the trip will take members around Beijing, Mankin said attendees will also explore other cities like Shanghai and Hangzhou.

Aside from the sightseeing, Mankin said the chamber will host one evening where travelers can find out more about what it takes to buy or sell products in China.

“We anticipate a very good turnout from that,” he said.

Mankin said the chamber is receiving “lots of calls” from interested business leaders and expects more to sign up in the coming weeks.

“It should just be a great experience for all people,” he said.

For more information about the SCV Chamber of Commerce’s trip to China, call the chamber offices at (661) 702-6977.


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