About ninety Rochester area business leaders attended a symposium last week hosted by Greater Rochester Enterprise and the International Business Council on doing business in China under the country's new leadership.
Leah George, international trade associate for GRE and IBC, said the enormous middle class in China is being encouraged by the country's new leaders to spend more money in the marketplace. George says this presents new opportunities for Rochester area manufacturers, but not before they do quite a bit of preparation. George said the symposium featured a panel of speakers offering advice to business leaders on everything from IT security to laws governing Chinese labor and distribution. George said China is the Rochester area's second ranking trading partner, behind Canada and ahead of Mexico.
Bill Simpson, vice president of global supply and Asia operations for Gleason Corporation, says that company has been doing business with China since 1986. Gleason built a manufacturing facility in China in 2007 and last year, opened a new, larger plant there. He says local entrepreneurs may think doing business in China is more difficult than it really is, however Gleason says it does require due diligence. Gleason's China operation produces automotive manufacturing machines and cutting tools that serve the growing Chinese automotive market.