Issuu on Google+

Delta Bridges October-November 2008, Issue 1

Plus: Canton Fair Visas Fastracking Zhuhai Macau’s Shiny Property

Su Lau w bs nc w c w. r h de ip E lta ti d br on iti id s on ge o s.c n ! om ly

Guangdong Gothams A 2010 Urban Odyssey


Delta Bridges South China Business Magazine Editorial Editor-in-Chief:

Christopher Cottrell

Senior Editor: Lena Gidwani

Editor-at-Large: Charles Gutzlaff

Contributing Writers:

Caroline Chan, Kelly Leung, Kevin Tsang

Contributing Photographer: Xuejiao

Columnist:

Melody Chu Mei Feng

Art & Design Art Director: Ms. Kat

Designer: Ken Xu

Operations: President:

Peter Hourle

Publisher: JJ Verdun

Director of Sales & Marketing: Christopher Bradshaw sales@deltabridges.com

Sales Assistants:

Linda Choi, Alex Ng

Dr. Strange’s love It’s a sultry afternoon in Guangzhou as I sit down to write this editor’s note. Below the balcony of the Sichuan noodle shop where I type, its classic Canton. Bicycle bells, steamed dim-sum and bird-cages. There is a sweetness here that I have come to love since moving from Shanghai to this part of China nearly four years ago. Without pandering to cliché or belaboring myopic metaphors, I can say this about this street: it’s a gem. A gem with an uncertain future. Then again, the future is by definition uncertain, isn’t it? A few blocks from here, the old cafes of Jian She Liu Ma Lu have been closed. Developers are no doubt primed to knock down the buildings across the street from here — for, what else, more high-rise condominiums. How original. Three blocks away from the savory broths of this shop, the Garden Hotel lobby cafe is abuzz with talk of trade. The meltdown is on countless puckered lips. Yet here, along this street, lies a few answers to the global financial crisis. There is a value of saving and frugality. Hard bargaining. Personal responsibility. Living within one’s means. A rejection of investing on speculation. Of buying tangible products. It’s a set of values and habits that has made Guangzhou one of China’s richest cities. Peering at this street, I am reminded of political economist Dr. Susan Strange’s book “Casino Capitalism.” No, I don’t mean Macau, where consenting adults go to spend as consenting adults, as they please. Although “Casino Capitalism” was published in the mid-1980s, Dr. Strange’s labor of love — a formidable critique of power focusing on production, security, finance and knowledge — seems so strangely haunting today. Yes, it’s a mantra that many European economists are decrying now — especially as poor Iceland fiscally sinks into the Atlantic like Atlantis. Gone in a day. As I twist my noodles, I think of the twist that Dr. Strange’s book might mean today. It pertains to this pertinent question: is the US still a hegemon? As a Californian, I am not so sure. Fair enough: Dr. Strange’s concept, in crude form, means that maverick markets on the move have global volatility. Wall Street maiming main streets such as this. Not so easily on this street in downtown Guangzhou, however. Here the majority of denizens are gray in hair yet spry as foxes when it comes to negotiating for goods. Chock it up to the intelligence of senior citizens and China’s management of banks, but there’s a reason why this street still thrives on its own pulse. What’s that reason? The cost of that insight is the cost of this street. Priceless. Possible answers from minds at companies such as AIG or Lehman Brothers no longer sound sage, do they? In fact, it seems the talking heads of international finance sound feckless and debunked. Shoppers below this balcony can tell you that. Which is why this new media company, Delta Bridges, is putting our trust in localized voices of businesses and people based in China. This magazine is the start of just one part of the Delta Bridges media platform. As one might surmise from the cover, we write about the Pearl River Delta and South China. We talk about what’s going on in business here from insiders’ perspectives. We consider our coverage “Deep Delta.” We hope our work is as good as the noodles in this Guangzhou street shop are sublime. And we hope you become regular readers. Christopher Cottrell Editor-in-Chief

Mailing address: 3, Calcada do Quartel Coloane, Macau E-mail: info@deltabridges.com

DELTA BRIDGES

Oct-Nov. 2008




Contents

2008/Oct-Nov

• Delta Bridges

22 38 40

28 45 24 17 People 16

Rayson’s cooking up a storm Simone Xue’s secret art collective

49

22

Where’s the Canton Fair weather blowing?

17 Dr. Kirby’s emotional intelligence

24 Zhongshan puts on the Aloha

18 A farewell toast to Consul General Fritz Bruns!

28 Zhuhai’s fast flying spirit

20 Mr. Grenon is racing to win



DELTA BRIDGES

Oct-Nov. 2008

Cover Story

Features 32

Guangdong Gothams, what 2010 means to the delta

Property 38 Macau’s property keeps its shine 40 Sanya Bay’s suite shores get sweeter

Briefings 09/ In the news 11/ Delta focus

10/ Go figures 12/ 9+2 watch

Business Calendar

14/ Canton Fair, GZ Auto-Show, Wine Gourmet Asia, Maritime Expo and more

Lifestyle

44/ Appetite for seduction at Morton’s 45/ Uncorking at Zhuhai’s stellar cellar 46/ Quan Spa Special 47/ Shanghai Tennis Master’s Cup 48/ 15 hours in Guangzhou, silky travel and lost in Dongshan 49/ Monkey island mischief, Claudio’s Ferrari and Brauhaus beach

Delta Pearls

50/ Melody Chu Mei Feng on Delta solace

DELTA BRIDGES

Oct-Nov. 2008




In the news

Guangdong’s clean and secure energy NY Times talks about GD going green

Z

huhai has it. So does Guangdong. We’re talking about serious strides towards green energy and technology solutions. Really. One might infer this from the recent writings and television interviews of New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman. The acclaimed author raised this topic on the September 9 airing of the David Letterman television show. Friedman, who won acclaim in China for his book “zThe World is Flat,” told Letterman, “I just came from China. I was visiting wind and solar farms down in Southern China. They’re gonna do it [seek green energy and technology solutions].” The interview underscored his most recent article: “Postcard from South China,” which ran on August 31st. Friedman wrote,“I had the pleasure the other day of visiting the delightfully named Zhuhai Guohua Wonderful Wind Power Exploitation Co. in Zhuhai.” Moreover, “the good news was that the Chinese engineers showed me their control room…. ‘How nice,’ I thought. ‘China’s really starting to go green.’” Then he glanced east at Macau. He did some arithmetic — the windmills could only power, “the Venetian’s army of one-armed bandits for a few hours of green gambling.” In other words: regional energy demand far outstrips the current green power infrastructure. Friedman was invited to visit the windmill factory and area by Wang Yang, the Communist Party Chief for Guangdong province. Of Wang, Friedman said, “Right now he is focused on trying to shift dirty, low-wage manufacturing out of Guangzhou to the countryside where jobs are scarce. And he is trying to attract clean industries to the city. His goal, he said, was a more ‘low-carbon economy.’ ” In addition, Wang told Friedman, “ ‘Please put it in your column that Party Secretary Wang Yang welcomes [Western] clean energy technology to come to Guangdong Province and use it as a laboratory to develop their products.’ ”

Solar panels and micro-windmills power security cameras on Zhuhai’s Lover’s Lane Road

Christopher Cottrell

Party Secretary Wang Yang welcomes [Western] clean energy technology to come to Guangdong —Thomas Friedman, New York Times



DELTA BRIDGES

Oct. 2008

DELTA BRIDGES

Oct-Nov. 2008




Go figures

Delta focus

Hainan’s magic metal A field of the rare metal molybdenum worth RMB 100 billion (USD 14.6 billion) has been discovered on Hainan island. Molybdenum is a hard silvery mineral used to toughen alloy steels or soften tungsten alloys. This mine, located in south central Hainan’s Baoting district, is estimated to have 254,000 tons of molybdenum and is considered to be the 10th largest deposit in China, according to a statement issued by the Hainan Provincial Mining Association.

We deny the rumors that AMA is leaving Crown Macau

— Ted Chan, Chief Executive Officer of Amax Entertainment on maintaing junket loyalty to Melco-PBL

Macau parties on China’s mid-autumn holiday had Macau popping at the seams. The former Portuguese enclave witnessed 25.17 percent more tourists (243,582 to be exact) during this year’s threeday mid-autumn festival, according to Macau’s Statistics and Census Service (DSEC). For this same period, they also logged 971,982 border crossings, with the mainstay flowing through the Gongbei Border Gate, averaging of 355,000 going each way. Wait until the Chinese national day crossing figures are released….

Guangzhou goods cheaper Computer prices were down 6.2 percent in Guangzhou. According to Guangzhou’s Bureau of Price Controls, summer saw prices fall 0.9%. The bureau reasons that a continued decline in metal prices and summertime promotions for appliances impacted this trend, which also saw the costs of TV sets and cameras drop too. While the price of tour packages went up, prices for airline tickets declined slightly. This trend may stay strong through fall, according to the bureau.

10

DELTA BRIDGES

Oct-Nov. 2008

Roaring engines Guangdong’s vehicle production capacity has hit the 1 million units marker, ranking the province #2 behind Shanghai. Joint ventures with Japanese automakers Toyota, Nissan and Honda in Guangzhou have fueled the southern industrial province’s roaring auto engines with an average annual capacity of 980,000 units. The Guangdong Statistics Bureau has said that auto investment surged 69 percent year-on-year during the first four months of 2008.

Stern exchange The Shenzhen Stock Exchange recently censured the Beijing Jiali Jiulong Shopping Mall Co Ltd., according to Xinhua news. The company sold 17.42 million in restricted shares of CNNC Titanium Dioxide (SZSE: 002145), or 9.17 percent of CNNC’s total equity. They did so through the Shenzhen Stock Exchange’s block trading system, but failed to reveal the required equity changes. The matter has been handed to the China Securities Regulatory Commission for further investigation.

Basketball bucks They might be the last real bucks the Americans have: the Milwaukee Bucks will play in Guangzhou on October 15 as part of the NBA China Games. Held at the Guangzhou Gymnasium, the Buck’s China money-maker is Yi Jianlian, who played for the Dongguan Guangdong Southern Tigers and is touted as the next Yao Ming. Welcome back Yi!

Southward bound Cooling Shenzhen property Guangdong Party Chief Wang Yang has recently ironed out cultural and trade memorandums with Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam. The Malaysia deal opens up a special platform for electronics, IT, bio-medicine and animation. Currently, 40 percent of total China-Malaysia trade takes place in Guangdong. Talks with Singapore open up the opportunity for Guangdong companies to list on the Singapore Stock Exchange. Vietnam and Guangdong have committed to a plan to open up friendship and cooperation ties with Ho Chi Minh City.

Housing prices in Shenzhen have been cut by 24 percent since last October. Last year, the average cost per square meter was RMB 16,000. This October it is nearly RMB 13, 000, according to reports. Shenzhen’s home prices soared between January and October 2007 from an average of RMB 10,000 to 17,000 per square meter. The Central Government implemented policies to cool the market from over speculation. They may now ease those restrictions, say Chinese media reports. DELTA BRIDGES

Oct-Nov. 2008

11


9+2 watch

Hainan’s Tourism Bureau and Germany’s Tui Ag group agree to raise island travel standards. 16,000 Germans came to Hainan last year.

Wenchang in northeastern Hainan to have underwater resort by 2015

Macau airport expanding

Hainan iron mining in Yunnan

The Macau International Airport (MIA) plans to spend USD 625 million to expand facilities in the medium-term. The current facilities can accommodate up to six million passengers. The first eight months of this year have seen 3.58 million passengers. In 2007, a total of 5.5.million passengers passed through the airport. MIA marketing director Antanio Rato told local media that the Macau aviation sector has received a 300 percent spike in the last two years.

Hainan Mining United Co. Ltd. has signed an agreement with Chengdu Dashi Mining for an iron ore project in Yunnan. Hainan Mining will control a 70 percent stake in the operations for the Laoxiangken iron ore project. Prospecting is slated for this October. The deal is being touted as a milestone for Hainan Mining to invest in another province. Hainan Mining, was formed by Hainan Steel and the Fosun Group last year.

We have full confidence in China’s economic development and financial stability

— Wen Jiabao in Guangxi

Bio-diesel in Hainan

Banking on Guangxi

Hainan has the honor of becoming the first province to use green diesel oil. At the end of September, China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) began construction on China’s first biodiesel plant in Dongfang, located in western Hainan. The plant is expected to be able to produce 60,000 tons of diesel per annum.

China’s 13 joint-stock banks have signed a “social responsibility agreement” about the “scientific development” of the Guangxi Beibu Gulf Economic Zone. The news came at the 2008 Conference of Governors of Chinese Joint Stock Banks, held recently in Guangxi’s capital of NanningBetween 2008 and 2010, they are expected to pump RMB 150 billion into Guangxi Beibu Gulf Economic Zone, which has southwest China to its back and Southeast Asia to its front.

Guizhou express

Bridge to Taiwan

Construction is set to start on a railway connecting Guiyang (the capital of China’s southwestern province of Guizhou) with Guangzhou. The 857 kilometres of electrified railway will cut travel time between the two cities from 20 hours to just six hours. The line can carry 100 trains per day, traveling at 200 km per hour with the capacity to transport 25 million tons per annum. The projects is billed at RMB 85.8 billion and scheduled to be completed by 2012.

Taiwan and Fujian authorities may build a six kilometre bridge between the island of Jinmen to Xiamen. Beijing is supposed to confirm the proposal by the end of the year. Current affairs experts say it would be a landmark in cross-straights peace and reconciliation. Indeed, peace is a key element of Ma Ying-jeou’s administration in Taiwan. Ma, who recently announced the proposal, also said he plans to boost tourism exchanges by offering landing permits and multiple travel documents to mainland guests who visit Jinmen.

12

DELTA BRIDGES

Oct-Nov. 2008

DELTA BRIDGES

Oct. 2008

13


Business calendar

Canton Fair

OCT. 18-22. 2008

15

October-November 2008 Nov. 4-9. 2008

Nov. 5-7. 2008

18 04 05 18 11 19 23 30 19 26

Three phases, one system.

China International Ceramic Fair Foshan (YATAO Fair).

Centered exclusively at the Pazhou Complex, this year’s China Import and Export Fair, or Canton Fair, has three distinct sections: Phase 1 from Oct. 15-19 features everything from heavy industry to raw materials Phase 2 from Oct. 24- 28 features goods ranging from clocks to kitchen utilities Phase 3 from Nov. 2-6 features products ranging from sporting goods to textiles

Asia’s leading ceramic event for products, suppliers and entrepreneurs. Place: Foshan International Conference & Exhibition Center. Tel: 757-8833-6333; Fax; 757-8833-6383

Zhuhai Air Show

Wine & Gourmet Asia

The aerial bravado and state of the art aircrafts are truly Top Gun. China’s Shenzhou II astronauts are rumored to make an appearance.

Asia’s premier gourmand food and wine industry show.

Place: The Cotai Strip Convention & Exhibition Center, Venetian Macao For more information: www.venetianmacao.com

Place: China International Aviation Exhibition Center Airport Road. Tel: 756-336-9235; Fax: 756-337-6415

For more details: www.cantonfair.org.cn

OCT. 18-23. 2008

China International Lighting Fair Plug into what’s going on in the world of commercial, industrial, decorative and residential lighting.

Place: Guzhen Lighting Plaza, Zhongshan. Tel: 574-5615-8995; Fax: 574-56158958

OCT. 23-26. 2008

13th Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute

Promoting international commerce and connections for the betterment of Macau Place: Cotai Convention Center, Venetian Macao For details: www.mif.com.mo or email to ipim@ipim.gov.mo

14

DELTA BRIDGES

Oct-Nov. 2008

Oct. 30-Nov.1. 2008 Dongguan China Shoes

This is China’s premier footwear exhibition for sourcing for leather, from semi-processed to manufacturing. Place: GD Modern Exhibition Centre, Dongguan Tel: 21-5027-8128; Fax 21-5027-8138

Nov.11-14. 2008

Nov.19-22. 2008

10th China Dongguan International Mould & Metalworking Exhibition

Dongguan International Mobile Communication Technology & Manufacturing Expo

Showcasing the latest in tech, machine design, IT, manufacturing, etc., for the shipbuilding, aerospace and automotive industries.

Platform for companies to see what’s setting trends in tech, manufacturing, policies, partnerships and networks world wide for the mobile technology sector.

Place: GD Modern International Exhibition Center Tel: 852-2763-9011; Fax: 8522341-0379

Place: GD Modern International Exhibition Center Tel: 852-2763-9011; Fax: 852-2341-0379

Nov. 19-25. 2008

Nov. 26-28. 2008

International Automobile Exhibition China

International Maritime Expo (INMEX China)

This mega-auto show features some of the hottest wheels on the market.

See what’s selling under the sea. This exhibition provides a platform for marine industry leaders from Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East to interact.

Place: 117, Liuhua Road, Guangzhou Tel: 20-8667-3473/2608-1629; Fax 20-8666-3416/8668-1629

Place: Jinhan Exhibition Centre, Guangzhou Tel: 65-6319-2668; Fax: 65-63192669

Chamber Made

Chamber Events

We can’t list them all here, but Guangzhou’s collection of foreign Chambers of Commerce also feature regular events. Visit their events directories at: America: www.amcham-southchina.org Australia: www.austrade.gov.au France: www.ccifc.org Germany: www.china.ahk.ed Italy: www.cameraitacina.com

For more Chamber of Commerce directories: www.deltabridges.com

DELTA BRIDGES

Oct-Nov. 2008

15


People

People

Made in Guangzhou Shawn Rayson prepares new dining sensation for Canton Fair

S

omething special is stirring in Canadian Shawn Rayson’s kitchen for the Canton Fair. That is particularly important because his private kitchen and party parlor is in the belly of an early 20th century villa located in Guangzhou’s historic Dong Shan District. Rayson, a seasoned trader and restaurant entrepreneur, is leavening his private catering club with a special menu. What’s that? A secret, of course. But that’s to be expected from a man who holds the record for having a five-star western restaurant in Guangzhou’s Tianhe District — nearly two years. Most fold their menus within mere months in this fiercely finicky financial district. Mr. Rayson’s renowned restaurant “SEN5ES” won acclaim from the likes of Modern Weekly magazine. His menu (ala Asia de Cuba) and Toronto décor inspired several up-market hotels in the city. Rayson, who heads a private men’s cooking club comprised of 18 senior executives and diplomats, anticipates a healthy turn out of high-quality clients during this year’s October fair. We’re thinking Nova Scotia lobster and Italian wines.…

Venetian Communications Director Buddy Lam (Left) and Dr. Robert Kirby (Right) at the Macau Professional Happy Hour

Cultural commerce Educational entrepreneur Simone Xue to shape art park in Zhuhai

Culture gives me my business edge,” says Simone Xue. Indeed, that’s how he has maintained to retain foreign staff for several years on end at his successful chain of English schools in Zhuhai — by keeping an eye on the cultural needs of his instructors. Case in point: he handed out trophies and holiday packages to Yunnan to his staff at a special awards ceremony attended by the Zhuhai government. “By caring dearly for my teachers, it brings more students,” explains Mr. Xue. It’s allowing him to expand his TPR schools to other cities in the Pearl River Delta. He is also developing a special center for artists, musicians, poets and other like minded creators in Zhuhai — drawing inspiration from his life long love of painting and business acumen. Of course, he is keeping a lid on details for now. Adds Mr. Xue, “I want to give back love to art and refined culture to make a better life.”

16

DELTA BRIDGES

Oct-Nov. 2008

Dr. Kirby employees this notion through his six companies

Emotional intelligence the successful psychology behind the Kirby method

D

r. Robert Kirby has a secret to his exuberant energy. It’s a carefully executed craft of “being” that has allowed him to become the preeminent hospitality trainer in the Pearl River Delta. It’s called “emotional intelligence.” What’s that? A method of using your mind to channel what might be construed as negative into a positive situation. Explains Dr. Kirby, “I would define having Emotional Intelligence as the awareness of and ability to manage one’s emotions in a healthy and productive manner.” Dr. Kirby employees this notion through his six companies in his Macau based Kirby Group, which ranges from hospitality training to property advising to outdoor team building exercises in Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Macau and Zhuhai. It also influences his Macau

Professional Happy Hour, or MPHH. The event, which Dr. Kirby modestly launched in one of his apartments last year, has now become one of the most prominent social gatherings in Macau. Held monthly, you can expect to swap stories with Macau’s discerning set. No pretension, just good wine, good friends and the makings of the New Macau. What else propels him? Comments Dr. Kirby, “I need to keep my energy levels high and having a passion for the outdoors, it is not difficult for me to find motivation to get up early before my family wakes to either run, swim or bike.”

DELTA BRIDGES

Oct-Nov. 2008

17


People

Farewell Fritz!

People

A parting toast to German Consul General Friedrich-Carl Bruns

A Friedrich-Carl Bruns raises a mug to the German National Handball Team

18

DELTA BRIDGES

Oct-Nov. 2008

light has gone out in the Pearl River Delta: one of Guangzhou’s most dynamic consul generals, Fr i e d r i c h - C a r l Bruns, is off to greener pastures in Europe. The good Mr. Bruns, whom many affectionately referred to as ‘Fritz,” was responsible for giving German culture and commerce a significant presence from 2005 to 2008. In fact, Mr. Bruns launched the German Consulate in Guangzhou in 2005. Mr. Bruns also took a highly active role to launch the first major Oktoberfest in Guangzhou that same year — at the China Hotel with the legendary general manager Rauf Mailk. Today, the Guangzhou Oktoberfest is one of the ‘must do’ events in the city. There are now Oktoberfests in Shenzhen and we hear even Zhongshan is planning one. As a matter of fact, if there was one thing that defined Mr. Brun’s tenure in Guangzhou and the provinces his office looked after (Guangdong, Guangxi, Fujian and Hainan), it was culture. For example, he brought Sebastion Schunke, among others, to perform in Guangzhou. Who is Schunke? He resurrected 1920s Berlin era jazz in the 1980s. That’s the type of act Mr. Bruns, and his delightful wife Mrs. Sabine Bruns, wanted to share with the Chinese. Call it the thin edge of the wedge if you

will, but the timing was critical to Guangzhou’s makeover. In 2005 and 2006, Shanghai and Beijing dominated the China media limelight. Guangzhou had little going on. Mr. Bruns was part of a larger wave of people who changed that by bringing in live acts like Schunke and the Berlin Trio, etc. Guangzhou is now part of the mainland and delta entertainment circuit in a way it never was before. An example: Avril Lavine just played in Guangzhou. During his last months at his post, Mr. Bruns supported the German national handball team’s special pre-Olympic match in Zhuhai with German businesses such as BOSCH, ECO, EPCOS and MTU. He also supported several German wine galas in Zhuhai’s budding cellar seen to cap off the summer. Over a glass of fine German wine, Mr. Bruns once told the editor of this magazine that his years of diplomatic work in Africa had prepared him well for China. His spark and wit will be missed by many in Guangzhou and South China. What gave him that perennial grin during his final days in Guangzhou, knowing that he was leaving the fair city of five rams forever? Probably because he knew his next station was Bordeaux…. Three cheers to Fritz!

DELTA BRIDGES

Oct-Nov. 2008

19


People

Benjamin Grenon is hands on at the Zhuhai International Circuit’s track

Racing to win The Zhuhai International Circuit’s marketing makeover hits high-gear

A

uto racing is largely a gentlemen’s sport in China’s top track cities. That goes double for Shanghai and Zhuhai. No one understands this social equation better than Benjamin Grenon, the Deputy General Manager and Sales & Marketing Director at the Zhuhai International Circuit. Mr. Grenon, whom earned his MBA from the heralded French business school ESSCA, has successfully put the Zhuhai International Circuit (ZIC) on the map. Since joining ZIC in 2003, Mr. Grenon’s branding strategies have brilliantly brought on international sponsors to ZIC, such as Audi and Renault. What’s more, ZIC has become extremely popular with Chinese fans — they pack the grandstands and VIP tower alike. Speaking of the club

20

DELTA BRIDGES

Oct-Nov. 2008

tower: this is where many of Zhuhai’s silk set swarm for races and enjoy succulent red-meat buffets prepared by the Lexington Plaza Zhuhai Zobon business hotel. In short: he’s helped make auto racing a middle and upper-class family weekend outing affair. And they’re coming out in droves.

ZIC has become extremely popular with Chinese fans DELTA BRIDGES

Oct. 2008

21


Features

Canton fair forecast By Caroline Chan

April showers. October flowers?

You don’t need the weatherman,” sings Bob Dylan. Conventional wisdom says that the Canton Fair was down in numbers this past April due to visa restrictions and the early phases of the sub-prime crunch. Is it so? What’s the forecast for this October’s 104th China Import and Export Fair, also known as the Canton Fair? Let’s turn to the farmer’s almanac provided by the Canton Fair organizers. Sure, figures for the last Spring Canton Fair held in April were down 14,000 buyers year-on-year for the same April session in 2007, which registered 192,013 buyers, according to the organizer’s official site:http://www. cantonfair.org.cn And, yes, during this time, the sub-prime crisis started to cut at the American market like a meat cleaver through a hambone. A tedious fact: the April 2007 session, which welcomed 206,749 buyers, represented a leap forward of 16,000 buyers year-on-year for the same period — the April 2006 session welcomed 190,000 visitors. In other words, the April 2006 and 2008 April sessions are on par with one another. To put this in perspective: prior to 2001, fewer than 100,000 visitors came to the Canton Fair — which first began in 1957 with just 1,223 buyers. The biggest year-on-year spike in buyers for the April session was in 2004, which attracted 159,717 buyers, a surge of 136,589 more buyers than in 2003. Ok, that was the year SARS broke. Let’s move on. As for what is considered the main fair — the October session — it has witnessed an average growth rate of 15,000 buyers per annum since 2000, when it broke the 100,000 marker. For the past two October sessions there have been roughly 190,000 buyers. So what? The attendance of this session may show where the Guangdong business weather will blow in the near to mid-term.

Features Master of puppets Of course, if you are an Italian puppet-maker seeking raw materials, Canton Fair organizers seem to have thought of your balsa wood and leather Pinocchio collection. This year the Canton Fair has “significant reform” options by offering three specific sections spread out from October 15 to November 6. Previous years had the fair divided into two parts. Everything from bicycles to chemical products will be on display during the October 15-19 first phase. Rattan chairs, watches, toiletries, knives, toys, “Festival Products” are among the commodities that comprise phase two from October 24 to 28. Phase three from November 2-6 features goods ranging from lingerie to sports products to “Furs, Leather, Downs & Related products.” They are also centralizing the fair at the Pazhou complex and closing the Liuhua complex. Moreover, they have created a special “Canton Fair Visa” to coin— Paul Leung, President of the Hong Konng Inbound Travel Association cide with the October 16/17 lifting of Olympic security measures put on business, or class F, visa issuances. Businessmen with links to the fair are reasonably optimistic about these plans. Comments Guangzhou based Adam Warner, the business development and training manager for JETT business leadership training, “With the extended times and extra dates, this will allow more buyers to attend and be able to stay longer and enjoy what Guangzhou and the PRD has to offer.” As for the impending opening of multiple re-entry business visa issuances, Warner notes, “It should improve the attendance and participation. Lifting the restrictions that were in place before the Beijing Olympics, as well as extending the dates, sends a clear message to foreign businesses that China welcomes everyone.” How to get one? The process depends on the passport you hold: you need to still apply for the business visa in the country that issued your passport, primarily, according to Zach Wortham, a consultant with the law firm Wang Jing & Co. In some instances, you may be required to get a certificate from your local police department to prove that you have no criminal records — just like the “hukou” system required of Chinese citizens before they can get visas to go abroad, to Hong Kong or Macau. Be patient: you must go to highest level of law enforcement in your area, not just the local sheriff ’s shack where your uncle reign’s king. You can also apply for “Canton Fair” visa: see side-story “Fair and square.” For Canton Fair “visitors” wishing to inspect factories, tourist groups of up to three people can apply for a “144-hour” travel visa in Hong Kong. Paul Leung, the president of the Hong Kong Inbound Travel Association has publicly said that, “Things will resume back to normal, like before the Olympics.” That’s a relief: because Pearl River Delta factories and global buyers are ready to bank on blue skies.

Things will resume back to normal like before the Olympics.

Fair and square For the “Canton Fair” visa, organizers spell it out clearly: “Please apply to the Embassy or Consulate General of P.R.China with the invitation issued by the Canton Fair to overseas buyers. Please be informed that: 1. Please apply visa to China at your country or regular residence place before arriving in China. (Missions Overseas) 2. Buyers who need to leave Mainland China and come back again to Guangzhou during the Canton Fair may apply for multi-entry visa. If necessary, please contact the Division of Aliens and Exit-Entry Administration of Guangzhou Municipal Public Security Bureau (Add: No.155 Jie Fang Nan Road, Guangzhou). 3. Fair visitors can also entrust the visa application to China Travel Service (Hong Kong) Ltd. (Add: 1/F., Alpha House, 27-33 Nathan Rd., Kowloon, Hong Kong, Tel: 852-2315 7150, Fax: 852-2315 7292).”

22

DELTA BRIDGES

Oct-Nov. 2008

DELTA BRIDGES

Oct-Nov. 2008

23


Features

Features

I want to promote tourism between China and Hawai‘i

— Tommy Huang, MBA student

Aloha Zhongshan! By Charles Gutzlaff

Dr. Sun-yat sen’s hometown gains Polynesian passion 24

DELTA BRIDGES

Oct-Nov. 2008

T

he people of Zhongshan are catching the Aloha spirit. Modern China’s founding father Dr. Sun Yat-sen, who spent years studying in Honolulu, would likely take pride that his ancestral town is bolstering cultural and economic bonds with the Hawaiian Islands. Earlier this summer, Bellavista restaurant in Zhongshan started an innovative island exchange trend with the Hong Kong Hula Association — the Hawai‘i Week they held is setting the stage for a broader China-Hawai‘i exchange. It’s a mission that was put in motion in recent years by Hawai‘i’s Governor Linda Lingle, who visited Guangdong province in the summer of 2005. On that trip, Governor Lingle celebrated historical, cultural and educational ties. There are ample examples for this long-standing relationship.

The good doctor

Sandalwood was one of Hawai‘i’’s first commodities in the early 19th century — their main consumers for this aromatic wood were in Guangdong. In fact, the wood was so popular that the Chinese dubbed Honolulu “sandalwood mountain.” The first wave of foreign workers to shore in Hawai‘i were from Guangdong, particularly Zhongshan. One such immigrant from Zhongshan arrived in 1871. His name was Sun Mei. His younger brother was Dr. Sun Yat-sen. At the invitation of his older brother, the great doctor studied in the islands and was inspired by American presidents such as Abraham Lincoln. Fast forward to 1985: Hawai‘i and Guandgong province struck a sisterstate/province relationship. Add 19 years: in 2004 the Hawai‘i Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism organized a large trade mission to China. They celebrated Hawaiian culture, products and educational institutions, mainly in Shanghai’s Xintiandi quarter. In 2005, Governor Lingle and 200 Hawai‘i trade delegates came to Guangdong, with a significant splash in Zhongshan.

Left: Hula spirit in Zhongshan. Above boxes, Hawaiian hands get fast at Bellavista. Below box, Ian Choi , President of the Hong Kong Hula Association on camera.

DELTA BRIDGES

Oct-Nov. 2008

25


Features

Governor Lingle initiated several agreements with the Guangdong government. Chief among them was an educational exchange between Sun Yat-sen University in Zhongshan and the University of Hawai‘i, Manoa. Several students whom attended the Hawai‘i Week in Zhongshan are now off to the islands to study business at the University of Hawai‘i, Manoa.

Studying surf

Comments Cherry Peng, a graduate student coordinator at Sun Yat-sen University, “Our students are so excited to be going to Hawai‘i. They see a historic link between past, present and future with Hawai‘i.” MBA student Tommy Huang certainly does. “I want to go to Hawai‘i to follow in the footsteps of Dr. Sun Yat-sen. I want to promote tourism between China and Hawai‘i,” comments Huang, who is now studying business at the University of Hawai‘i, Manoa. When asked about the success of this policy outcome, Governor Lingle’s office issued a statement that reads, “This type of celebration reinforces the deep friendship and historic ties between Hawai‘i and China, and strengthens our ongoing efforts to increase cultural and educational exchanges, as well as foster economic and development and trade.” Moreover, the statement continues “Sharing Hawai‘i’s culture, lifestyle and Aloha spirit with the people of China is particularly valuable as the state continues to attract more visitors from this part of the world.”

26

DELTA BRIDGES

Oct-Nov. 2008

Do the hula

Ian Choi, who founded the Hong Kong Hula Association, knows how much Chinese people are curious about Hawai‘i, which has a better image abroad than the US mainland. Explains Choi, “In Hong Kong people are interested in Hawaiian hula dancing and Hawaiian culture. But there is also much interest in mainland China.” Were it not for US visa restrictions imposed by the Bush Administration, far more Chinese would visit Hawai‘i, which has been suffering economically since the late 1990s. Just ask Hawai‘i businessman Devhin Ehrig, a translator with the Hong Kong Hula Association. Ehring, who co-oranized the Hawai‘i Week, knows that the islands are in bad shape fiscally and wants to help promote tourism and commerce with China to help out. “I see my business future here in China without a doubt,” says Ehring. Based in Hong Kong, Ehrig, in tandem with Choi and Bellavista restaurant, plans on another Hawai‘i Week in the near future. Their formula for success? Step one: Train Filipina and Chinese dancers in simple hula and provide them with cute plastic grass skirts and flower leis. Step two: prepare a traditional Hawaiian menu, which consists of pork, seafood, rice and fresh fruit. A tip: Hawaiian food is instantly agreeable to Chinese taste buds. Step three: play relaxing ukelele music. Step four: make sure to have promotional brochures for travel and educational options in the islands. Step five: invite the town for Aloha and the show. Is it a winning business formula for the entertainment and restaurant industry? In Zhongshan, they’re wagering that paradise is a sure sell.


Features

Features

Fastracking Zhuhai By Christopher Cottrell

its go time in this seaside Cantonese city

A

fog of gray r u b b e r smoke wafts over the grandstands. Engines roar like crashing tsunami surf. Stock cars spin in figure eight formations. In the VIP tower overlooking the Zhuhai International Circuit racing track, Chinese families crane their necks to take in the high-octane spectacle. At one table, two gentlemen peer at the race with giant binoculars. Across the room, a bevy of beauties in silver spandex shorts and tight purple tank tops pose with patrons for pictures. This is Zhuhai in the fast lane. Where automobile racing and expensive property and leisure are one in the same. In November, this fast action takes to the skies with the annual Zhuhai Air show. Call it a microeconomic metaphor for this stretch of the Pearl River Delta.

Major Tang

This year’s Zhuhai air-show under-

28

DELTA BRIDGES

Oct-Nov. 2008

scores China’s take off into serious space: namely the Chinese “taikonauts” venture aboard the Shenzhou VII. Named the China International Aviation & Aerospace exhibition, it’s the only international aerospace show endorsed by the Central Government. This year will feature the latest in high-flying gadgetry. And see all manner of air-tricks by jets. Think smoke streaming off planes and, perhaps, sonicbreaking booms. Whatever you think, its Zhuhai flying fast.

Empire of the senses

Indeed, this is perhaps the delta’s fastest changing city. It’s where the majority of people in Macau want to move to — where 20% of Macau residents already live. It’s where more than a dozen major luxury property projects worth billions of yuan are rising on the coast. It’s where the Hong Kong, Macau and Zhuhai bridge will be coming to by 2015 (See cover story “Guangdong Gothams”). It’s where score upon score of retired millionaires from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea flock to for ocean view abodes and flapping fresh seafood and wine. This trend is evident in places other

than the track or in the skies. You can smell the money in the kitchen. Just ask Michel Seyve, Zhuhai’s newest and best chef. Seyve, who turned around Guangzhou’s famous Garden Hotel restaurants, said no to a top kitchen in Beijing to cook in Zhuhai instead. As the executive chef of the Zhuhai Holiday Inn, Seyve has started private banquets with wine matching in partnership with ASC wines, China’s largest supplier of foreign wines. “I just want to relax here, cook great food and enjoy life,” says Seyve. So does Thomas

People who park at the super car club won’t be taking the light rail from Guangzhou — Benjamin Grenon, Deputy General Manager and Sales & Marketing Director

DELTA BRIDGES

Oct-Nov. 2008

29


Features

Features

Kaepplin, who opened up a hardwood table and redbrick wine bar called the Cellar last year. Kaepplin used to be a wine merchant in Shanghai for four years before setting his sites on Zhuhai. “It’s a lovely coastal city, the air is fresher than Shanghai and people are relaxed. They’re warming up to foreign wines too.” In fact, there are now four new wine lounges that have opened up in Zhuhai over the past year. A fine Italian restaurant, Peccati di Gola, opened up earlier this year, as did the American pizza chain Papa John’s.

Charging the block

30

DELTA BRIDGES

Oct-Nov. 2008

True, the majority of these small businesses are poised in Zhuhai’s choice Jida district, not up at the ZIC race-track in the northeasterly Tangjia district. There’s a reason: between 10,000 and 18,000 apartment units are opening this year, bringing, in theory, anywhere from 30,000 to 60,000 residents in the five square blocks between Jiuzhou Port, Jiuzhou Avenue and Lover’s Lane Central. Comments Rita Fei, an agent with the beach front Grand Panaroma towers, ”Everything sold out last year before the property was entirely built.” The average price per sqm was RMB 13,000. They average 100 sqm. Three blocks west of Jida beach, all of the units in the Golden Times Square apartments also sold out last year, going

for RMB 12, per sqm. “We have nothing left to sell,” comments Jolene Li, a senior manager at Golden Times. Huafa real-estate’s massive projects in Zhuhai’s western Nannping district also have the potential to draw tens of thousands of residents in the next year. “We have a very sophisticated planned urban project coming online,” says Ken Fong, a senior agent with Huafa Gardens.

Go speed racer go

The integrated community project Fong speaks of will be more mature by 2010: just in time for the planned opening of the Zhuhai to Guangzhou light rail. It will stop in Gongbei, a few minutes from Huafa. It will also have a station right

next to the Zhuhai International Circuit. And if all goes as planned, commute time from the Gongbei border to the Zhuhai race-track should take 10 minutes. There’s more fast track news: the track is erecting a super-club for rich automobile owners. That means Chinese Ferrari owners have a new place to race and park their ride. Does this mean wealthy car owners in Guangzhou would store their cars at the park and use the light-rail to come down for recreational racing? ZIC’s Deputy General Manager and Sales & Marketing Director Benjamin Grenon doesn’t think so. “The kind of people who park at the super car club won’t be taking the light rail from Guangzhou. They’ll be driving their Bentleys here.”

DELTA BRIDGES

Oct-Nov. 2008

31


Cover story

Guangdong Gothams By Christopher Cottrell

A 2010 Urban Odyssey

Features Cover story

M

ark your calendar for 2010. In 2010, construction is supposed to commence on the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge. Mark it again: in two years time, the light-rail between Zhuhai, Zhongshan and Guangzhou is scheduled to open. Another 2010 marker: this is when Macau’s major Cotai Strip projects are planned to be fully go-go. The must make mark: 25-24 months. That’s when the 16th Asian Games will grace Guangzhou, in November 2010.

Basic instinct

How true: today’s troubled times are tough to read. But one thing appears clear: China’s confidence. As Chinese premier Wen Jia Bao recently put it while touring Guangxi province: “We have full confidence in China’s economic development and financial stability.” Another basic instinct: China loves sports. Loves it. How much was spent on the Olympics? Officially: roughly USD 40 billion. The International Olympic Committee has said they will never really know how much was spent on the Beijing Games. To the obvious question: How much will be spent on China’s next major sporting event, the Guangzhou Asian Games? Officially, RMB 200 billion, or USD 24 billion, has been earmarked for infrastructure development for the 2005 to 2010 period. The city of Guangzhou itself will spend USD 2.2 billion making it more “user friendly.”

“Bridge City”

In fact, “user friendly” seems to be the de-facto motto for Guangdong’s master plan for the next two years as the 11th five-year plan comes to a

Guangzhou’s Pearl River New City by 2010.

32

DELTA BRIDGES

Oct-Nov. 2008

DELTA BRIDGES

Oct-Nov. 2008

33


Cover story

crescendo. When the Asian Games do come to Guangzhou in 2010, the region is primed to be set up with high-speed transport links that will form one mega-metropolis. A few years after the games, two more major projects will further link the region into one of the largest conurbations on earth. Chinese officials have unofficially dubbed it “Bridge City,” according to reports in the Chinese media. These large projects will most certainly be safely financed, according to a senior executive for an international bank in China whom insisted that his name not appear in this article. Speaking on background detail, the source explained that China’s banking system views itself as a band of brothers, so they help each other out if one needs a hand: unlike the predatory nature of the American banking system. Hence, the notion of a “Bridge City” by 2010 is no mere speculative venture. It’s one key benchmark with which to build wealth around. Comments Taubman Asia President Morgan Parker, “The Asian Games, like the Olympic Games, have always served as a terrific impetus for infrastructure development, social evolution and galvanizing people with a proud sense of community. 2010 will do just that for Guangzhou.” For Parker, the year 2010 will be salient to Taubman’s retail project at Macao Studio City on Cotai. By this year, Macao Studio City ought to be in full swing — and directly plugged into the west delta’s fasttrack train circuit via the Lotus Bridge onto Hengqing Island.

Journey to the west

For the western half of the Pearl River Delta, the purported designs seem to be the most dramatic. The planned Jiangcun to Gaolan intercity rail is one case. It’s supposed to run186-kilometres from Jiangcun just north of Guangzhou through Panyu’s factories into the bucolic banana fields of Zhongshan and end at the Gaolan port in Zhuhai. This train is primarily for cargo and estimated to cost RMB 4.58 billion. According to authorities, 40 percent will be funded by the Ministry of Railways and 30 percent will come from the city of Zhuhai’s bourse. The Guangdong provincial government is supposed to pay for 25 percent, with another five percent to be funded by Chinese banks. Another link: the Guangzhou to Zhuhai light-rail, which consists

34

DELTA BRIDGES

Oct-Nov. 2008

Features Cover story

of 143-kilometres of track, is also scheduled to be operational by the 2010 Asian Games. According to the Zhuhai Investment Bureau, the project is currently awaiting the completion of the Meixite Bridge, which should be finished by Chinese Lunar New Year in 2009. Authorities say the project’s largest hurdle was the Fenghuangshan Tunnel at 3.3 kilometres. It was completed last year, according to the Zhuhai Investment Bureau. The train can travel at a top speed of 200 kilometers per hour and will have five stops, anchored by the Gongbei Border Gate into Macau. When opened, it will make the commute time from the Macau border to downtown Guangzhou roughly 45 minutes. This appears to be very good news for international investors. For instance: the light rail and the games together will give confidence to Jens Alsbirk, the Consul General for Denmark in Guangzhou, to keep encouraging Danes to invest in the Delta. Comments Consul General Alsbirk, “I will continue to recommend ‘the fastest growing region of the fastest growing economy in the world’ to potential Danish investors.” Current Danish companies include Maersk shipping who, “have a huge container factory in Dongguan and they have invested in many harbor terminals in the PRD. Carlsberg is another well-known Danish company with a wellrun brewery in Huizhou. In Zhuhai we have Coloplast (one of the largest investors in Zhuhai).” He continues that Zhuhai has the Danish Martin Group, who made lighting products for the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony.

Bridge toll

The west delta is also preparing for the 29 kilometer, RMB 37 billion Hong Kong, Macau, Zhuhai bridge. The bridge might be built faster than previously thought. Prior plans for the bridge’s financing suggested that private firms would pay for it. Not so as of early August 2008. The governments of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau are fronting fists full of cash for it. According to Guangdong governor Huang Huahua and Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang, Guangdong and the central government have committed to pour in RMB 7 billion. Hong Kong will put in RMB 6.75 billion and Macau

I am sure that Guangzhou will be an excellent host for the Asian Games in 2010. — Hannu Toivola. Consul General of Finland in Guangzhou

will ante in RMB 1.98 billion. Another RMB 21.72 is to be covered by loans — which have yet to be discussed in details by either Governor Huang or CE Tsang. However, Governor Huang has said that the central government is committed to the project. Some reports say this means the bridge could be finished by 2013 instead of the originally planned opening date of 2015.

Macau parking

Another murky matter: can private cars drive on it? Early plans suggested that the bridge was only for cargo trucks. Last month, reports surfaced that Macau did not want private cars from Hong Kong entering the city via the bridge. According to the September edition of Macau Closer magazine, drivers from Hong Kong would have to park their cars at a special garage station and use public transportation to enter the city. Does this mean there’s a potential for a Guangdong autobahn? We’ll have to wait for now. Speaking of public transportation in Macau, a 22-kilometer light rail there is supposed to start construction next year. The USD 525 million light rail will run from the Gongbei Border and end at the

Macau International Airport on Taipa island. It will have about 25 stops at strategic tourist and residential locations. It is said to be able to carry a maximum of 150,000 passengers per day. It’s supposed to be ready by 2011, according to reports.

Guangdong Gothams

All these roads and rails, will be linked, in due course, to Guangzhou. If the Olympics are any indicator of the energy that the Guangzhou Asian Games might have, you might want book your beds now. And not just any beds: Pearl River City suites. That’s not shameless a plug. Both the Ritz Carlton and Grand Hyatt are set in a sci-fi, high-tech district. In the Batman comic books, New York was alluded to as a “Gotham,” a futuristic metropolis. Anyone glancing at Guangzhou’s futuristic architecture in Pearl River New City might say the same thing. The RMB 1 billion Guangzhou Opera House, for example, features a daring design with crisp and curvilinear shapes. Awardwinning architect Zaha Hadid’s concept with the Opera House is supposed to be symbolic of this city on the pearl: smooth pebbles running from large halls down to the river itself. With 1,800 seats

DELTA BRIDGES

Oct-Nov. 2008

35


Cover story I will continue to recommend ‘the fastest growing region of the fastest growing economy in the world’ to potential Danish investors —Jens Alsbirk, Consul General of Denmark in Guangzhou

36

DELTA BRIDGES

Oct-Nov. 2008

and a 2,500 meter multipurpose hall, it will be the largest opera house in South China. Hong Kong’s Rocco Yim is making a modern marvel next to Hadid’s creation. Yim’s innovative design for the new Guangdong Museum of Art is based on traditional Chinese lacquered boxes. Named the “treasure box,” it features layered spaces, alcoves and a traditional Chinese courtyard. Tagged at RMB 455, the museum will house 130,000 rare pieces. Yim has another architectural legend on the rise in Pearl River City too: the 39-storey International Finance Place, which functions as another Central Business District like the Tianhe district. Despite its prominence on the skyline, IFP is still tiny compared to Guangzhou Twin Towers’ West Tower. It will be one of the tallest buildings in the world at 103 stories when completed in 2009. Its architectural uniqueness is its slender crystalline shape. Its twin sister, the east tower, will be completed by 2010. The Pearl River New Tower and Guangzhou TV Tower will have necks bending towards the sky too. The Pearl River New Tower will rise to 71-floors and feature a “zero energy” element with solar panels and special water collecting channels. It will also be fitted with wind energy for turbines. Its glitzy neighbor, the Guangzhou TV Tower, will also be unique with its 450 meters of crystalline space. It twists towards the sky with an alien-like steel tube structure. Comments Hannu Toivola, the Guangzhou Consul General for Finland, “This development is going to be very good for business and help put more of an international focus of Guangzhou.” The five-star facilities and ramped up infrastructure will, says Toivola, “Increase commerce…we are already seeing more Europeans, for example, paying attention to here. Nicer hotels and residents will be very good for tourism too.” The announcement that the entire eastern Pearl River Delta might go wireless could also be a boon for Finnish IT-businesses. Says Consul General Toivola, “There are about 40 Finnish companies in South China. Many of them are IT-companies. They employ about 20.000 local people. The companies have been doing quite well, but the increasing costs and lower demand will hurt these companies as well.” He’s on to something. Despite the potential rosy calendar date of 2010, contemporary costs may stifle growth. Explains Consul General Toivola, “Many companies are moving out of the Pearl River Delta because of the high production costs.” For example, he says,“The tax exemption for imported machinery is valid for five years and it cannot be transferred to another province. If the company moves to another province, it must pay back the duty and VAT [value added tax], which means there is an additional cost of more than 20%.” Then again, says Toivola, “I do not expect big changes in the business climate. The availability of electricity this summer has been quite sufficient, which is very positive. I am sure that Guangzhou will be an excellent host for the Asian Games in 2010.” Parker concurs. Notes Mr. Parker, “For 25-years the Pearl River Delta area has been at the forefront of China’s modernization and industrialization. Today’s manifestation of that period of remarkable growth is the forest of skyscrapers that seemingly connect its major cities across the horizon.” One can only guess what the forest of delta skyscrapers will look like in the next 25-years. The next two years will be a glimpse into Guangdong Gothams’ crystal ball.


Property

Eye on the sky By Christopher Cottrell

Macau property has shiny horizon

Features Property

C

hina property watchers are keeping their periscopes tightly trained on Macau. Why? Because Asia’s gaming goliath may maintain golden property trends well into 2009 despite recent global financial tremors and downturns in residential sales, say analysts. Keith Lawson, Director of Risdon, Lawson & Lo, a real-estate brokerage and property investment services firm in Macau, is one such watcher who remains rosy. Explains Mr. Lawson, “The mid to long term prospects for Macau are excellent. Macau’s future is one of the brightest stories on the planet.” Moreover, Lawson forecasts that, “There will be some short term ups and downs, and given the current global conditions, there are certainly less international buyers from outside Asia. But our clients are still buying property, and so are we.” Not all share this optimistic outlook. Fong Chi Keong, the President of the Macau Association of Building Contractors and Developers told the media that he thinks property prices may fall by 30 to 40 percent by the end of 2008. Fong further said that some developers have reduced property prices by 20 to 30 percent to prevent buyers from taking back their deposits. Certain investment funds have also retreated and there is a looming threat that banks will refuse to release their loans to developers, says Fong. Recent reports by Colliers International and Jones Long LaSalle may or may not undergird Lawson’s optimism. The reports may or may not undergird Fong’s pessimism too. The market is in a state of confusion. As if you didn’t know.

Absolute acceleration

Both property reports cite Macau’s accelerated gaming sector and surge in tourism as having positive influences on the current outlook — despite the uncertainties in global financial markets and policy changes in the mainland’s individual travel scheme for Chinese citizens, which is now just one visit per three months according to reports. For example, Macau’s Gross Domestic Product grew 31.6 percent year-on-year during the first quarter of 2008, with increased visitors and a spike in gaming revenue fueling the frenzy. According to Macau’s Statistics and Census Service (DSEC), there were 14.9 million visitor arrivals in the first half of 2008, an 18.1 percent year-on-year rise. Total gross gaming revenue amounted to MOP 29.2 billion for Q2 2008, a 47.6 percent year-on-year upswing. Added to gaming revenue from Q1 2008, this means that Macau has cashed in a cool MOP 59.2 billion during the first six months of this year. Put another way: total gaming revenue collected during the first half of 2008 is equal to 71 percent of all Macau’s gaming revenue earned in 2007.These and other indices (See side-bar) might point to dynamism in property prices, particularly in the residential sector.

Bye, bye, buy

True enough: there’s been a recent retreat in residential sales transactions. According to Colliers International report “The Knowledge” released in September, the volume of sales transactions shrank by 34.5 percent yearon-year to 8,638 units during the first half of 2008. Citing the DSEC, Jones Lang LaSalle’s Macau report noted that the number of residential transactions in Macau fell 34.3 year-on-year to 4,075 during Q2 2008. In June alone, only 965 residential transactions were recorded in Macau. Jones Lang LaSalle’s Macau report further noted that this was the first time since February 2006 that monthly transactions in the SAR fell below 1,000. By July, the market situation had dampened to the point where some landlords began offering discounts, particularly on unfinished properties. Despite this, buyers have adopted a “wait-and-see attitude,” causing the sales market to eddy.

The ‘see’ view

John Nichols, Jones Lang LaSalle’s senior manager in Macau, elaborates, “The buyer

38

DELTA BRIDGES

Oct-Nov. 2008

DELTA BRIDGES

Oct-Nov. 2008

39


Property

Features Property

Signs of life

Suite shores By Charles Gutzlaff in Sanya

Recent Sales Transactions:

During the first half of 2008, Macau saw some encouraging signs of sales growth. For instance, units averaging 1,300 to 1,900 sq ft sold for HK$ 3,500 per sq ft. According to Jones Lang LaSalle, the highest transaction in July was at One Central Residences Tower in NAPE on the Macau Peninsula. A lower floor unit sized at1,475 gross sq. ft sold for HK$ 5,698 per sq. ft. Units that sold in the HKD 3,000 to 4,000 range included a high floor,1,901 gross sq ft. place in Kingsville in Taipa for HK$ 3,700 per sq ft. Another high floor unit at 826 sq ft. located at Villa de Mer in the Pearl District on the Macau Peninsula, sold for HK$ 3,200. New development projects that went on the market in the first half of 2008 included The Residencia Macau on the Macau Peninsula, Tower 2 of The Praia on the Macau Peninsula and La Cite in Macau Peninsula, according to Colliers. According to “The Knowledge” report, the average sale price for The Residencia’s 625 units ranged from HK$ 4,500 to HK$ 5,600 per sq ft. Residencia flat sizes vary from 1,207 to 2,448 sq ft. Tower 2 of the Praia’s 1,288 units sold on average for HK$ 2,800 – HK$ 4,200. Tower 2 units range from 938 to 1,571 sq. ft. The La Cite project also sold most of their units, which range from 1,100 to 1,700n sq. ft in size. They sold from between HK$ 2,600 to HK$ 3,200 per sq. ft. Given the recent downturn, these figures may represent the high-water mark for sales transactions for all of the infamous year of 2008 — the year of “casino capitalism.” -- by Christopher Cottrell

40

DELTA BRIDGES

Oct-Nov. 2008

Sanya’s cleaning sand dollars

profile of Macau is made up of HK, mainlanders and foreigners. At present many of the HK and foreign buyers are adopting a ‘Wait and see’ approach. They are waiting to see how Macau and Asia in general is affected by the global economic slowdown. Global markets have slowed significantly in recent months.” However, says Nichols, “Macau seems to be displaying less signs of slowing and definitely has the potential to pick up rapidly in the coming six months.” According to Johnny Lai, the deputy general manager for the Colliers International office in Macau, “For residential sales in the next -six months, activities would depend on release of new development projects and the secondary market.” Lai continues, “As we are experiencing a global financial tsunami, developers are delaying the launch of project sales, and buyers are cautious to wait and see if the prices to drop further. Hence, there would not be growth in supply and demand for new buildings and second hand units either in Taipa or Macau Peninsula in the coming months.” Mr. Lawson leans another away on this matter in terms of the rental market. Remarks Lawson, “For the next six months rental rates will climb as the supply of decent accommodation dwindles. As approvals have slowed down the release of newer units into the market, the best units are being snapped up but not replaced. We certainly do not expect rental rates to drop.” Adds Lawson, “Either you get the Macau story, or you don’t.”

I want the beach immaculate every day. Everybody wants to have a ‘first time experience’ and I want guests to feel like they are stepping on virgin soil every morning,” says Sanya Kempinski General Manager Rudi Scherb. To do so, he has six “sand gardeners” sift through then rake their golden, lightly coarse sand beach on Sanya Bay from six am to ten am every morning until its as grooved as a Zen rock garden.

Beach combing This brushing of the beach means more than merely sweeping sand. It’s part and parcel of a larger local green campaign that is dramatically changing the northern eight kilometers of Sanya Bay beachfront. The fine-combing also portends the initiation of a larger public-private stewardship program to protect the beach. Local authorities in Sanya have already kicked off the green drive by committing RMB 5,400 million to erect 17,270 acres of shelter-belts over the next five years as an erosion measure. According to Chinese media, this is the largest shelter-belt prevention undertaking of its kind in Sanya and officials have already loosened up RMB 200 million to finance the project’s first phase, which began last July. On the beautification front, authorities will also shut down the northern section of Sanya Bay Road — which snakes past some of the bay’s most luxe resorts, condominiums, serviced apartments and mansions. In essence, the roughly eight kilometre stretch of sun-bleached road will be gradually turned into a pedestrian area. Its not

DELTA BRIDGES

Oct-Nov. 2008

41


Property

Features Property

Hawai‘i goes Thai

Property in Hainan is a blend of pan-tropical designs If Hainan is China’s Hawai‘i, why is it headed to Koh Samui? On the access road behind the major resorts at Yalong Bay, scores of Thai temple style bungalows are rising. It’s not an unusual site on this South China Sea island, which has a peculiar property cross-marketing schema. It’s a melting pot of all tropical destinations. Each resort or property is pegged to an image of paradise. Better yet, this is China, so no: tsunamis or terrorists. So skip Southeast Asia, say scores of real-estate agents and resort PR reps across the island. Hawai‘i is too far away—unless you visit the Sanya Hiilton, which has a Hawai‘i theme to its architecture. Tahiti is too far away too. So buy Hainan. Get it? The mood to replicate pan-tropical property designs even extends to menus and entertainment. Case in point: the HNA Golf Resort and Spa in central Hainan once claimed they offered a special “Ladyboy working visa��� for Bangkok cabaret entertainers. Just after desserts were served at their restaurant, a group of plastic surgery enhanced entertainers in sequined dresses paraded past patrons. The game: which is which? The same game may hold true for building design identity in Hainan. — Charles Gutzlaff

known if it will be made into a bustling boardwalk, but it will, “give all of the resorts here direct access to the beach for the first time,” notes Scherb.

Roads off the beach How will these posh properties be reached then? There’s a newly tarred road directly in back of them that extends all the way from the Kempinski’s corner grounds in the west to the road leading directly to the airport in the east, Haihong Lu. Moreover, the Lu Neng company has inked a deal with Australia’s acclaimed management firm “BON” to build a golf course on the road’s north side. Currently, the northern side of the road is a long, skinny stretch of marsh and rice paddies. These fields of lime green and rust tinted mud are framed by phalanxes of coconut groves and have views of foliage carpeted mountains. A construction timetable has yet to be confirmed for the golf course, and the closure of the northern section of Sanya Bay Road is expected to take place during the three to four months — perhaps after the high occupancy season.

42

DELTA BRIDGES

Oct-Nov. 2008

Little Caspian This cleaning up of ocean front property has potential to pull away some of the clients who holiday at nearby Dadonghai beach. Considered by many to be the second best beach after Yalong Bay, Dadondhai attracts tens of thousands of Eastern Europeans every year. The blending of so many Eastern Europeans has given Dadonghai a “Little Caspian” quality. Russian restaurants and discos pepper the area, a trinket laden Waikiki of sorts. The second language on nearly all signs in Dadonghai is in Russian. The Germans are taking notice: last year 16,000 Germans came to Hainan. Recently, Hainan’s Provincial Tourism Bureau inked an agreement with German tour Group Tui Ag to raise the island’s international standards for travel. Currently, Eastern European tourists, most of whom are Russian, pack Dadonghai’s guest houses, three star and four star accommodations. Over the past year, though, more of the guests have opted for one to two week stays in condominiums. This is where Sanya

Bay’s clean beach drive can pull in travelers. Why? Because most of the beachfront properties are already owned by Chinese residents, who live in Beijing, the northeasterly Dongbei region or Shanghai. During the off-season (March to September) and when Chinese holidays don’t occur, occupancy in Sanya Bay’s condos is less than 10%, according to local property agents. The lower stretch of Sanya Bay’s 17 kilometres of coast is a mere 15 minute taxi ride to Dadonghai. Whether or not the beach cleaning drive will bring more Russians and Germans holidaymakers is clearly a large question mark. But it’s a step in the right direction.

Beach party What’s the overall property conclusion? Quite possibly this: eight kilometers of mil-

lion dollar beach real-estate is about to get cleaner, direct ocean access and views, on one side of the property, and a world-class golf course on the other side. No wonder the likes of Scherb are grinning wide. After all, the Kempinski stands to do very well, if all goes as planned. Indeed, the man has much in the works for Sanya Bay cooperation. He’s hoping to extend the beach combing campaign across the sands and forge a public-private partnership board. He’s not alone — several government bodies are coming on board for the larger beach cleanup drive. They include the Sanya Municipal Commission of the Communist Party, the Sanya Blue Ocean Fishery Bureau, Sanya Tourism Bureau, Sanya Nanzha Dongtian Park Development and the Sanya Association of Visitors Tourist Hotel. Talk about a beach party.

DELTA BRIDGES

Oct-Nov. 2008

43


Features Lifestyle

Appetite of seduction

Friendly tippling at The Cellar in Zhuhai

Delta decanting The Cellar in Zhuhai

Morton’s at the Venetian

A

menu missive from the demanding diners of Macau: the famed and fabulous Fernando’s is frequently booked. Millions more tourists are descending and they all seem to have taken culinary crib notes from the same guidebook. There’s hope: scores of five-star restaurants have swung doors open in the past year. Case in point: Morton’s of Chicago at the Venetian. Macau insiders like the cocktail hour martinis and platter of burgers. And that’s just warming up. After leisurely discussions at the hard wood bar, the inside tables beckon. Here, the mood merits mean slabs of Angus beef, Maine lobster drizzled with

44

DELTA BRIDGES

Oct-Nov. 2008

Christopher Cottrell

Courtesy of Morton’s Steakhouse

Lifestyle

butter and lemon and scallops wrapped in bacon. Pick your matching wine as you please. Plenty of the Aussie casino manager have a soft spot for Shiraz. So do we. A memo for the smoke shy: management here encourages guests to fire up stogies at will. If dating, think of the dessert menu. Their chocolate cake has an inner core of oozing hot chocolate. One might say the entire menu is an appetite of seduction. Just don’t tell the guidebook writers…. For more information: www.venetianmacao.com

Z

huhai’s wine scene is decanting. A visit to The Cellar nestled at the end of the tree-shrouded Shui Wan Road is a clear case of this uncorking. Opened in 2007 by French wine merchant Thomas Kaepplin, it was the first of its kind in Zhuhai. It still is: wines from France, Italy, Spain, Chile, Australia and other global grape-growing regions rest in small alcoves in the red-brick walls. What else makes it feel like a French countryside cellar? It has farmhouse style tables, benches and chairs made of dark, lacquered wood. And French people. They come for the fresh platters of cheese, cuts of ham, sliced salami, black olives, tiny pickles and other nibble sized palate pleasers from France. There’s

more than one lingua franca spoken here: English, Mandarin, Cantonese and Japanese. Which goes to say that the Cellar is popular with well-heeled Chinese, Hong Kong go-getters and Singaporean moneymakers. Chic Chinese women also enjoy its convivial ambience. In sum, Zhuhai’s social scene is ripening on the vine. The Cellar is a perfect place to toast this trend. N’est-ce pas? Address: 231 Shui Wan Lu Tel: 756-818-1894

DELTA BRIDGES

Oct-Nov. 2008

45


Lifestyle

Features Lifestyle

Spa and Resort Promotion

Consider a beachside holiday from the Canton Fair

U

ntil October 31,Quan Spa is part of a special travel promotion at the Sanya Marriott. For RMB 3,988-7,588 you will be picked up in a limousine at the Sanya International Airport, handed a welcome drink and a lei. You get two days at their breakfast buffet for two. At Quan Spa, you have three options for two people: chilled tea before and after your spa treatment. A complimentary beachside yoga session. Free tandem bike for one hour. There’s a 10% discount on food and drinks in the resort. The Sanya Marriott Resort and Spa’s restaurants include Indochine, a trendy Vietnamese restaurant where the dress code is seaside casual. The Marriott Café offers Asian and western fare and the Sea Breeze Pool Bar & Grill serves sandwiches, smoothies and frappies. Deep Blue has a stunning view of the South China Sea.

Qi spirit Experience the Sanya Marriott’s fountain of youth at Quan Spa

For more information: http://www.marriott.com or www.quanspa.com

I Courtesy of Sanya Marriott Reort and Spa

t’s the fountain of youth, minus the fountain. Just the water. The water at Quan Spa at the Sanya Marrriot Resort & Spa is specially purified with minerals in order to enhance their range of hydrotherapeautic treatments. Or so the brochure reads. But, really, who can get any reading done while soaking your feet in a bucket of sandalwood scented mineral water that’s been channeled like the Yangze through vivifiers. What are vivifiers? Nevermind. You are here for a rub down with tonics made of freshly squeezed fruit and rare herbs. The Qi baths and “Vichy” showers are also part of the promised pleasure. Quan delivers. One would expect no less from the Quan family of spas which grace high resorts from Koh Samui to Shanghai. The Sanya spa is set in a garden laden with banana and palm fronds with a sandstone hued fountain. It is also a short stroll to the Yalong Bay, the most pristine beach in Sanya. Fair enough, many say this is the best beach in Hainan. But local surfers have another story. You will not likely meet any at Yalong Bay, where the waves are mild. The people who come here are couples, families and business travelers.

46

DELTA BRIDGES

Oct-Nov. 2008

Net time Tennis Masters Cup Shanghai

Y

ou have another month to get your tennis game ready and re-live some Olympic moments. He’s back: Olympic gold medal champion Rafael Nadal will be playing at the Shanghai Masters Cup 2008. So will Roger Federer. Running from November 10-16, this will “be the culminating event of the men’s professional season” according to Emma Tickets. It’s to be held at Asia’s biggest tennis court center, Qi Zhong, which features 15,000 seats around the center courts. It’s 27 kilometres southwest of Shanghai central in the Minghang district. For more information: www.emma.cn/home.asp or www.masters-cup.com/2/tickets/.

DELTA BRIDGES

Oct-Nov. 2008

47


Lifestyle

HOURS IN...

Guangzhou

G

uanghzou is a city whose famous bazaars and markets are de-rigueur. Unless you are buying used electronic parts, there are only a few markets that embody romance.

Naturally, one of them is as smooth as silk — the Hai Yin Silk Market. Located near the historic Haizhu Square (there’s a metro stop there), this market teems with buyers from all four corners of the

world. Here, you will encounter scores of women donning traditional headdresses from Kenya or Indian saris purchasing vast bolts silk from Cantonese craftspeople. Most vendors do not speak English, but many can say basic bargaining phrases. The array of patterns and quality of the silk on offer is considerable, so plan on spending an entire afternoon or morning here. If you are having a garment hand tailored, note this: it can take a few days so be prepared to tend to this at the start of your trip to this heralded city on the Pearl.

Jiangnandadao Wedding Street

Site See:

Beijing Lu Shopping Street The lively Beijing Lu Shopping Street dating back to the Song dynasty attests that the Cantonese have a long love buying and selling. Throngs fill this street daily and the energy is a quintessential Guangzhou treat.

T

he several blocks along Jiangnandadao in downtown Guangzhou brim with wedding gown shops. If you are

looking to tie the knot, this street might be your best beacon to break for in South China. The prices and range of dresses can best be summed

up with this line: whatever you are looking for, you will find it. Easily reached by taxi from either the China Hotel or Garden Hotels.

Eat:

J.M. Chef This classical Cantonese restaurant is nestled amidst the storied lanes of Shamian Island. The fish tanks here brim with all manner of seafood delights. The menu is exotic for recent arrivals but divine for seasoned residents.

Features Lifestyle

Brauhaus at the beach Island of the apes Take the overnight train from Guangzhou to Sanya and hitch a ride to Monkey Island

I

f you have vertigo, it will kick in on the skytram into Monkey Island on Hainan’s southeast coast. The tram glides for several thousand meters from one mountain peak over the ocean to another mountain and dips down to the Monkey Island preserve. Yes, this has all the makings for musings about Jurassic Park. This preserve meets amusement park hosts hundreds of rare Macaque monkeys who roam the grounds. A word to the wise: don’t feed them. They will climb on you like an itch in the crotch of a cheap suit. Feeding the monkeys here would be as ill advised as taking the hard-

Address: J.M Chef 52 Shamian Nan Lu Tel: 020-8121-7018

H

Culture:

Triennial Art The Guangdong Museum of Art is currently hosting a special art exhibition: the Third Annual Triennial. The Guangzhou only event draws artists from around the world. This year’s theme is “Farewell to Post-Colonialism.” Running through Nov. 6, 2008. www.gdmoa.org

The River:

Night Cruise Get rolling on the placid Pearl with an evening party cruise. The boat takes river revelers past Guangzhou’s waterfront, from early 19th century architecture to marvels of modern architecture. www.gzboattrip.com.cn

Sleep:

Pearl River New City A stay at either the Ritz-Carlton and the Grand Hyatt will give you a grand flavor of what the future holds for this sci-fi looking financial district.

www.ritzcarlton.com www.guangzhou.grand.hyatt.com

48

DELTA BRIDGES

Oct-Nov. 2008

seat option to Sanya from Guangzhou. There’s an overnight train that leaves Guangzhou’s West train station at 10 pm and arrives in Sanya the next day by noon. The adventurous part: they take the train apart and put it into the belly of a ferry and ship it all to Hainan. They have bunks if you want to sleep. Or, better yet, you can take the one-hour flight from Guangzhou International Airport and shell out RMB 1,200 on average for the roundtrip flight. To reach Monkey Island, book at any of the five-star resorts at Yalong Bay. Fun for kids and fans of Charlton Heston films.

Dongshan stroll Leave Dong Shan Kou exit A. Stroll south for ten minutes to Hequan Lu. Welcome to the heart of the old villa district of Dongshan. As the former capital of Republican China, Guangzhou’s sharp set lived it up in four and five story villas in its heyday. Mao Zedong and the Chinese Communist Party held their 3rd Congress here after leaving Shanghai in 1923. Here you walk in the footsteps of legends.

Steal Claudio’s Ferrari The Sanya Sheraton is still formula one

ey, we thought this was the capital for the Miss World competitions? How did the Crowne Plaza get them late last year? Forget about it. General Manager Claudio Nardini’s Sanya Sheraton still holds its own on Yalong Bay. Well, the Ritz-Carlton Sanya might not agree. GM Nardini is still king of the beach, though. And his candy apple red Ferrari in the lobby of the cathedral sized lobby is proof of the pudding. The business conference facilities also feature a shrine of sorts to the first Miss World Sanya competition back in 2003. You know, the one Claudio can regale guests about. The one where Lionel Richie, in the flesh, rose from a corner couch in the lobby and joined the Filipino entertainers by the piano. There, Lionel belted out “Say you, say me” and other heyday odes until dawn. If the mood merits, ring Claudio and ask how much it will cost for him to fire up the Ferrari for a ride up the coast. Or you can try to hot-wire it yourself. For more information on package stays: www.sheratonsanya.com

After soaking up Sanya sun, get sated on German sausages and suds

W

ith German tourism jumping in Hainan, there’s no better place for sausages and suds than the Paulaner at the Kempinski. Anchored at the north of Sanya Bay, this Paulaner serves everything one would expect at German eatery such as this. Juicy bratwurst, pungent sauerkraut, tangy Dusseldorf mustard and lightly salted pretzels are par for the platters. The ambience of the deck and palm trees is another pull. This has the best European mains in Sanya Bay. Fair enough, over at Yalong Bay the other fivestar stays can sate with steak and wine. And, true, the Russian dining at Dadonghai beach in central Sanya makes mean Georgian meals and Kiev chicken. But here, if your are on holiday with kids or corporate clients from Berlin, Frankfurt of Chicago and after hefty sausage platters and potato salad by the beach, there are few second guesses about where to turn to. Fans of fresh seafood have an abundance of options down the coast. Or anywhere in Hainan for that matter. Well traveled Hainan experts will object at this point at note that the Sofitel at the Boao Conference area also has seriously good schnitzel and German suds. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Jawohl! For more details: www.kempinski-sanya.com

DELTA BRIDGES

Oct-Nov. 2008

49


Delta Pearls

S

By Melody Chu Mei Feng

even years ago this December, my life changed forever. A tabloid magazine in Taiwan distributed a CD that featured an illegally filmed video of me making love. It became an internet sensation. This scandal nearly destroyed me. I left Taiwan for a life of exile in London. Last year, I returned to my old career of journalism in Macau. It was good to be a news anchor again, and Macau Satellite TV (MASTV) is an excel-

lent employer. I’ve been able to accomplish a lot since joining them: its my duty now to personally oversee bureaus in the greater Pearl River Delta, particularly Guangzhou and Shenzhen. We at MASTV see these cities as strategic coverage. So, in August, I went to Guangzhou to set up a team of reporters. Then I went to Shenzhen shortly thereafter to set up another bureau. For some reason, a publication in Taiwan took notice and speculated that I’d been fired from Macau. I ignored the story. A month later, in the September edition of a magazine based in Hong Kong, a similar story was run. This time, it went too far. They printed a nude picture of me on the cover. They know who they are. I know who they are. I am contemplating suing them for millions of dollars. Millions. My company fully supports me in this matter. My boss had steel in his eyes when I showed him the magazine that had my naked photo on the cover. As a journalist it makes me depressed when media goes cheap. The lesson of my experience of being exposed naked to the whole world led me to this conclusion: forgiveness can heal one’s soul from such trauma. Earlier this year I publicly forgave the publisher of the Taiwan magazine who first published and sent out the video of me making love. Sure, I defeated this publication in a Taiwan court, received substantial compensation and helped enact a law that prohibits invasion of privacy. There are moments when one must be litigious for justice. I hope all survivors of unethical exposure (and I know there are plenty in Hong Kong) come to understand my story and feel empowered to seek justice and personal peace. There’s another matter at hand too. Something unspoken. It has much to do with how certain people in Hong Kong feel about the mainland. Not all, just some. For example, is there something amusing about a serious news

organization from Macau broadening coverage of the Guangzhou and Shenzhen markets? Is their some sort of flaccid jealousy amidst certain members of the Hong Kong media over the overwhelming success of Macau, Guangzhou and Shenzhen? Maybe there’s a financial reason for the fuss. Macau clearly has one of the most dynamic types of tourist and meeting hall destinations in Asia and poses a real challenge to Hong Kong’s tourism sector. Much can be said about the acumen of Macau’s top business leaders: Dr. Stanley Ho, Dr. Ambrose So, Pansy Ho, Lawrence Ho, Steve Wynn, Sheldon Adeleson, Francis Lui, James Packer, Terry Lanning, the list goes on. There’s Frank McFadden, Greg Hawkins, Grant Bowie, Mark Brown, Stephen Weaver, David Friedman and others whom have put Macau on the world’s media map. Does this cause editorial envy in certain Hong Kong newsrooms? Ask Macau’s Portuguese reporters. A fair number of them feel certain Hong Kong media outlets enjoy bashing Macau out of jealousy. These same media outlets seem to enjoy poking fun at Guangdong too. They must be catering to some market. However, in Guangzhou, leaders like Guangdong Governor Huang Huahua and Guangdong Communist Party Chief Wang Yang are seeking a higher quality of life for the people in this province. The 2010 Asian Games will spotlight their achievements: and MASTV’s bureaus are well poised already for the next two years. That’s why I left living in Macau full-time. Not because I was fired or sent to Guangzhou for punishment. When will I ever get peace? Sometimes I think I’ll have to row out far into the sea for a second of solace. As a former resident of Taiwan, I find reporting on this part of China fascinating. I hope the people living in Hong Kong, Macau, Guangzhou and Shenzhen see themselves as neighbors in one vibrant city with several exciting suburbs. There’s so much potential for mutual support. There’s so much potential for exchanging ideas and planning common goals — like working towards environmental cleanup of the Pearl River or developing green energy. This delta has so much potential with its two stock-exchanges, thousands of industrial centers, five international airports and scores of fivestar hotels and integrated resorts. The planned bridge from Hong Kong to Zhuhai and Macau is another asset that makes this region special. Take a look around. This is one of the most enthralling places on earth. That’s one reason why I love living here. And I hope residents of the Pearl River Delta enjoy its seaside splendor together. The time is over for petty jealousies or salacious gossip.

Melody Chu Mei Feng is a senior news anchor with MASTV. She divides her time between Macau, Shenzhen, Taiwan and London.

50

DELTA BRIDGES

Oct-Nov. 2008



Guangdong Gothams - A 2010 Urban Odyssey