Nov. 14, 2017: ACSI Hosts China Business Conference

 Posted by on November 28, 2017  News  Comments Off on Nov. 14, 2017: ACSI Hosts China Business Conference
Nov 282017

On Tuesday, November 14th, the America China Society of Indiana hosted its second China Business Conference at The Conrad in downtown Indianapolis. The half-day, outbound focused event featured presentations on:

Briefing on China’s 19th Party Congress
Mr. Russell Menyhart // Partner at Taft Stettinius & Hollister

China-Indiana Economic Report
Mr. Kok-Chi Tsim // Managing Director at JPMorgan Chase

E-Commerce in China
Mr. William Ashworth //  Director of Local and State Affairs at Alibaba Group

Opportunities and Challenges for Hoosier businesses in China
Mr. Harrison Ding // President and CEO at and HiElites
Mr. Ralf Lorenzen // President of Business Process Solutions at Telamon Corporation
Dr. Craig Seidelson // Assistant Professor at University of Indianapolis

Thank you to our Sponsors!
2017 Sponsors


Aug. 24, 2017: ACSI Signs MOU with Zhejiang Int’l Investment Promotion Center

 Posted by on September 5, 2017  News  Comments Off on Aug. 24, 2017: ACSI Signs MOU with Zhejiang Int’l Investment Promotion Center
Sep 052017


The America China Society of Indiana (ACSI), a membership-based non-profit which facilitates bilateral business opportunities between Indiana and China, signed today a Memorandum of Understanding agreement with the Zhejiang International Investment Promotion Center (ZIIPC) at the Indiana-Zhejiang 30th Anniversary Celebration & Business Seminar at the Indiana Convention Center.

The agreement, witnessed by Governor Holcomb and Zhejiang Party Secretary Mr. Che Jun, aims to strengthen the business and economic ties between the state of Indiana and its sister province Zhejiang. Through this new platform, Indiana businesses, entrepreneurs and economic development professionals will be able to promote their products and services to potential partners in Zhejiang.

“Today marks a new chapter in the Indiana-China business relationship,” said Colin Renk, executive director of ACSI. “Through this agreement, organizations will have direct lines of communication with their counterparts in Zhejiang to provide more business opportunities for Indiana companies and more jobs for Hoosier workers.”

Between 2006-2016, Indiana’s goods exports to China rose 282% compared to the 51% growth rate in Indiana goods exported to the rest of the world. In 2015, Indiana’s exports to China supported 20,300 American jobs.

“For the past thirty years, Zhejiang has had a prosperous relationship with Indiana and we believe that by signing this agreement, our cooperation will be even better,” said Mr. Lu Weiqi, director of the Zhejiang International Investment Promotion Center.

Aug. 24, 2017: Indiana Renews Chinese Sister-State Partnership, Strengthening Global Ties

 Posted by on September 5, 2017  News  Comments Off on Aug. 24, 2017: Indiana Renews Chinese Sister-State Partnership, Strengthening Global Ties
Sep 052017


Governor Eric J. Holcomb joined economic and cultural stakeholders from Indiana and China’s Zhejiang Province today to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Indiana-Zhejiang sister-state relationship, celebrating economic, cultural and educational efforts shared between the two states.

“We are thrilled to celebrate our 30 years of friendship with Zhejiang Province and reaffirm our cultural and economic ties,” Gov. Holcomb said. “It’s partnerships like this that help propel Indiana and Zhejiang to new levels, creating new business opportunities and enhancing international trade. As our future unfolds, I look forward to seeing the benefits that come from our global partnership.”

During the celebration, Gov. Holcomb and Zhejiang Party Secretary Che Jun, the highest-ranking official in the province and a member of the Zhejiang Provincial People’s Congress, renewed the Indiana-Zhejiang sister-state agreement that dates back to 1987. The agreement reaffirms the Indiana-Zhejiang sister-state relationship to further enhance economic relations, encourage industrial innovation and foster cultural, educational and healthcare exchanges.

After the ceremony, government, educational and business leaders participated in a business matchmaking seminar, allowing China-based firms and Indiana companies with operations in China to strengthen trade opportunities. Guests also had the opportunity to visit a tourism exhibition, which highlighted Zhejiang’s culture and tourist destinations.

Since 2010, China-based companies have announced plans to invest $217.4 million and create more than 929 new jobs in Indiana. Earlier this year, BeijingWest Industries, Co. Ltd announced plans to locate its first U.S. production facility in Indiana, creating up to 440 new, high-wage jobs by 2021.

Indiana is home to approximately 800 foreign-owned business that provide more than 170,000 quality jobs for Indiana residents. In 2016, more than $1.7 billion in exports were sent to Chinese markets from Indiana, making the country Indiana’s fourth largest-export location in the world.

June 22, 2017: Chinese-owned SF Motors Agrees to Buy AM General Plant

 Posted by on June 27, 2017  News  Comments Off on June 22, 2017: Chinese-owned SF Motors Agrees to Buy AM General Plant
Jun 272017

AM General

A Chinese-owned, Silicon Valley-headquartered company has announced an agreement to acquire the Mishawaka commercial assembly plant of South Bend-based AM General LLC. SF Motors says it plans to produce “environmentally-friendly, intelligent” electronic vehicles in St. Joseph County. The company is a subsidiary of Chongqing Sokon Industry Group and says it intends to retain the facility’s full current work force and invest $30 million into upgrades.

The plant, which employs around 430 in Mishawaka, is operated independently of AM General’s military assembly plant in the area. MAP operations will not be affected. SF Motors says it is not releasing financial details of the acquisition, but says the only current customer contract at the CAP is slated to expire at year’s end, which would result in the shutdown of a production line. AM General’s website says its commercial operations have assembled more than 1.5 million vehicles in more than 50 years, including the Hummer H1 and H2, Ford Transit Connect Electric, MV-1 paratransit vehicles and Mercedes-Benz R-Class.

SF Motors Chief Executive Officer John Zhang “this transaction represents a unique opportunity to grow our intelligent electric vehicle business through the addition of an existing production facility and a skilled work force. We are excited to work closely with our new Indiana-based team to produce SF Motors’ next-generation electric vehicle in South Bend, Indiana, and we look forward to becoming a part of the local community and a strong contributor to Indiana’s economic growth.”

SF Motors recently set up its North American headquarters in the Silicon Valley and a research and development operation in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The company has ambitious plans in the U.S., which include establishing an EV clean mobility brand based on the West Coast that will source its parts primarily in the U.S. and create a supply chain in the country.

AM General CEO Andy Hove calls SF Motors “the right long-term owner to support the CAP, as well as the South Bend community and the State of Indiana.” He adds “this transaction puts the CAP on solid ground to keep the assembly lines running, providing our tremendously talented and dedicated employees new opportunities as part of SF Motors and its plans to produce next-generation electric vehicles. South Bend has been AM General’s home for nearly 30 years, and following the sale of the CAP, we will maintain our deep ties to the region as we continue to operate our military business, which is profitable, strong, and growing.”

The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter. It is awaiting industry approvals, as well as clearance from regulators in the Unites States and China.

Story Courtesy of Inside Indiana Business/Dan McGowan

June 12, 2017: ACSI Participates in US-China Think Tank Symposium

 Posted by on June 20, 2017  News  Comments Off on June 12, 2017: ACSI Participates in US-China Think Tank Symposium
Jun 202017

CASS Symposium

On June 12, 2017, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences hosted the US-China Think Tank Symposium at the World Food Prize facility in downtown Des Moines, Iowa. The day-long event, which hosted two dozen speakers including former Ambassadors J. Stapleton Roy, Kenneth M. Quinn and Julia Chang Bloch, featured topics on the US-China relationship under the Trump Administration, US-China trade and economic cooperation and the future prospects of cooperation between the world’s two largest economies. ACSI Executive Director, Colin Renk, presented to the Symposium on state/province exchanges and cooperation.

May 9, 2017: ACSI Hosts Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

 Posted by on May 15, 2017  News  Comments Off on May 9, 2017: ACSI Hosts Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
May 152017


On Tuesday, May 9th, ACSI hosted a delegation from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) to Indianapolis. Named the top think tank in Asia by Foreign Policy magazine, the delegation, led by Dr. Wang Lei, met with executives from Indiana University, the International Center and the Office of Mayor Joe Hogsett to discuss collaborative opportunities for engagement and exchanges between China and Indiana.

Apr. 13, 2017: BeijingWest Industries Announces $80M Investment in Greenfield, Ind.

 Posted by on April 13, 2017  News  Comments Off on Apr. 13, 2017: BeijingWest Industries Announces $80M Investment in Greenfield, Ind.
Apr 132017

BeijingWest Industries, Co. Ltd. (BWI), a premier chassis supplier that designs and manufactures brake and suspension systems for the global automotive market, announced plans to locate its first U.S. production facility in Indiana, creating up to 441 new, high-wage jobs by 2021.

“BWI had options when deciding where to locate its first U.S. facility, and I’m thrilled they chose the Hoosier state,” Governor Eric J. Holcomb said. “Indiana is home to the second largest automotive industry in the nation, and we offer companies like BWI close proximity to their customers. As a state, we must continue to provide the skilled workforce, world-class infrastructure and pro-growth tax climate that attracts and supports business and residents.”

The Beijing-headquartered company, which serves more than 31 customers around the world and provides the highly-acclaimed MagneRide® suspension system, will invest more than $80 million to build and equip a new 276,514-square-foot manufacturing facility in Greenfield’s Progress Park. The global company, which generated $2 billion of new business in 2016, plans to break ground on the new facility this summer and launch production in August 2019. With its growth, BWI expects to increase its production by 4 million parts per year to meet the continued demand from its customers, which include Audi, BMW, Ferrari, Ford, General Motors, Honda and Porsche.

“BWI is excited to be working with the state of Indiana and Hancock County on this extremely important project,” said John Beres III, assistant president and global director of BWI. “We are appreciative of the support given to us at the state and local level. This plant will expand our North American footprint to support our U.S. customer base.”

BWI employs nearly 5,000 associates across more than 17 facilities around the world, which includes operations in China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Poland, United Kingdom and the U.S. The company operates seven manufacturing operations and seven technical centers, including one in Dayton, Ohio. The Indiana-based facility will be the company’s first manufacturing site in the U.S. 

BWI plans to begin hiring for machine operators, maintenance and lab technicians in February 2018. These positions are expected to pay average salaries higher than the state average wage. Interested applicants may apply online at the start of 2018. In addition, the company plans to work with Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, which is the largest singly-accredited statewide community college system in the nation, to help develop workforce training.

BWI, a joint venture of Shougang Corporation and Beijing Fangshan State-Owned Asset Management, was formed in 2009 when the company bought the brake and suspension business of Delphi Automotive, which was once a part of General Motors. Since its 2009 acquisition, BWI has added 25 automotive vehicle manufacturers to its customer base.

Pending approval from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) Board of Directors, the IEDC will offer BWI North America Inc up to $4,550,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $200,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans. These incentives are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. The city of Greenfield will consider additional incentives at the request of the Hancock County Economic Development Council.

“Thank you to BWI for choosing Indiana for their growth, bringing numerous job and economic opportunities to our city,” said Mayor Chuck Fewell. “This decision is confirmation that our low-cost, reliable utilities and other amenities contribute to making Greenfield an attractive place to do business. We look forward to working alongside BWI on their new facility in Greenfield and are excited about the long-term relationship between both a great city and company.”

Indiana is home to approximately 800 foreign-owned business establishments, which provide more than 152,000 quality jobs for Hoosiers. With more the than 1 million cars assembled in Indiana each year, the Hoosier state is home to the second-largest automotive industry in the nation by GDP, providing BWI close proximity to a leading automobile industry. As of 2016, China is the state’s second largest import country and is ranked fourth largest for exports. 

Mar. 31, 2017: Immigration Speculation Has Some International Workers on Edge

 Posted by on April 13, 2017  News  Comments Off on Mar. 31, 2017: Immigration Speculation Has Some International Workers on Edge
Apr 132017

A local engineering company’s immigration attorney worked to provide reassurance to members of the Columbus international community who have been anxious about future U.S. policy affecting foreign workers.

Before introducing LHP Engineering Solutions’ in-house attorney to the group of about 50 at The Commons on Thursday, LHP owner Ryan Hou explained he had been where they are now — 32 years ago, when he was in the United States on a work visa.

“I understand the frustration and anxiety in the process,” he said.

When he was starting out, Hou hired his own attorney to shepherd him through the process of getting a green card, a process that back then took months. Today, for workers from China, the process can take five to seven years. For workers from India, it can take 10 years.

While facing those kind of waits, anxiety has further intensified among LHP employees and others in the international community in Columbus as the Trump administration rolls out different possibilities about rules for foreign workers in the U.S., including rules interpreted inaccurately on social media, said Blair Wheat, LHP’s in-house specialist on employment-based immigration law.

Colin Renk, executive director of the America China Society of Indiana, described the landscape as foreign policy dictated by Twitter, with leaders who are governing communicating directly with the governed — with some unintended misconceptions creating even more confusion.

“We’re getting a stream-of-conscious policy coming out without it being finalized,” Renk told the group. “There are ramifications to that.”

Among them has been an estimated 50 emails a day from LHP employees to Wheat, who was the main speaker for Thursday’s session. The emails have contained questions about what will happen to international families if the new administration changes the H1B visa program.

About H1B visa

An H1B is a non-immigrant visa that allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. The program is used extensively in Columbus to provide engineering talent to area manufacturers.The United States issues about 85,000 new H1B visas each year, and recipients may stay in the United States up to six years — with most of the visas going to high-tech workers, according to the federal government. The visas are so popular that the federal government conducts a lottery to distribute them.

Wheat reassured people in the audience on Thursday — many from China, Japan and India — that employment-based immigration in not ending as they know it. The anxiety is occurring when individuals do their own research on the Internet, he said.

Thursday’s session was designed to provide an objective, clear explanation of the immigration policy as it exists now, and also provide an explanation of pending federal legislation about immigration, he said.

The session was different from a gathering earlier this year sponsored by the Islamic Society of Columbus Indiana, which met at IUPUC in February to discuss the effect of President Trump’s first executive order on the local Muslim community.

That order on immigration would have prohibited citizens of seven countries with primarily Muslim populations from being allowed entry in the United States for 90 days. The countries are Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. All refugees were to be banned from entering the United States for 120 days. That executive order was stayed during the IUPUC meeting and a second, modified one was also put on hold by a federal judge.

Thursday’s session was about current immigration law and pending legislation that could affect international workers who are here legally, but could have their efforts to obtain permanent resident status stymied by proposed changes.

Immigration law process

Wheat began by explaining the process the federal government uses to make administrative changes in immigration law and how slow that process is.He then talked about a leaked purported executive order from the Trump administration, never issued, that has circulated on social media, creating a great deal of fear among the international community who are utilitizing work visas.

The leaked document said the Trump administration wanted to roll back some of the immigration advances the Obama administration had put in place and change the process for obtaining an H1B from the lottery system with a system of giving the visas to the highest-paid workers.

Wheat said the likelihood of this document becoming a rule to be published under administrative changes in the law to be almost zero, describing the leaked document as campaign rhetoric.

Wheat then went through various House and Senate immigration-related bills being considered on the federal level and giving the merits, and problems, with each.

Saying it was not his assertion, but rather the research of those who calculate the likelihood of certain bills passing on the federal level, Wheat said the probability of any of the changes is less than 1 percent.

“It’s just unlikely to happen,” he said. “The H1B visa program has not changed for years and probably won’t change for years.”

Hou said he has become more politically active with federal candidates after seeing how much power government has on the legal immigration process and how frustrated workers are becoming in trying to obtain a green card — a process that can take decades. A green card signifies becoming a permanent U.S. resident, which includes permission to live and work in the United States.

Although LHP has in-house immigration counsel, Hou acknowledged that many companies don’t. He hoped Thursday’s session would provide some guidance and help to international workers in Columbus.

“We’re unusual — we’re a small company, but this is how important it is for our skilled engineers,” he said. “I understand both sides. I am an employer here and I have been an employee here on an H1B visa, and got a green card and became a citizen. All of these restrictions are making people scared.”

Hou was particularly dismayed at the United States’ continuing policy of pursuing top engineering talent from around the world and bringing them here for a short time, and then sending them home to compete with the U.S. in the future.

“They come to Purdue University, and work here for a time and we send them home,” he said of the international engineering talent that comes to Indiana but leaves after their visas expire.

“On a city level, for Columbus, I want them to feel welcome here, settle down here,” he said. “They need a green card to feel they belong in the United States.”


Article by: Julie McClure – The Republic

Mar. 1, 2017: ACSI Announces New Board Members

 Posted by on March 8, 2017  News  Comments Off on Mar. 1, 2017: ACSI Announces New Board Members
Mar 082017

FullSizeRender    shen

ACSI is delighted to announce the additions of Mr. Jay Chu and Dr. Shen Liu Macheel to its Board of Directors.

Mr. Jay Chu is President of East-Terra Plastics an advanced recycling facility capable of processing post-industrial and post-commercial plastics. Mr. Chu has extensive national and international plastics recycling experience and has used his knowledge to assist customers with their recycling needs. Mr. Chu has been a proud partner to the Indy Metro YMCA, Easter Seals, Shares and Toys for Tots.

A native of Anqing, China, Dr. Shen Liu Macheel is the Chief Business Development and Operations Officer at The GILS Group and Director of International Relations at the Invest Midwest Regional Center. At GILS, she oversees the organization’s operations in the international markets, working with business leaders on investment and immigration needs. At the Invest Midwest Regional Center, she has been actively involved with promoting foreign direct investment for a 33 county region in the state of Indiana.

Feb. 22, 2017: Gov. Holcomb Meets Chinese Consul General, Chinese Businesses

 Posted by on February 23, 2017  News  Comments Off on Feb. 22, 2017: Gov. Holcomb Meets Chinese Consul General, Chinese Businesses
Feb 232017

Holcomb Meeting

On Wednesday, February 22nd, Governor Eric Holcomb met with Chinese Consul General Mr. Hong Lei at the Governor’s Office in downtown Indianapolis. Accompanied by representatives from Wanxiang America, Hainan Airlines, Bank of China, Nanshan America, C&U Americas, Kingfa Science and Technology and CIMC Vanguard, the group discussed business and economic development opportunities with leadership from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation along with strengthening Indiana’s relationship with China.