Entrepreneurs opening goods pipeline from Y-S to China
They recently sent a shipment of wine — much of it from Renaissance Winery in Oregon House — to what, for centuries, had been a traditional fishing port in China's Shandong Province.
Marysville restaurant owner Roger Hsu and his business partner Mohamed Tung of Sacramento hope to create a steady flow of agricultural products from California to Chinese consumers via a modern, duty-free enterprise zone in Shandong Province.
On Sunday, the two men took a team of mostly Yuba-Sutter business people as well as a load of sample products — including Sylverleaf olive oil and Taylor prunes — on a promotional trip to Yantai City, China.
There, according to Tung, the group will help celebrate the grand opening of a 17,000-square-foot exhibition center from which Century Nationwide Enterprise of Olivehurst can showcase and sell American products.
"It's sort of a Costco model," said Yuba County Supervisor John Nicoletti, who is serving as one of the emissaries for the company owned by Hsu and Tung.
Century Nationwide's recycling enterprise already supplies scrap paper, cardboard and metal to China, Tung explained last week.
The company's latest venture expands its trade to include a wide variety of products. The owners hope agriculture-based goods from the Mid-Valley are just the start.
"It's a totally new building and we have a 20-year lease," said Tung of the exhibition center in Yantai City. His company has reserved 35,000-square-feet of additional space so there is room to expand quickly if things go well.
The rented space in Yantai currently is being filled with Mid-Valley products and goods from elsewhere in California.
According to Tung, his unique operation includes an in-house customs office.
"You can pick and buy what you want and take it to the post office right there to get an estimate. It will be mailed directly to your house (in China)," he said. "You drive home, and three days later the package is there."
Products can be sold for wholesale or for retail from the same location, he said.
In addition to Nicoletti and Hsu, the are delegation includes the Yuba County agriculture commissioner and representatives from the Yuba-Sutter Farm Bureau the Yuba-Sutter Economic Development Corporation as well as from the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development.
"We are trying to promote trade relations between the two regions," Tung said of the Mid-Valley and Yantai City in Shandong Province. "There's a lot of free cash laying around there in China, and using our professional knowledge will boost our local agricultural area economically."
Hsu, who once owned Wonderful Restaurant in Marysville, now owns Hikuni Japanese and Asian Fusion restaurants in the same location on J Street.
CONTACT Nancy Pasternack at email@example.com or 749-4781. Find her on Facebook at /ADnpasternack or on Twitter at @ADnpasternack.