Category Archives: Team Work

Trump Improving Chinese – American Relations

Chinese state-run media lauded Donald Trump Tuesday after a phone call between him and President Xi Jinping, saying that the president-elect’s emergence could mark a “reshaping” of Sino-American relations. The pair spoke Monday, when Xi said that the two powers needed to co-operate and Trump’s office said the leaders “established a clear sense of mutual respect for one another”.

On the campaign trail Trump frequently demonized Beijing, but questions have been asked whether his conduct in the White House will match his promises as a candidate. Monday’s conversation was “diplomatically impeccable and has bolstered optimism over bilateral relations in the next four years”, China’s frequently nationalistic Global Times newspaper said in an editorial. Barack Obama, whose foreign policy pivot to Asia alarmed Beijing, was “profoundly affected” by the Cold War-shaped outlook of American elites, the paper said, but Trump’s views “have not been kidnapped by Washington’s political elites”. “Trump is probably the very American leader who will make strides in reshaping major-power relations in a pragmatic manner,” it added, saying his ideology and experience “match well with the new era”.

It was a sharp contrast to the same newspaper’s editorial the day before, which baldly warned the incoming president not to follow through on campaign-trail promises to levy steep tariffs on Chinese-made goods or Beijing would take a “tit-for-tat approach” and target US autos, aircraft, soybeans, and iPhones. But the president-elect’s ambiguous and sometimes contradictory views on key questions on the relationship between the world’s two largest economies, including trade, the South China Sea and North Korea, have cast a pall of uncertainty over how he will manage it. While campaigning,

Trump went as far as calling the Asian giant America’s “enemy”, accused it of artificially lowering its currency to boost exports, threatened to impose tariffs of 45 percent, and pledged to stand up to a country he says views the US as a pushover. But he also indicated he is not interested in getting involved in far-off squabbles, and decried the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade deal, which encompasses several other Asian countries and has been seen as an effort to bolster US influence, for costing American jobs. TPP has been signed by the US but not ratified by the Senate, where its chances are seen as poor.

Tuesday’s editorial in the government-published China Daily newspaper called the Xi-Trump chat “propitious”, noting that Beijing is “understandably relieved that the exclusive, economically inefficient, politically antagonizing TPP is looking ever less likely to materialize”. Instead, Washington should consider joining the China-backed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a free trade area encompassing the Southeast Asian grouping ASEAN, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. Something of a mirror image to the TPP, it includes six of the putative Washington-led grouping’s 12 members.

Donald Trump has been President Elect for less than a week and everything is already falling into place. Both Canada and Mexico plan to renegotiate NAFTA. Mexico is considering talks about the wall and is preparing for mass deportation. Russia wants to help us destroy ISIS. China thinks our relationships will be better. The UK is very optimistic of relationships with the US. TPP was declared dead. All good things. Meanwhile, our mainstream media still hasn’t accepted the fact that he will be our next president.

The Chinese in general admire strength tempered with respect, protocol and politeness. Donald Trump is well and truly capable of all that.

Source: http://www.commonsenseevaluation.com/2016/11/15/china-says-trump-diplomatically-impeccable-first-contact/#sthash.dd1bgc0K.dpuf

Chinese Real Estate Focus is Here

World’s Biggest Real Estate Binge is Coming to a City Near You (Including the Seattle Area…keep reading)

November 14, 2016 — 8:00 AM PST – Bloomberg News: 

If they were anywhere else in Beijing, the five young women in cowboy hats and matching red, white, and blue costumes would look wildly out of place.

But here at the city’s biggest international property fair — a frenetic gathering of brokers, developers and other real estate professionals all jockeying for the attention of Chinese buyers — the quintet of wannabe Texans fits right in. As they promote Houston townhouses (“Yours for as little as $350,000!”), a Portugal contingent touts its Golden Visa program and the Australian delegation lures passersby with stuffed kangaroos.

Welcome to ground zero for the world’s largest cross-border residential property boom. Motivated by a weakening yuan, surging domestic housing costs and the desire to secure offshore footholds, Chinese citizens are snapping up overseas homes at an accelerating pace. They’re also venturing further afield than ever before, spreading beyond the likes of Sydney and Vancouver to lower-priced markets including Houston, Thailand’s Pattaya Beach and Malaysia’s Johor Bahru.

The buying spree has defied Chinese government efforts to restrict capital outflows and shows little sign of slowing after an estimated $15 billion of overseas real estate purchases in the first half. For cities in the cross-hairs, the challenge is to balance the economic benefits of Chinese demand against the risk that rising home prices spur a public backlash.

“The Chinese have managed to accumulate very large amounts of wealth, and the opportunities to deploy that capital in their own market are somewhat restricted,” said Richard Barkham, the London-based chief global economist at CBRE Group Inc., the world’s largest commercial property brokerage. “China has more than a billion people. Personally, I think we have just seen a trickle.”

While a dearth of government statistics makes it difficult to gain a comprehensive view of cross-border real estate investments, most industry projections point to a surge in Chinese purchases. Ping An Haofang, an online real estate platform owned by China’s second-largest insurer, says its $15 billion first-half estimate, derived from market data, nearly matches the figure for all of 2015.

Fang Holdings Ltd., the country’s most popular property website, predicts overseas buying on its system will increase 130 percent this year, while transactions through September at Shenzhen World Union Properties Consultancy Inc., China’s largest broker for new-home sales, were already 50 percent above last year’s level. The country overtook Canada as the largest source of residential purchases in America last year after an estimated $93 billion of buying from 2010 to 2015, according to a May report by the Asia Society and Rosen Consulting Group.

It adds up to the world’s biggest-ever wave of overseas residential property investment, according to Susan Wachter, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School who specializes in real estate markets. While Japan had a similar boom in the 1980s, it was mainly focused on commercial buildings, Wachter said.

Today’s Chinese buyers have a long list of reasons to flock overseas. The yuan’s slump is eroding their purchasing power, while returns on local financial assets — including stocks, bonds and wealth-management products — are shrinking as the $11 trillion economy slows.

Chinese real estate, meanwhile, has grown increasingly out of reach after a speculative boom sent domestic home prices to all-time highs. Residential property values in Shenzhen, Beijing and Shanghai all jumped more than 30 percent in the year through September, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

“Properties in Shanghai are ridiculously expensive,” Chen Feng, 38, said as he evaluated prospects at a property fair in Shanghai in September, lured by television commercials for the event the night before. “With the amount of money it takes to buy a small apartment here, I can buy a building of apartments in many places in the world.”

That line of reasoning is nothing new, of course. Sydney, Vancouver, Hong Kong, London and a handful of other cities have long been popular destinations for Chinese buyers.

The difference now is that those traditional hotspots are starting to lose their appeal, due to soaring prices and new measures to deter an influx of overseas money. In Hong Kong, the government enacted a 30 percent tax on foreign property owners this month after Chinese demand pushed home values toward record highs.

The risk of similar measures in other cities can’t be ruled out as politicians including Donald Trump, the U.S. president-elect, tap into local discontent over rising living costs, according to CBRE Group’s Barkham.

Ocean Views

Chinese buyers have responded by branching out to cheaper cities. In the U.S., they’re increasingly searching for properties in Houston, Orlando and Seattle, which displaced San Francisco in the first quarter as the third-most viewed U.S. market on Juwai.com, a Chinese search engine for offshore real estate.

At the national level, countries in Southeast Asia have grown more popular. Juwai.com’s queries on Thailand are surging at a 72 percent annual rate, helping it surpass Britain as one of the top five most-targeted destinations worldwide earlier this year.

In Pattaya Beach, Chinese investors have snapped up 20 percent of the luxury condos on offer from Kingdom Property Co. over the past year. The properties offer Gulf of Thailand views for as little as $120,000, or less than a quarter of what buyers would pay for a typical apartment in central Shanghai, according to Han Bing, a 30-year-old anchor in Chinese television shows who doubles as a sales agent for the Bangkok-based developer.

“It’s a cool bargain for a retirement plan,” Han said.

Capital Controls

In the Malaysian state of Johor, across the Northern border of Singapore, major Chinese builders including Country Garden Holdings Co., Greenland Holdings Corp. and Guangzhou R&F Properties Co. are all developing new projects. Country Garden agents handed out fliers for the firm’s $37 billion Forest City development at the Beijing property fair in September, advertising permanent property rights, zero inheritance taxes, long-term residence visas and high-quality hospitals.

One challenge for Chinese investors is getting money out of a country that caps individuals’ foreign-currency purchases at $50,000 a year. While that limit hasn’t always been strictly enforced, the yuan’s slump is prompting policy makers to clamp down. This year, they’ve banned the use of friends’ currency quotas, curbed on the cross-border activities of underground banks and asked lenders to reduce foreign-exchange sales.

Still, alternative routes abound. Many business owners finance their homes through offshore trading companies, while some Chinese developers allow clients to pay for overseas units in yuan. Foreign-currency mortgages also play a role, helping to fund more than 80 percent of China’s international property purchases, according to an estimate by Fang Holdings based on user searches and surveys.

Planning Ahead

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way,” said David Ley, a professor at the University of British Columbia who wrote a book on the flood of wealthy migrants from east Asia in the 1980s and 1990s.

This year’s purchases could be just be the tip of the iceberg. Chinese holdings of global real estate, including commercial properties, will probably swell to $220 billion by 2020 from $80 billion in 2015, according to Juwai.com.

As the first generation born after China’s opening in the late 1970s approaches middle age, many of them want an overseas base for family members to travel, study and work. Chinese parents with children at foreign schools have been a major source of demand, accounting for an estimated 45 percent of cross-border buying, according to Fang Holdings.

Zha Liangliang, a 31-year-old owner of commercial wheat farms in China’s eastern Jiangsu province, said he purchased a $587,000 apartment in Sydney in August and plans to add five more before sending his children to high school in Australia. He’s flying to the country this month to view homes and farmland, hoping to buy before the yuan weakens any further.

For some investors, it’s never too early to pull the trigger. Richard Baumert, a partner at Millennium Partners Boston, tells the story of a 33-year-old Chinese man who purchased a luxury home for his future children in August, convinced they’re destined to attend one of the city’s prestigious universities.

The buyer shelled out $2.4 million for the property, Baumert said, unfazed by the fact that he’s single and it could be two decades before he has kids old enough for college.

Original Source:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-11-14/world-s-biggest-real-estate-binge-is-coming-to-a-city-near-you

Note: There is no need to be overly concerned about the new Trump Administration, as mentioned in the article. New opportunities for good deals will be possible. Correct understanding and guidance is important. We are here to assist, just send us a message:  Frank@FrankKliewer.com 

 

Frank Assists the Chinese Community Reach Their Development Goals

As Frank begins again to build a development team geared to the unique needs of the Chinese community, let’s look at an example of how he can make a big difference in meeting the goals of others.

Frank was greatly honored when hired as a consultant to assist in the property purchase, development and construction of a new U.S. headquarters for a Chinese organization coming to Seattle.

Through Frank’s experience in managing the work of government agencies, contractors, architects, and engineers, he saved the organization well over a million dollars and eliminated at least a year of development work and construction time to complete the project. The highlights of his project consulting work included:

  • Searching for and locating documents in the City of Seattle government microfilm archives that resulted in a very significant price reduction of hundreds of thousands of dollars in the purchase price, by discovering important misrepresentations of the property.
  • Working with the top Planning and Building officials at the City of Seattle to gain important regulatory concessions that provided additional development advantages, and again saved hundreds of thousands of dollars by reducing code requirements which eliminated construction elements and months of development time.
  • Directing the work of architects, engineers and contractors as well as on site government building inspectors to gain additional regulatory considerations in the field, again saving time and money during the construction process by avoiding costly design and plan reviews through streamlining approval processes.

Frank’s aggressively successful consulting management style was praised by the new owners, as he greatly exceeded their expectations and goals.

Once again it was Frank’s great joy to meet his personal goal of bringing in projects under budget, ahead of schedule, and with more features than originally expected.

It is now Frank’s continued honor to work with a new team of professional and ethical associates in building the next series of development concepts, within culturally sensitive community living environments.

Please contact Frank to find out how he can assist you in fulfilling your dreams and goals.

Frank@FrankKliewer.com

Anytime cell: (206) 794-9900

Chinese Investors Looking for Development Opportunities

As subscribers and daily readers of the Wall Street Journal (print and online) we found the following article extremely telling in light of our past success and current work focus:

Chinese Cash Pours into U.S. Real Estate

SF Dev

Site on San Francisco Bay reflects a move into new development, beyond buying existing commercial properties

Chinese developers are planning a $1 billion commercial project on this San Francisco Bay property. Photo: Greenland USA

By Eliot Brown – Aug. 30, 2016 11:02 a.m. ET

For eight years, a pair of local developers gradually readied a 42-acre strip of waterfront land 10 miles south of downtown San Francisco for a major project, steering it through local land-use approvals.

Now, a group of major Chinese developers is poised to do the heavy lifting. The venture of Greenland Holding Group, Ping An Trust and other investors paid $171 million last month for the site that juts into San Francisco Bay.

The new owners are planning a more than $1 billion development aimed at biotechnology companies, an industry flourishing in the area. “We are pretty confident about the local market and particularly about the research-and-development market,” said Taotao Song, chief executive of the venture.

Over the past three years, Chinese investors have plowed money into some of the highest-profile developments in the U.S. Other cities with projects underway or in the pipeline include New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami.

graph of Chinese money flow

The flow of cash from China into U.S. commercial property is continuing unabated as companies seek to diversify outside of China at a time when confidence is fading in their local real-estate markets, real-estate executives say.

President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign has also compelled Chinese investors to seek projects abroad as a way to hedge against a possible crackdown to their business at home. Officials have blocked property sales and detained companies’ executives during investigations.

In the first half of 2016, completed U.S. commercial property purchases by China-based investors were up 19% over a year earlier to $5 billion, according to data tracker Real Capital Analytics Inc. Including deals under contract that haven’t been finished, Chinese investors have committed $12.9 billion this year, nearly matching the $14 billion in all of 2015. The rate of increase does appear to be slower this year, given that in 2014 there was just $3.4 billion in sales to Chinese investors, according to Real Capital.

Investments include office towers such as Manhattan’s 1285 Avenue of the Americas—in which China Life LFC -2.02 % Insurance Co. bought a partial stake—and Anbang Insurance Group Co.’s $6.5 billion deal to buy Strategic Hotels & Resorts Inc., which hasn’t closed. Anbang also led an aborted $14 billion purchase of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. HOT -0.37 %

Still, there are some headwinds back home for Chinese investors as officials seek ways to stanch the flow of money out of China. For those real-estate investors that do get money out, developing new buildings is a main focus, given that it offers far higher returns but also more risk than buying existing buildings.

“The vast majority are looking for development opportunities,” said Stephen Collins, who oversees a global capital markets group at real-estate investment-services company JLL. The Chinese companies have experience with development at home, and believe they “can make more money buying the land, building it and selling it,” than just buying an existing tower, he said.

Projects controlled or partly owned by Chinese companies include a development to create Chicago’s third-tallest tower; a planned tower that would be San Francisco’s second-tallest building; a cluster of giant mixed-use projects in downtown Los Angeles; and a planned skyscraper in downtown Boston by Chinese developer  Gemdale Corp. 600383 3.62 %

Earlier this month, in one of the flashiest investments yet, China’s Shanghai Municipal Investment said it was joining with New York-based Extell Development Co. to build the $3 billion Central Park Tower. The condo skyscraper is set to rise 300 feet taller than the Empire State Building to become the tallest apartment tower in the U.S.

LA Dev

A rendering of Greenland Group’s $1 billion Metropolis development in Los Angeles. Photo: Greenland USA

For all of these projects, a big risk is timing. The U.S. is seven years into an economic growth cycle, making many wonder how much longer the good times can last. Much of this concern is focused on Manhattan’s luxury-condo market, where Chinese companies have funded a large crop of towers that are just being built, despite a slowdown in sales and widespread concerns about a condo glut.

The largest Chinese developer in the U.S. is Greenland Group, which has a $1 billion cluster of towers named Metropolis being built in Los Angeles. The company also owns 70% of a $6 billion apartment development in the New York borough of Brooklyn, where three towers have sprouted since it first invested in 2014. More are on the way.

Greenland executives predicted in mid-2014 that they would double their pipeline within a year and have considered numerous sites throughout the country. But the company ended up being less active than expected: its first U.S. deal since mid-2014 was the San Francisco Bay site it purchased for the biotech center.

The seller of that site was a venture of Shorenstein Properties and SKS Partners, which bought it in July 2008 for $85 million and won city approval for a 2.3 million-square-foot development.

Greenland and its partners plan to start moving ahead on a 500,000-square-foot first phase as soon as infrastructure work being done by the city of South San Francisco is completed in mid-2018. Greenland said the venture would begin construction whether or not any of the space is leased beforehand.

—Esther Fung contributed to this article.

Original Source: http://www.wsj.com/articles/chinese-cash-pours-into-u-s-real-estate-1472569340

 

The Value of Competition

Rock Bottom Lake Racers (2)

What is the value of competition? Is it the acquisition of a prize, like Olympic gold or the praise of fans and friends? While completion may provide some incentive through the lure of winning something, it seems the real value is in the physical, mental and emotional strength developed in us as we discipline ourselves to push toward achieving a goal. Having someone to work with or compete against provides an extra push and gives us a measure of our level of engagement within a social setting.

Life is full of opportunities to compete, not only in sporting activities, but also in every activity throughout our day. Can we be aware enough of our actions to gauge if we are improving how we function? While it is fine, and even necessary to relax and enjoy the ride in resting intervals to regain our strength, finding the next level of our capacity can be greatly rewarding as we increase our strength, and even amplify the bond we have with others.

I was having these thoughts about competition yesterday morning while enjoying the ten minute rural commute to my office in Duvall. All of a sudden, I focused on a truck in front of me that I had just caught up with at the stoplight entering town. I was blown away by the message on the rear door and grabbed my phone to take a quick photo (below) while stopped behind it. This was just too weird, considering where my mind had been for the past ten minutes before seeing the truck (and I drive a Jeep by the way). I’m pretty sure it was a coincidence…but I had to consider other options. In any case, Bam, a life message right in my face.

Compete 2

Do you have a competition specialty? If not, perhaps today is a good time to get in a game…you’ll be stronger in many ways for making the effort, and you might have some fun and even make some friends. Come on, I dare you! Join me, because I’ve decided to find a game today. Let our games begin, and don’t forget to enjoy the ride!

Offsetting the Decline of Bee Colonies Around the World

As producers of a variety of garden edibles, the importance of timely bee pollination is obvious. Around the world, the implications of decreasing food supplies due to declining bee colonies is a critical problem facing the future of our planet.

The most common cause for the bee decline is the use of pesticides. From around 6 million bee colonies in 1945, it is estimated that only 3 million bee colonies remained just 10 years ago.

Dave

Today, we had the great fortune of meeting a man on the move, dedicated to working with like-minded people to create a solution to the loss of pollinating bee populations. Dave Hunter, the founder and owner of Crown Bees, is rapidly growing a business supplying a species of bee (the Mason Bee) to offset the decline in Honey Bees, which has served as the main food pollinators in the past. The Mason Bee actually has superior pollinating characteristics, and is a gentle and easy to breed species.

We have begun creating a central place for Dave’s Crown Bees in our garden sanctuary, and have gained immediate enthusiasm for the species.

We have at the same time gained a great level of respect for Dave and the mission of the Crown Bee group he is forming to make a significant impact for ethical change on our planet.

Take a look at the CrownBee.com website and learn more about Mason Bees and how you can help change the course of history for the better.

FoodShortange1
Honey Bee and a Mason Bee

Below is a quote from the CrownBee.com blog:

Science proved in the 1980’s that when mason bees were used in orchards, farmers increase the yield of their crop. Cherries can increase by 200-300 percent, almonds by less. Studies have been replicated in the US, Europe, and Asia for increased production of apples, pears, kiwi, peaches, and many other fruits and nuts which show amazing results.

These gentle mason bees exist in backyards and meadows worldwide. You might have them at your home, but until today, they have gone unnoticed. Gardeners are now using mason bees to gain more fruits and summer vegetables.

You can discover more about this astounding bee through reading the “learn” portion of Crown Bees website. You can raise this gentle bee yourself. Get started today.

May Your Trails be Crooked,

Mt.-Diablo

May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most dazzling view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.

Edward Abbey

The painting above “Mt. Diablo” is an original acrylic on stretched canvas (28″ x 22″) continued around the edges. You can select the image for a larger view.

Frank painted this canvas while working with his landscape teacher Charles White. Frank and Mary enjoyed walks with Charles in the foothills around Mt. Diablo in the San Francisco Bay Area. The views from the top are spectacular. Charles showed Frank the compelling nature of having a path lead the viewer into a painting.

Frank, normally a fairly solitary creative producer, is now involved in a new journey that requires new team members to assist with his current path to new heights. More on that in later installments here…

May you all be blessed with dazzling views by taking the right path