Galen University’s Timely China Business Course Offering
By Jonathan Poston
A rising red dragon is eying Central America, scouting safe harbor for investment and future development. As the world’s second largest economy, China has gradually spread her great red wings around the world, stirring up new business, energy, and food for her growing population of more than 1.3 billion people. Many countries, businesses, organizations, etc. have been approached by this new energetic, risk-averse force from the East with deals in hand for those ready to profit from this ancient empire’s modern day expansion plans. There are not many who would turn a cold shoulder to such lucrative proposals.
This 2012 NY Times article, “China Buys Inroads in the Caribbean, Catching U.S. Notice” highlights Chinese gifts to the Caribbean, in what could have been the beginning of a steadily unfolding, and somewhat obfuscated strategic economic development plan that is likely to touch many
nations, like Belize, in Central America.
According to the above NY Times article, the goodwill doled out by the Chinese, paving the way for future business no doubt, was: A $35 million stadium given to the Bahamas. A sports stadium, grammar school, and renovated hospital to Dominica. A new cricket stadium and power plant to Barbuda and Antigua. An offer to lend $6.3 billion to Caribbean governments.
While the previously referenced article makes clear that China’s ambitions in the Caribbean sharply contrasts with its quest for commodities in Africa and South America, it’s important to note that its true intentions have not been completely revealed, but a little over a year after that article was published The Washington Times reported on July 15 that a “Chinese tycoon plans to rival Panama Canal with $40 billion waterway through Nicaragua”.
What this means for Nicaragua, and indeed, China, is yet to be seen, but a project this large standing in direct competition to the long established trade route through Panama is sure to be a disruptor, but one that is likely to come with calculated returns for all parties, and indeed one that could be a bellwether for more Chinese investment to come.
Belize should prepare herself for negotiations. In doing so, it is prudent to remember that every business deal is not a win-win, especially when perceived benefits to countries like Belize may be very short-term gains in the scope of China’s long-view strategic planning. In fact, the old zero-sum game of a winner and a loser walking away from the table is not out of the question, especially if the loser, often walking away as a hero in their own mind, doesn’t understand the real costs involved. It is always important to remember whom in any deal has the most leverage, and whom is offering the contracts (contracts are often written in the issuing party’s favor, especially if the perception is that the larger party doesn’t really need the smaller one). This doesn’t necessarily mean that exploitation is inevitable, but it does, or rather should, behoove the more vulnerable parties engaged in negotiations to do their homework, ultimately aspiring to understand their business partner’s culture, motives, goals, etc., and to ensure that all parties will benefit equally over time.
With China already at the negotiating table for many countries in Central America, Belize’s own Galen University is offering to undergraduates a very timely course this fall 2013 titled, “Chinese Business Partnerships & Economic Development.” To learn how to register visit Galen University Website. Like Galen University facebook page to support their organization and stay informed about what they are dong for Belize Education.
Jonathan Poston is an adjunct business professor at Galen University, full time business professor at Warren Wilson College, and currently serves as Director of Strategic Partnerships at Drymos Group LLC ( www.drymos.com ). He can be reached at info -at- drymos.com or on Linked In.
My 2 cents – Johnathan’s guest post makes some very valid points. We are seeing evidence of major changes around us and we need to make sure we do out part to protect what is important and not get bedazzled by offers that do not have long range Belize conservation at heart. I always say we are giving mother earth indigestion and need to get better at easing that.
My fishing and conservation research is going fabulously, I feel like I am putting a giant puzzle together. Dick and I were going to meet with Rudy yesterday but he was off on on an few day adventure in Belize City. Meeting with his wood carver and showing his lovely wife Sharon their family cemetery which dates back to the 1700’s and pirate days. I wish I was on that field trip, his history is very interesting and I have seen some pretty amazing photos in his collection, not only giant fish caught, or released on his boat but world class diving shots tooÂ 🙂 Like Strike Force Belize facebook page to see Rudy’s big fish pictures.
Not wanting to blow off work research, I set plan b in action go visit James at Captain Shark’s Boatyard, tacoboy had even told him to expect us sometime this week when they ran into each other at Pedro’s Pizza the other night.
I did not have to twist Dicks arm too hard in fact he liked the idea so much he said we had to go visit the Captain Shark’s shop in town first. Boy an I glad he did I found a great navy blue raincoat for $15.95 – major score. I was very impressed with their selection of flashlights, first aid kits and super cool mini fishing rods. We both forgot to it was on our shopping list to buy the oil filter for Cindy and Andy’s cart , guess we will have to go back and shop some more. 🙂
I will leave you with Poodle Pirate and other pictures of our our fun time shopping downtown and our trip to the boatyard after that. While there I got a chance to snap a few pics for as a present Pedro, he likes presents. His big new custom made boat that is being being built at Captain Shark’s Boatyard is a toy he recently gifted himself.
We had a great talk with James about fishing, the environment and what is up and coming in the fishing world. He also showed us a couple of finished models that will be what Peter’s boat will look like when it is done, no one knows he name or color yet – any good name suggestions? I can already see him smiling and telling people “My boat is Bigger than yours and there is a good chance he will be right – see last picture for a fun size comparison.
One thing is for sure, it is going to be one crazy fun toy when it is finished – thanks for the boat ride in advance Peter and hopefully Captain Walter. Don’t forget to Like Captain Shark’s Marine Center facebook page for updates on: fishing tournaments, store sales, boat deals and more. Like Pedro’s Hotel facebook page for parties, vacation deals and information.