Asian Economic and Financial Conference: Connect and Grow

Article by Wun Kuen Ng

James Li, organizer of Asian Business Network, hosted the event, which took place at the Asia Society Museum on 725 Park Avenue on Thursday, November 14, 2013. What started out as a meetup group in 2006 has gain momentum with over 1,000 members. Mostly Asian members, there are about 30% non-Asians, interested in connecting and forming partnerships with Asian businesses in China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, etc., and vice versa, for those Asian businesses trying to break into the American market. The industries represented at the conference were technology, finance, real estate, and marketing. There were 300 attendees who turned up at the conference, a decent number for the size of the space on the 8th floor of the museum. is a proud media sponsor for the event.

This was a great networking opportunity for students, young professionals, and businesses that wanted visibility. Representatives from Godiva were at the conference. They raffled off beautifully wrapped boxes of chocolate at the end of the evening. Comptroller John Liu also made an effort to attend the event and gave a welcome speech.

Newbies at networking like Anita XinXin Zhang, a first year MBA student at Fordham, enjoyed the opportunity to meet other business professionals. There were several other Fordham students including Tony Cai, one graduate student studying political economics with concentration in Africa and America.

Noriko Motegi, a licensed attorney, both in Japan and the United States, found the speakers informative and current. The nuclear plant incident is driving away foreign investors. There is a need to give reassurance to investors that there is no fear, business is as usual, without nuclear energy. It is important to help do business in Japan. She heard about the event from reading an article in a Japanese magazine. Her friend, Tomoko Sugawa felt the absence of Japanese attendees in the conference, and did not want the Japanese community to be isolated.

Scott Rosenthal, a real estate company owner, spoke of his business dealings in China. From his experience, if one agrees with the prices negotiated with the Chinese, still at bargain prices, one will mostly likely not get short changed in cheap materials. He was happy with the shipment of tiles, almost bullet-proof, he received from China, for his building. He knew of clients who bargain down the price of the tiles with the Chinese companies in China and got inferior tiles with mixed ingredients in them. One gets what one pays for.

Some might not have made it to the panel discussion but no one will forget the food or the music. The fresh sushi from Red Panda Asian Bistro Sushi Bar was worth lining up for. Legend Bar & Restaurant had some spicy pepper dishes that made the conversation burn. Ajisai Japanese Fusion made one stopped and noticed the mini pizza Japanese style among the trays of food. Indian food was popular too, curry and naan. There were also bubble teas sponsored by Kung Fu Tea and sodas like Coke and Sprite.

The evening ran smoothly with entertainment from Alessandra Licul, who sang original songs. “Hour Glass,” “Pumping Blood”, and “Ghost of Love,” were some of the songs featured. She really enjoyed the venue, the food, and the audience.

People kept talking and networking. The security literally had to kick everyone out by flashing the lights and repeatedly say that the venue is closed so they can close the museum and go home.

The next event Asian Business Network will partner with to present the “East Meets West Global Fashion Show”, part of AsianInNY’s 10th Annual Asian Fashion Show and the event is currently scheduled in March 2014. We definitely look forward to it!

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