A New Business with Old Roots – China Bridge to Help Bring Investment to the U.S., Spur Growth for Chinese and U.S. Companies

ANN ARBOR, Mich., February 10, 2010 – China Bridge a strategic business growth and development company, has opened in Ann Arbor, Mich., to help businesses in the U.S. and China execute their global expansion strategies.  The announcement was made by          C. Peter Theut, President and Chief Executive Officer of China Bridge and its Holding Company, Bridges International Network.

China Bridge specializes in helping US companies establish operations in China and in helping Chinese businesses invest and enter the US market. It provides a comprehensive range of legal, financial, operational and government relations services that are tailored to a client company’s specific objectives, budget and other requirements.

“China Bridge is a single point-of-contact for U.S. companies that seek to establish or expand their presence in China, and for Chinese companies that want to enter the U.S. markets,” Theut said.

China Bridge offers clients substantial experience in creating business entities and developing business plans, as well as identifying strategic partners for labor, financial, and sales and marketing initiatives.  It also can assist with all related government, and technical legal problems.

“An important China Bridge differentiator is that we help clients develop effective strategies, help implement them, and then keep them on track to deliver ongoing success,” Theut said.

Several China Bridge projects currently underway range in scale and represent diverse industries including: real estate, construction, technology, and manufacturing investment.

Launching China Bridge is especially timely now, given the challenges our domestic economy is facing,” Theut said. “Every time we help a Chinese client enter the U.S. market, we will create jobs and generate tax revenue, and that has a strong ripple effect in local and state economies.”

Legal core and substantial in-country experience are foundation for success 

Theut formed China Bridge after a distinguished career with the Butzel Long law firm, where he was instrumental in the establishment of Butzel Long’s international practice and then chaired its China Initiative prior to his recent retirement as a partner and shareholder. Theut brings more than 45 years of international business experience and 20 years of China-focused business expertise. He has been joined by other seasoned China business team members.

Jerome Hill, Senior Vice President/Director, China Projects, and Jennifer Feng-Smith, Vice President/Director, Affiliate Relations round out the current core China Bridge team and bring a combined 43 years of China and U.S. business experience to clients of China Bridge.

Hill is fluent in Mandarin Chinese, a long-time China business advisor and sought-after China business counselor. He was most recently Counsel to Butzel Long for its China Initiative and a member of the adjunct faculty of Oakland University. Hill is an internationally-known expert in Chinese business and legal matters, and has been recognized as a “Citizen of China” by that country for his work in Guizhou province. Hill brings more than 25 years of China experience and is a legal expert in areas that include: creating business entities in China; resolution of employment, labor and government issues; repatriation of funds; and related Chinese business issues.

Feng-Smith is a native Chinese and is fluent in Mandarin, Taiwanese and English. She has assisted dozens of Fortune 500 and 100 companies with their China entry strategies and structural planning; and has particular expertise in business development, program management and complex, high-level contract negotiation. Feng-Smith was formerly a Global Trade Advisor for Butzel Long’s International and China Initiatives.

“The China Bridge team is passionate about helping companies achieve their strategic goals,” Theut said.  “Expanding their global footprint is a key element for more and more of our clients in North America and Asia; the depth and breadth of our team’s expertise allows China Bridge to provide support at a level that traditional law firms and consultants simply cannot match.”

Theut added that the company will soon add a seasoned Chief Operating Officer who has extensive experience in global operations to further differentiate it from the traditional model most people think of when they think about legal or other consulting-type firms.

China experience ushers in a new business model for China Bridge clients 

Given his lengthy international experience, Theut is well-versed in the business challenges and issues faced by companies involved in international expansion and has formed China Bridge as a model for providing the comprehensive and integrated services needed by companies wishing to grow internationally.

According to Theut, companies moving or expanding into another country face a set of major and very comprehensive issues. These can include: trade, governmental, regulatory, language and cultural issues at every turn that combine with a number of variables resulting in a fluid and very dynamic environment. Flexibility, expertise and an integrated understanding of a client’s business and business objectives become critical to cost-effectively guiding a company through the process.

“We found our clients were best served by a more comprehensive, more nimble and cost-effective response to issues than by the approach oftentimes utilized by traditional law or consulting firms,” Theut explained. He added that this new, nimble approach enables China Bridge to be more responsive, more efficient and more cost-effective, while still building international operations on a solid legal basis.

“We came to realize that we were able to address a broad range of client concerns in an effective and efficient manner, and recognized the need for an entirely new business model – this is the model that we’ve adopted for China Bridge,” Theut said.

Under the China Bridge model, clients will have access to an established network of professional service and other network providers in an integrated package that’s managed by international experts and applied precisely as-needed. This includes international legal representation by leaders in the specific practice areas and regions required for client project success.

China Bridge serves as model for Bridges International Network rollout strategy   

As an operating subsidiary of Bridges International Network, China Bridge is the model and first of a series of region-specific operating companies to be rolled out over the coming 48 months.

Drawing on an established network of business and legal service providers, and driven by client requirements, Bridges International Network will expand into other countries and regions to include: Mexico, South America, India, Europe and possibly others.

This family of operating companies focused on different areas of the world will offer similar but unique-to-market services from a blend of regional and international service providers. All will provide client companies with an efficient and effective blend of support tailored to their business objectives and budgets, with a solid legal foundation.

About China Bridge

China Bridge is a strategic business growth and development company headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., and a subsidiary of Bridges International Network. China Bridge is focused on helping clients bridge the cultural, business development and operational challenges that confront competitors in the global marketplace.  China Bridge works with U.S. companies currently doing business in China or with a strategic interest in expanding into the country, as well as with Chinese companies investing in or otherwise entering the U.S. markets.