“On the first day we arrived in Shennan, we had already decided to give up on building a factory here.”
This statement struck the crowd dizzy, they were unable to recover for a long while. Qiu Zhengye and his people were okay, many years of official career made him develop the habit of being “angry and invisible”, while those grassroots leaders were not so well cultivated, their faces were as black as the bottom of a pot, the temper tantrums had even begun in a low voice cursing.
No investment, no plant, you let us accompany you around for so many days! Why don’t you go to heaven?
“Mr. Andorio, it’s inherently a difficult process for two parties to reach a cooperation, and we are very sincere in Haidong Province. If you have any dissatisfaction, you can just bring it up and we can change it, right.” Qiu Zhengye’s words expressed sincerity without losing the decency of China, worthy of being a party feudal official.
“Yeah, yeah, Governor Qiu is right. If the infrastructure is not perfect, we in the Shennan region fully support it, the roads should be repaired, and the policies are definitely the most favorable.”
“We in Yantian County will definitely do a good job in service, the county finances special things, as long as the will is united, there is nothing that can’t be overcome.”
Shennan’s secretary and Yantian County’s leaders had voted.
In this particular period of history in the early 1980s, for Huaguo, it was not Roche’s one million dollars in foreign exchange that was of interest, but the relevance of the pharmaceutical giant’s entry into China. China wanted to express its determination to reform and open up to the world, and there was no better platform than a global Fortune 500 company.
David and a few foreigners spoke quickly in their native tongue, and after five minutes he turned to the group and spread his hands, “I’m very sorry, but we agreed that our pharmaceutical plant is not suitable to be built in Shennan Region.”
“It’s not that Shennan isn’t a good area, but we feel it has a very high potential for development. We’ve looked at five or six towns in the last few days that make their living from fishing. Perhaps you didn’t care, but our visit found that the incomes of the townspeople in these towns have a tendency to diversify, and the place of the fishing industry in their lives is gradually declining. And this change has only occurred in two or three years.”
“If this trend continues, there will be fewer and fewer fishermen working in the traditional fishing industry in less than ten years. And after the liberalization of your policy, the radiation effect of the Xiangjiang River on Shennan is much stronger than we thought. According to our analysis, Shennan region has the potential to become a developed port city.”
David patiently explained as he was still a little embarrassed to have the Chinese officials accompany him for so long.
The Chinese officials led by Qiu Zhengye looked at each other, the same words of praise, coming from the mouth of a foreigner was different. These words came down, the crowd only felt as comfortable as if they were drinking cold beer on a summer day, and even the grassroots leaders, who’s faces were black and blue because they heard that they weren’t building any factories, couldn’t help but slow down their demeanor.
“Since you are so optimistic about the development of the Deep Shennan region, why did you give up investing here?” The Yantian County leader couldn’t help but open his mouth and ask. The million dollars in foreign exchange ah!
David laughed lightly, “This gentleman, we originally chose Yantian County as a place to look into, firstly, because Yantian County’s fishing industry can provide sufficient raw materials for our factory, and secondly, cheap labor. And a developed port city doesn’t meet both requirements.”
Silence, a long silence.
“Is there no chance for further discussion? You can choose not to choose Shennan, our country of China is huge, anywhere is fine!” The Health Ministry official said bitterly.
China needs Roche’s signal to the world of its positive integration and its foreign exchange. In this era, China was in a very awkward situation, only foreign exchange could buy foreign advanced technology and promote the country’s technological development.
The foreigners had a look of “I understand you very well, but I’m sorry” on their faces.
Li Zheng looked at this scene with a very complicated feeling in his heart, in the era he used to live in, China was a world power. How could a governor of a province in China accompany a foreign investor for days and nights for a mere million dollars.
In the twenty-first century, the Chinese could proudly say that China supported half of the world’s economy. However, they wouldn’t have thought of how much effort and price their ancestors had paid for the country’s development when China’s commodity economy was just beginning.
“David, the raw materials and labor issues you’re talking about are all about the future, you’re just too troublesome.” Li Zheng, who had been silent, suddenly spoke up.
David didn’t expect that Li Zheng would be so direct, he appeared a little embarrassed, after all, he had just received a big gift from someone and refused their hometown’s invitation to invest, sparing his cheeks, which were always thick-skinned, from reddening.
“My dear friend, the relocation of the factory requires more manpower and material resources than even building a new factory, and we wish to make decisions more carefully, considering the future.” Obviously, compared to those Chinese officials, he explained to Li Zheng in more detail and sincerely.
Li Zheng smiled lightly, “Dear friend, do you want to make a bet with me. The name ‘the first pharmaceutical company to enter China’ is worth a lot in the future.” He pointed his finger at the land beneath his feet, “It represents a market of nearly a billion dollars!”
David was shocked by the confidence in Li Zheng’s words. He fondled the watch on his wrist and began to think seriously about Li Zheng’s words. Yes, there were one billion people in China, close to one fifth of the world’s population, and if each person bought one of Roche’s medicines… David couldn’t help but take in a breath of cold air.
He knew that the Chinese people’s awareness of medicine was very weak right now, which was why the Chinese market had been underappreciated. But what about ten or twenty years from now, after this visit, he could clearly feel the firm determination of the Chinese leadership to actively integrate into the world as well as the efforts made for economic development, the Chinese economy could rise!
The economy was up, the spending power was strong, a billion dollar market! David felt as if he had found a straight path to heaven.
“Don’t think about it, if you lose the bet, all you lose is a small, disposable factory that won’t even make it on your resume with its weight. If you win the bet, you must know better than me what you’ll gain. Draw up the contract.”
Li Zheng used the affirmative sentence, he turned his head to the group of Chinese officials who were dumbfounded and rolled their eyes, wasn’t he quite clever just now.
Xie Wenjie was the first to react, he ran towards the old sedan not far away.
Originally, Haidong Province and the Ministry of Health were planning to hold a grand signing ceremony to commemorate the first global top 500 pharmaceutical company to enter China, but what was the point of the signing ceremony now, it was the signing of the contract that was important!
Xie Wenjie felt like he had never run so fast in his life, as he handed the contract to Li Zheng, he felt like his entire body was about to float away, dizzy.
Li Zheng took a glance at the contract, this policy… it was really favorable, even a fool could make money, right? With a glance at a certain idiot who was still dazed, he handed the contract under David’s nose.
David finally snapped out of his thoughts of a better future. A contract? That fast? David wondered if he had thought it through.
“My dear friend, I’ll take your suggestion as it comes up, but this contract, shall we wait until we hear from the top before we sign?” David said carefully, though even he didn’t know what he was being careful of.
Li Zheng gave him a cool look, “A million dollars for a small project, you can make the decisions.”
“Give us five minutes.” David immediately changed his tune. He then turned around and jabbered again with the two people accompanying him.
Qiu Zhengye was still dizzy when he got the contract with the red stamp and nice flowery English signatures, why did he feel so unreal?
This was going to happen because of this fisherman boy’s two words? If people in the eighties had known, they’d have 10,000 little cuties running through their hearts right now. Movies weren’t even that fantastical!
“Hahaha, welcome Roche’s entry into our country of China, into our Haidong Province ah. Tonight, I’ll be the host and treat everyone to a meal, just to celebrate the fruits of this cooperation.” Qiu Zhengye was someone who had experienced great storms, what happened to fantasy! It was a good thing!
There was a lively chorus of responses. Politics. The achievement was there, the one million US dollars in foreign exchange was there, it was indeed worth celebrating.
The evening’s celebration was still held in the reception, filled with five or six tables, in addition to the original party, there were a number of other people from Shennan region and Yantian County, and Li Zheng was pulled by David to sit at the main table.
“Come, I’ll drink a toast to everyone and congratulate us on this successful cooperation.” Qiu Zhengye was the first to raise his glass.
Five or six tables stood up and raised their glasses together. Because of the later arrival of the Shennan Region and Yantian County, the town leaders of Qinghe Town had to give up their seats, and listen to the meaning of the leadership of the table, the matters related to the pharmacy bypassed Qinghe Town, would be directly by the Shennan region responsible for the Yantian County auxiliary, there was no Qinghe Town anything at all.
Li Zheng also raised his glass in a smooth manner, but before he could bring the glass to his mouth, David fussed and called out, “Oh, Li, you’re still underage, aren’t you, waiter, do you have any juice?”
“Haha, yeah, Li Zheng ah, you’d better have some juice.” Qiu Zhengye immediately gestured to the waiter.
Zhou Sitian quickly stepped forward, holding a bunch of freshly squeezed apple juice in her hand and handed it to Qiu Zhengye respectfully.
“Chief, your juice.” She appeared a bit reserved, that was the governor, she had never seen such a big official in her life.
Qiu Zhengye clearly still had an impression of Zhou Sitian, “You are… Li Zheng’s sister?”
Zhou Sitian looked at Li Zheng, not sure if she should say yes or no, the events of these two days made her feel as if her brother was far away, like he was in the sky.
“Sis… ” Li Zheng was helpless, what was this little girl thinking about again?
David’s facial recognition of Asians was not so good, only when he heard Qiu Zhengye speak did he recognize that this was Li Zheng’s sister, he said very enthusiastically, “Sister, sit down and let’s eat together.”