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Home > Story of a Big Player from Gangnam

99 Flavors of Life 2 – PART 2

 Deputy Mayor Li took Gun-Ho to a restaurant called 'Hwadongchancehong.'

The restaurant was dazzling. In its huge hall, the tables covered with white table clothes were placed in a very organized way. The tables and chairs looked like Chinese antique furniture. On the ceiling, traditional Chinese paper lanterns decorated with embroidery floss were hanging.

"Whoa, this restaurant is marvelous."

Deputy Mayor Li was not alone. He was with two more persons. He introduced them to Gun-Ho.

"I'm the construction director of Kunshan City."

"I'm Gun-Ho Goo."

Gun-Ho and the construction director exchanged their business cards.

Deputy Mayor Li introduced him to Professor Wang as well.

"President Goo and Professor Wang are my friends."

Deputy Mayor Li introduced the other person to Gun-Ho as well. This man was wearing black sunglasses even if they were inside the building and he looked like in his 30s.

"I am a chauffeur."

Gun-Ho extended his hand to him for a handshake. It looked like he was the chauffeur who was assisting Deputy Mayor Li. There were seven men who would have dinner together at the same table including President Seon of Jinxi Construction Company and his chauffeur.

Chinese food started being set up on Gun-Ho's table. There were deep-fried freshwater crabs, shrimps, etc.

"President Goo, I really had a great time in Korea because of you. The Italian food in Korea was excellent and I also enjoyed the place in Itaewon something."

Professor Wang who was sitting next to him added.

"I'm sure it was Seukang's first time experience in a place like that. Haha."

"What about you, Jien? You didn't have a chance to go to that kind of place since you were so busy studying in the U.S. It should be your first time too."

"Haha. As a matter of fact, it was my first time. I heard there are a lot of good places like it in China too, but I haven't tried them yet."

Deputy Mayor Li collected all the glasses placed on the table in front of him and poured clear liquor in each glass. It was Baijiu that was 50 percent alcohol by volume.

While distributing a glass of Baijiu to everyone at the table, Deputy Mayor Li said,

"In China, we serve three glasses of liquor consecutively to a friend who came a long way to visit. That's our traditional etiquette. So, President Goo has to drink three glasses of liquor consecutively."

Everyone at the table clapped as Deputy Mayor Li said.

After drinking some more of Baijiu, everyone felt good.

"President Goo, what do you think about the industrial park after you went to visit there? We are expecting to complete the road accessing the site by March."

"It looks like it will take longer to pave the road."

"Right, the road pavement might take longer, especially when we will have Lunar New Year's Day before March. However, I will press them to finish the construction as soon as they can."

"We will have to prepare very well the presentation to attract more investors, with enough information and supporting documents. I believe we will have to bring the pictures of the completed sewage treatment plant and paved roads."

"You're absolutely right. We will finish the construction as soon as possible."

Deputy Mayor Li told the city construction director and President Seon of the construction company.

"Did you hear what President Goo from Korea just said? As we planned earlier, let's complete the construction for the 3-Flow work and sewage treatment plant as soon as possible."

The city construction director and President Seon of the construction company nodded their heads, showing their agreement.

Professor Wang poured liquor in Gun-Ho's empty glass. Gun-Ho took his glass and asked,

"Deputy Mayor Li, I have one more question. I'm sorry that I am asking too many questions."

"No, you should ask all the questions you have. A businessman should do that."

"As to the capital of 3 million dollars for the industrial park, will China invest in cash as well?"

"No, China will invest in kind."

"Hmm."

Professor Wang added more explanation on behalf of Deputy Mayor Li.

"Do you remember the management office to be built in the middle area of the industrial park? That's the investment from China."

"Will that cost half of 3 million dollars? 1.5 million dollars?"

"Of course. The size of the land is about 5 moo (about 1,000 pyung) and they will build an office there, which will be used as a management office."

"Hmm."

"We will finish the business plan before Lunar New Year's Day."

The president of the construction company chipped in,

"Our company is actually working on the business plan."

"Hey, Gun-Ho! Let's talk more about the joint venture once the business plan is completed. Now, let's have a drink and have a good time together."

Deputy Mayor Li lifted his glass and clinked to everyone's glass.

It was the returning day to Korea for Gun-Ho after he spent two nights and three days in China. Gun-Ho purchased Chinese liquor, cigarette and other things at the duty-free shop at the Pudong airport before he boarded the Asiana flight. The passengers consisted of mostly Korean businessmen who were doing business in China and Korean company employees who were working in a branch office in China. There were some international students and Chinese people as well. There were also old tourists in the backside of the flight; they were noisy. Gun-Ho leaned back in his seat, closed his eyes and thought about whether he should participate in the joint venture.

'Since China will invest in kind, all the expenses such as wages of the workers in the joint venture will be paid with the funds invested by a Korean company who would invest money. And once companies start coming in, they will use that money, which those companies would pay to run the business.'

Gun-Ho fastened his safety belt when he heard the in-flight announcement that instructed him to do so, and continued thinking.

'This type of joint venture does not require huge funds to start and to run. So they don't really need a co-venturer for the funds. However, if they set up a joint venture with a Korean company, it will be easier to attract more Korean companies into their industrial park.

The payments from the companies who are coming into the industrial park will be taken by Jinxi Construction Company. So, the Korean company co-venturer is more like an agency to sell the lots and factories, and it would also do the management in the future. If so, I can't make a lot of money from participating in this joint venture. Professor Wang said that this is not hitting a jackpot, but it is definitely a Cash Cow business.'

The flight started running on the runway.

'For a joint venture, the capital to invest is kind of low. I can have 50% of share with only 1.5 billion won. Seukang Li will keep growing in his career in the Chinese government. Should I stay in business with him and have a good relationship with him? So I might receive a big help from him someday in the future?'

Gun-Ho made up his mind. He decided to invest in the joint venture not for money but for Kkwansi, a close network with Seukang Li. However, he didn't want to lose money either. He would thoroughly review the plan and make it successful.

Gun-Ho was elegantly thinking of his business and friendship when the Korean men in their 50s who were sitting next to Gun-Ho started talking loudly. Gun-Ho wanted to tell them to be quiet but he didn't because he didn't want to make a scene. They were a group of Korean men who looked nasty and talked nasty.

"Sh*t! It's f*cking hard to make money in China. I couldn't send even a penny to my family in Korea for the past year."

"I received all kinds of inspections to my small factory like an environmental inspection, a fire system inspection, and hygiene inspection. There were f*cking too much."

"The salary I am receiving from the Korean company in Korea, the Chinese people tried to take some income tax from it. F*ck!"

"Mine too."

"Sh*t, people like us who work f*cking hard in China don't make money, and this Asiana air makes money because of us."

"Maybe we should have taken China Eastern Airline. It's cheap."

"China Eastern Airline is not comfortable."

"This f*cking Asiana should lower their fare."

"I heard the president of Asiana is fighting with his brother. Maybe it's about who will take over the company."

"That's the f*cking problem of rich people."

Those men talked a lot in a loud voice for a while before they fell asleep after having an in-flight meal.

Gun-Ho looked at the white clouds outside the window.

"Money... Money is good, of course. If I become extremely rich, would I get into a fight to take more money? How much money do they need to stop fighting between brothers? There were fights between family members in an extremely rich family such as Lotte and Kumho Asiana, and also Samsung and Hyundai had a nasty fight some time ago too."

Gun-Ho had mixed feelings and kept staring at the clouds outside the window.