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116 Joint Venture 1 – PART 1

 Gun-Ho received a call from Jien Wang.

"Gun-Ho, can you come to China on the 15th of this month for the joint venture contract? I just talked with Seukang Li. I don't have a lecture on the 15th so I can come as well."

"15th? Give me one second; let me check my schedule."

Gun-Ho had no schedule that day.

"Okay. Let's do that on the 15th of this month. I will come to Shanghai directly this time without stopping by Hangzhou City and come to Kunshan City."

"Jinxi Construction Company will send a car to Shanghai Airport to pick you up."

"That sounds good."

"Okay, see you then."

Gun-Ho made a call to Min-Hyeok.

"Min-Hyeok, we are going to China on the 15th of this month. We will sign the joint venture contract then."

"That early? I had only two months to learn Chinese."

"You can continue learning it once you get to China."

"I think I prepared everything I had to. Let me know if there is anything else I need to prepare or take with me."

"You can find all you need in China. They even sell Korean red chili paste. Well, if you want, bring an electric blanket and dry seaweed."

"Dry seaweed?"

"Yeah, if you miss Korean food, that will help."

"Haha. Got it."

Once he got off the phone with Min-Hyeok, Gun-Ho got concerned about Min-Hyeok's Chinese fluency.

"Should I find an interpreter in Shanghai? I guess it will be hard to find an interpreter in Kunshan City. Maybe I can find one in Suzhou City that is close to Kunshan City."

Gun-Ho leaned back in his seat while thinking about finding an interpreter when an idea flashed through his mind.

"Why didn't I come up with the thought earlier?"

Gun-Ho thought about Mae-Hyang Kim, the Korean Chinese who he had worked with when he was running his restaurant in China. He opened his old notebook to find her phone number. He made an international call to the number he found.

"Who is calling?"

"I'm President Goo. The restaurant owner of the hotel in Hangzhou."

"Oh, my goodness! President Goo? How have you been?"

"I'm doing well. What are you doing these days, Ms. Mae-Hyang Kim?"

"I'm in Qingdao. Do you remember that I went back to my hometown? Things didn't work out there. So now I'm in Quindao working at a Korean food company."

"Really?"

"Is something going on, sir?"

"I'm calling because a friend of mine needs an interpreter. He is working in Kunshan City close to Suzhou City. I guess you are not available for the job since you are already working at a company."

"Hahaha, right, I don't think I can help you with it."

"What about Eun-Hwa Jo? Where is she currently working?"

"She is in Jiaxing City next to Shanghai. I haven't talked to her for a while. Why don't you call her?"

"Okay. I will call her."

Gun-Ho got off the phone with Mae-Hyang and thought that something was not right between the two ladies.

"Hmmm. I guess they fought each other or something. Otherwise, why would she ask me to call Eun-Hwa Jo directly?"

Gun-Ho made a call to Eun-Hwa. The phone kept ringing for a while before someone picked it up.

"Hello? May I talk to Eun-Hwa Jo?"

"Who is it?"

"I'm President Goo."

"Huh? Who is President Goo?"

"Remember the restaurant in a hotel in Hangzhou City?"

"Are you President Gun-Ho Goo?"

"Yes, I am."

"Oh, my gosh. It's President Goo. It's really good to hear from you, sir."

"Are you in Jiaxing City now?"

"Yes, I am. How did you know?"

"I just talked with Ms. Mae-Hyang Kim."

"Oh, well, I don't talk to her anymore."

"What happened? You two were very close friends."

"Well, there was a man whom Mae-Hyang really liked, but that man liked me. That's what happened."

Gun-Ho now understood why these two didn't talk to each other any longer.

"Haha, really?"

"I am in Jiaxing City right now, but I'm thinking of moving to either Shanghai or Ningbo City."

"Why?"

"The Korean company I am working for right now in Jiaxing went broke. The president ran away to Korea and it seems that he's not coming back."

"Geez."

"A company in Ningbo City offered me a position with a monthly salary of 2,000 Yuan; I think I will take that job."

"Ms. Eun-Hwa Jo, I'm actually calling you because of my friend. He is starting a joint venture with China in Kunshan City, and he is looking for an interpreter."

"How much will he pay for an interpreter?"

"I'm not sure, but I guess he will pay at least 2,000 Yuan."

"What about a place to stay?"

"You mean rent? I believe they provide the rent in a current market price in that city."

"If he can give me 500 Yuan for the rent, I will take the job. I think he will have a hard time finding an interpreter in Kunshan City because it's not a big city."

"I'm coming to Kunshan City on the 15th. Why don't you come then? I will be staying in the Crown Plaza Hotel."

"Give me your phone number, sir."

"You can use my old number. I'm still using the same number."

Gun-Ho made a call to Attorney Young-Jin Kim.

"Can we talk? Is it a good time?"

"It's good. What's up?"

"When starting a joint venture, how much should I pay to the person or the business entity who introduced me to the co-venturer?"

"You mean the broker commission? Well, it depends on the contract you made with them."

"What if there was no such contract?"

"Well, maybe about 1% of the investment funds? I can find out the exact number if you want."

"That's not necessary. That's good enough. Thank you."

Gun-Ho wanted to give the commission fee to Jien Wang who had been helping Gun-Ho until now to make the joint venture work out. He just wanted to know the usual practice in the field in order to properly pay him.

"The total investment fund is 3,000,000 dollars. 1% of it would be 30,000 dollars, and it is a bit more than 30 million won. I think I can handle the amount."

Gun-Ho didn't know that both parties of the joint venture could split up in paying the 30,000 dollars.

"Wait a minute. 1% of the investment amount is not a small amount. In my case, it is just 3 million dollars joint venture, but if the joint venture was a 100 million or even a 1 billion won project, 1% of it would either be 1,000,000 or 10,000,000 dollars."

Gun-Ho thought he would have to be careful when he would do another joint venture in the future because he had to think of the commission fee he had to pay in addition to his investment fund.

On the 15th, Gun-Ho and Min-Hyeok went to China.

At the lobby in Crown Plaza Hotel in Kunshan City, Eun-Hwa was waiting for Gun-Ho.

"Oh, Ms. Eun-Hwa Jo! You seemed to lose weight a bit. You look great. This is Min-Hyeok Kim. He will work as the president of the joint venture."

"I'm Eun-Hwa Jo. I look forward to working with you, sir."

"I'm the one who looks forward to working with you. It's really nice to meet you."

Gun-Ho handed a pamphlet of the joint venture to Eun-Hwa. It had a brief description of the joint venture business. Eun-Hwa seemed to be satisfied since the company she would be working for was a joint venture with the government rather than a small and financially unstable company. Eun-Hwa extended her hand to Min-Hyeok for a handshake.

"I will call you Jin-jjong (President Kim) from now on."

"Jin-jjong?"

Gun-Ho laughed because it reminded him of those days when she called him G-jjong.

"Jin-jjong sounds better. She used to call me G-jjong before."

Min-Hyeok laughed along.

"There will be a contract signing in the afternoon. Deputy Mayor Seukang Li, the construction director of Kunshan City, the president, and the planning director of Jinxi Construction Company and some other people will be attending the contract signing. Oh, Jien Wang-the professor at Zhejiang University-will be here too."

"Okay, sir."

Eun-Hwa responded with her shiny eyes.

"I will introduce them to you."

"Thank you, sir."

"Where are you staying right now?"

"I'm in a Chodaeso*. The daily rent there is 20 Yuan."

"Jin-jjong, why don't you pay for her rent until she finds her own place?"

"Okay, I will do that."

Eun-Hwa smiled broadly.

People started coming into the hotel in the afternoon. Seukang Li, Jien Wang, and people from Jinxi Construction Company arrived. They greeted Gun-Ho and Min-Hyeok with a smile.

"Ni Hao!"

"Ni Hao!"

They were effusive in greeting each other by loudly saying 'Ni Hao' to every single person. Seukang Li and Jien Wang knew that Eun-Hwa was the interpreter right away when they saw her.

"You already found an interpreter. She seems to be good at interpreting. Where did you go to school?"

"I graduated from Jilin University and I studied Language."

"That's good. You have a decent north accent."

Seukang Li and Jien Wang liked her. People from Jinxi Construction Company exchanged a handshake with Eun-Hwa as well. Eun-Hwa especially quickly got close with Dingpun from Jinxi Construction Company, maybe because Dingpun was a female worker like herself.

Note*

Chodaeso - Similar to a motel in Korea