The head of a San Francisco-based public finance firm is one of 24 Amerman corporate executives tapped to travel to China for a week-long presidential trade mission.
Calvin B. Grigsby, president and chief executive officer of Grigsby Brandford & Co., will join executives from firms such as Salomon Brothers, Atlantic Richfield Co., Eastman Kodak Co., Sprint, Tandem Computers, and Chrysler Corp.
The visit is designed to improve relations between the two countries and create opportunities for increased export of American products and technology to China.
The group, led by U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Ronald H. Brown, is scheduled to arrive in Beijing on Aug. 27. The trip will include meetings with some of China's top officials, including Vice Premier Li Lanqing and Minister of Foreign Trade Wu Yi, in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong. The group will return to the United States on Sept. 3.
Corporate executives participating in the trade mission represent the fields of energy, finance, consumer goods, information systems, and transportation.
Grigsby Brandford, a minority-owned firm, will be the only investment bank specializing in public finance to participate in the trip, Calvin Grigsby said Thursday.
The visit marks the first trade mission to China since President Clinton renewed most-favored-nation status for the country in May. Commerce Department officials were unavailable for comment on the trade mission.
Grigsby said his firm was selected to participate in the trade mission because it has already established ties with China. The firm has been working for about six months to introduce public finance models there to help the country finance its infrastructure needs, he said.
In addition, a Grigsby Brandford-affiliated lessor company, Fiscal Funding Inc., entered into a joint venture last year with Zhenhua Port Machinery Co., a Chinese construction firm. So far, Fiscal Funding and Zhenhua have completed four transactions totaling $29 million with the Port of Miami, Grigsby Brandford said in a press release.
Two Grigsby employees are now working in China and the firm expects to open an office in Shanghai in early 1995, Grigsby said.
Meanwhile, Grigsby Brandford has been in contact with the Chinese Ministry of Electric Power and the China National Investment and Guaranty Corp. to develop a financial guaranty program. The program would finance approximately $10 billion to $25 billion for the construction of various power projects.
While in China, Grigsby said, he expects to meet with the heads of several Chinese banks to further discuss the infrastructure financing plans. Once a financing mechanism is in place, it would facilitate the export of U.S. products and technology to China, he said.
"What we're doing is really integral. The proportions of finance that [U.S.companies] could do is just staggering," Grigsby said. "Once we get the framework in place, ail firms will be doing deals, but we'll be in there, too."