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Yingke Caribbean China Center opens in Puerto Rico

By on November 19, 2016

The largest and most important law firm from China has opened an office in Puerto Rico to promote business and investment opportunities between that Asian country and the Caribbean region.

Yingke Law Firm, an international commercial law firm from  Beijing has opened the Yingke Caribbean China Center in Ciudadela in Santurce to  bring investments to Puerto Rico and the Caribbean from China through its so-called “Yingke ecosystem, ”consisting of its law firm and numerous other holdings from around the globe.

(L - R) Xiangrong Mei, Yingke Industry founder and Yingke Global Holdings president; Nicholas Prouty and Linda Yang, Yingke Overseas China Centers president. (Juan J. Rodríguez/CB)

(L – R) Xiangrong Mei, Yingke Industry founder and Yingke Global Holdings president; Nicholas Prouty and Linda Yang, Yingke Overseas China Centers president. (Juan J. Rodríguez/CB)

During an activity at a hotel in Isla Verde, Xiangrong Mei, founder of Yingke Industry and president of Yingke Global Holdings, together with other firm executives signed three memorandums of mutual understanding with Ciro Energy Group, Benítez Aviation and with Asia American Investments, Ltd.

“We are very happy to seal the beginning of the new day,” noted Jeff Carmichael, CEO Caribbean Region and Managing Partner. 

Carmichael explained that the agreement with Ciro Energy Group is to promote a joint venture between the firm and Rosendin Electric, a large solar-power company, to facilitate renewable energy projects that are in the works and need capital.

The second agreement was with Benítez Aviation and aimed at broadening aviation services through the Caribbean.

Brian Su, president and managing partner at Yingke Caribbean China Center, said the third agreement is with Asia American Investments, Ltd., a Chinese import and export firm, seeks to identify the best local products for Chinese markets.

“We are trying to work with them trying to open the channels for Puerto Rico products such as coffee and rum. We will work with the government to find the best agricultural products,” Su said. “We want the Chinese to know that some of the best coffee is from Puerto Rico.”

Brian Su, Yingke Caribbean China Center president. (Juan J. Rodríguez/CB)

Brian Su, Yingke Caribbean China Center president. (Juan J. Rodríguez/CB)

He explained local businesses interested in doing business with China can go to the Center to learn about what they need to do.

“We will be a one-stop center,” he said.

Chinese businessmen, according to Su, are interested in business in Puerto Rico.

“Chinese businesses made their money in real estate…so they are interested in the real estate market,” he said, adding that the firm is working on bringing a Chinese real-estate brokerage company to Puerto Rico.

Su said the company is highlighting the tax incentives provided by Puerto Rico as a magnet for investors. “The labor is cheaper and there are tax incentives that people do not know about,” he said.

At the start of the activity, Carmichael talked at length about Yingke,  revealing that it is the largest China-based law firm, and the fifth largest law firm in the world, by the number of lawyers employed.

Founded in 2001, Yingke Law Firm has established itself as a leader in the Chinese legal service industry, and is currently executing its plan on a global scale. Its main practice areas include capital markets, corporate, employment, financial services regulation, insurance, intellectual property, litigation and dispute resolution, mergers and acquisitions, real estate, restructuring, and insolvency, and taxes, he said.

As a subsidiary of Yingke Global Holdings and an affiliate of Yingke, the Yingke Caribbean China Center seeks to focus its economic resources and intellectual property in facilitating and coordinating external investments into Puerto Rico, Carmichael said.

Using the combined resources of its worldwide network, the Yingke Caribbean China Center and its affiliates will seek out mutually beneficial public/private partnerships in infrastructure, clean renewable energy, healthcare, tourism and education, as well as direct investments in Puerto Rican companies focused on economic development in construction, manufacturing, senior housing, agriculture, export of products and services, and real estate.

Yingke has 39 branches across China and 36 overseas offices, with a combined staff of over 6,000 people, including 5,000 attorneys.

 “They are adding four lawyers by the hour,” he said.

  • (Juan J. Rodríguez/CB)

Carmichael also talked about Yingke’s ecosystem of companies. The firm is going to establish more international offices and overseas China Centers to complete its global service system and increase the ability to provide legal and business services.

“Since its inception 15 years ago, Yingke has become a household brand in China,” Carmichael said.

Yingke Global Holdings Group controls over 15 business enterprises and entities such Yingda Capital, Yingke Tour, Yingke Immigration Group, Yingke Study Abroad Group, Yingke Overseas China Centers, Yingke Intellectual Property Center, Yingke Vensco, Qingda Yingke Capital, Yingke Coffee Franchise, Yun Cloud, Yinke Banma Media, Yingke Financial and Tax Services, China Smart City Invest Union, Lvjin Financial, Yingke Yacht Club, and Yingke Sailing Club.

Nicholas Prouty, the developer of Ciudadela, who moved to Puerto Rico to benefit from Acts 20 and 22 incentives, highlighted his experiences as an investor in Puerto Rico. He noted that as a Fiscal Oversight and Management Board, the private sector should focus on economic development.

“The Board will have to focus on debt reduction. We are going to find better ways to govern the island and we have to focus on economic development…I am a believer of the private sector,” he said.

Linda Yang, Yingke Overseas China Centers chairwoman, said she decided to open an office in Puerto Rico because it is a U.S. territory but “you have special incentives…I think this could be very attractive to Chinese investors.”

During the activity, Yang and Mei gave Prouty a drawing made in China of that country’s flower, which Yang says symbolizes prosperity.

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