China Beijing Equity Exchange opens Latin American office in Miami
By Shearon Roberts
Miami is now home to a global investment platform between China and Latin America.
Several US and Latin American companies officially signed investment projects onto the Asia America Equity Exchange, or AAEE, last week when the entity opened its first US office in Miami.
"We continue to be the focal point for people to do business in the hemisphere. That's a primary appeal that we have here in Miami that we will continue to build on," said Mayor Manny Diaz, who attended an official AAEE launch. The event was held at the Miami Dade College, Wolfson campus' Chapman conference center, on Nov. 19.
The China Beijing Equity Exchange is the parent of AAEE, set up to expose Chinese investors to firms and projects throughout the Americas.
The Beijing Municipal Government sanctions CBEX's operations and it is considered the largest investor platform for privatizing some 150 top state-owned Chinese corporations. The exchange totaled $100 billion in governmental and private transactions in 2007.
Although international investors have already been operating in China through CBEX, the agency is expanding its reach and access for global investors.
In 2007, CBEX launched a European exchange in Milan, Italy, and in July, CBEX launched an exchange in Tokyo.
Miami provides resources for Chinese investors to have more access to Latin America, given the population diversity and Latin American corporate representation here, Mayor Diaz said.
"That's why Miami continues to have an energy that insulates it from all the problems that other cities are having," Mayor Diaz told attendees who included CBEX executives from China. "It's a city that will continue to open its doors to the world," he said.
The Asia America Equity Exchange will initially target Chinese and Latin American investment in real estate, private equity and mergers, and sports and entertainment projects in the region, said Slenda Chan, president of the AAEE.
"We are hoping that through the AAEE, we can tap into the CBEX base and bring those opportunities to Latin America," Ms. Chan said. "It is to bridge the countries, to open up opportunities between China, America, Latin America and North America."
Ten investment projects signed onto the AAEE during the Nov. 19 launch. Sami Agap, president of VTech Minerals of Brazil, signed a listing onto the exchange for investment of up to $50 billion to mine minerals such as iron ore, zinc and vanadium over three million hectares in 12 Brazilian states.
From the US, Michael Quillan, chairman and CEO of Natures Beauty Mines in Arizona, signed a $325 million investment project onto the exchange for fine onyx quarrying.
Representatives from firms in the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Orlando, FL, signed investment projects during the launch.
"It brings opportunities to obtain financing for our projects and to obtain capital from sources around the world," said Gabriel Campana, who signed for Miskito Woods, S.A. for investment of $100 million for licensed fine woods exploitation and replanting in Nicaraguan forests.
Miami is not only an ideal location to showcase the investment projects but to tap into the human resources side and recruit people knowledgeable in Latin American markets, Ms. Chan said.
"We are also thrilled to play an active role in the South Florida community by providing Miami Dade College students with scholarships and valuable internship opportunities with our organization and network of listed companies," Ms. Chan said.
The college hosted the launch but has carved out a niche for educational partnerships with China over the past few years, said Mikki Canton, a trustee of the college, who spoke at the AAEE launch. Students from Shanghai, China, currently study air traffic control at the Homestead campus. This semester also includes hospitality students from Tianjin, China. The current Fulbright Scholar, Professor Huang Lei, also is from China.
"It's all about education, it's not about us or business, this is about creating an educational bridge for our students between China, Latin America and Miami Dade College," Ms. Canton said.