A slim man came into the meeting room. He said hello in Korean as he entered the room. He looked like he was in his early 40s.
"This is Mr. Choi from Social Science Academy. He is here to interpret for us."
Gun-Ho extended his hand to the Mr. Choi person for a handshake.
"Nice to meet you. Did you go to school in Yanbian?"
"I went to school in ChangchunChangchun University."
He was a Korean Chinese. Gun-Ho preferred a Korean Chinese rather than a Chinese for the interpretation work. Jae-Sik Moon asked him, "Are you a Korean Chinese?"
"Yes, I am."
"How did you start working here?"
"This is the position assigned to me by the government after I graduated from college."
"Oh, I see."
Jae-Sik nodded his head, showing he understood now.
The meeting began.
The parties verified things that Gun-Ho was already aware of, such as the name of the joint venture to be established, the frequency of its board meeting, verification of the investment funds, etc. Even though they were just checking if they were on the same page, the meeting lasted for a while because everything they said had to be interpreted by the interpreter. The only issue Gun-Ho raised was about the way of investment.
The terminal's president said, "Let's bring in the funds of 25 million dollars in three stepsinitial payment, middle payment, and the remaining payment. If you don't object, I would just assume that you agree."
"Let's bring in the investment funds as we go through each step. We start with 50,000 dollars, and once the license of running the bus business is issued, we bring in an additional 450,000 dollars. And then, when we begin the construction work, we add another 3 million dollars since we already have the drawing. Once the third floor of the building is completed, we bring in an additional 3 million won I think this is a more reasonable way to come up with the investment funds."
The president of the terminals couldn't make the decision whether they would accept Gun-Ho's suggestion or not, on his own. He went out of the meeting room for a while to make a call. And when he came back to the room, he said he would accept the way that Gun-Ho suggested.
'Hmm. I guess he doesn't have the full authority to make a decision like that even though he is the president of the company since the company is owned by the government, and he is just an employee. I guess he had to ask for approval from the deputy mayor or the director of the transportation department.'
The interpreterMr. Choiwas an excellent interpreter. He was on another level in the job from Mae-Hyang Kim or Eun-Hwa Jo who used to interpret for Gun-Ho when he had run his restaurant in China. Mr. Choi was highly knowledgeable of the terminology of the construction and legal field. He even explained to Gun-Ho about certain technical terms that were used differently in China. That man belonged to the Social Science Academy, and it seemed that he was being paid extra for the interpretation work. Well, he was the person who got picked by the government for the interpretation work. It was obvious that he was that good, but Gun-Ho didn't like him smoking too much though.
The president of the terminals said with a smile, "I like the fact that you, President Goo, understand quickly the procedure and terms of a joint venture since you have business experience in China and graduated from Zhejiang University."
The interpreter, who graduated from Changchun University, seemed to be surprised, and he looked at Gun-Ho.
"Oh, you graduated from Zhejiang University, sir? That's why you knew a lot about China."
The president of the terminals dragged the planning manager's arm, who was sitting next to him, and said, "Once the joint venture is formed, let's appoint a Korean person for a president. And, for the vice president position, we want Mr. Planning Manager to take that position. He is the one who made the business plan and took care of the necessary paperwork for the business."
The planning manager smiled. He looked like he was around 50 years old.
"I believe that President Jae-Sik Moon will be here as the president of the joint venture, am I correct?"
"That's our plan."
"I've noticed that President Moon made a note of our discussion. I think he is a meticulous man. Moreover, since he has been running a logistics company in Korea, we are hoping to learn the Korean way to run a transportation company from him."
Jae-Sik Moon was baffled. He had been running GH Logistics for less than a year now, and the people who were in the field for 20 or 30 years wanted to learn from him. When he was looking for words to respond, Gun-Ho said with a smile, "Haha, running a transportation company should be the same whether it's in Korea or in China. You have already had your tour in terminals in Korea."
"I was so impressed by the commercial stores in terminals in Korea. We want to develop the commercial side like that in our terminal as well."
While they were conversing, the deputy mayor and the director of the transportation department entered the room.
"It seems like things went well."
The terminal's president stood up and gave him a report.
"Yes, sir. We've agreed on all of the basic terms."
"Let's then sign the letter of intent."
"The letter of intent"
"You don't need to think again. Let's just do it. I guess President Moon here will join the joint venture as the president. Please come and sit here in front of the flags."
Two people with a camera came into the room. Gun-Ho was not sure whether they were government employees or journalists, but it seemed that they were waiting outside for the whole time for this moment. The deputy mayor, the transportation department's director, and Jae-Sik Moon stood behind the signersGun-Ho and the president of the terminals. After they signed the letter of intent, Gun-Ho and the terminal's president had a handshake. They held each other's hand for a while so the people with cameras could take a picture of the moment.
As they finally signed the letter of intent, the Chinese co-venturers wanted to celebrate the day. They said they would throw a party.
"Chinese government employees and the workers of the government-owned companies usually have a party once they complete something."
Gun-Ho and Jae-Sik Moon were led to a Chinese traditional restaurant called Zi Lin Canting. It was a two-floor old traditional building surrounded by a bamboo forest. The workers there were wearing Chinese ethnic costumes. Several traditional musicians were there as well.
"Wow, this is a very nice place."
Gun-Ho was not particularly impressed since he had often been to nice Chinese restaurants before. Jae-Sik Moon, on the other hand, couldn't close his mouth. He had never been to a luxurious Chinese restaurant until then. Jae-Sik was especially attracted by all the scenes because he was a fan of Chinese cartoons.
"I see all sorts of dainties and delicacies."
"That sounds familiar."
"Yeah, it was the description used in the Chunhyangjeon (a famous Korean folk tale) for the food prepared for the government officialPyon."
"Today is like your birthday."
"I've never had this much good food on my birthday before."
"Have them as much as you want. You are having all sorts of dainties while listening to the music played by gorgeous women. I think you will have a great life here in China."