Gun-Ho continued to talk while having his beer, "Once our Chinese partner receives 3 million dollars from me, they will try to make your stay more comfortable by getting you a condo to live in and a car as well. And, they will start civil engineering work right away. They will also try hard to get the bus lines since once the bus business starts, the income from that business will cover your salary and other workers in the construction."
"When you make a purchase contract for the condo where you will live in and for a car, and also for express buses, you shouldn't do it by yourself. Let the vice president take care of those contracts. That's better and safe."
"Do you still want to buy buses from Guilin Daewoo Bus?"
"I talked to the vice president about it, and he said as long as we can get a competitive price from them after comparing with other bus manufacturing companies' price quotes, that's fine."
"Hmm, if we buy buses from them, the buses will be transported from Guilin City all the way to Antang City. It's very far since they are in two different provinces. The distance from one province to another in China is like traveling from one country to another. I bet it's several times more distant than the distance between Seoul City and Busan City."
"I suppose so."
"I guess they will hire truck drivers from those who are currently working for their transportation company."
"I think so."
"How do you like this dish Suan Tang Yu? Maybe I should ask them to add more meat broth to it."
"Maybe we can do that later after eating more. Can we have one more bottle of beer?"
"That sounds good!"
Gun-Ho ordered one more bottle of beer.
After filling up their glasses with beer, Gun-Ho and Jae-Sik clinked their glasses to each other.
"Once you move to a 30 pyung large luxurious condo and drive a new Audi that the company will provide you, you would feel better about living in China. You can just let the Chinese partner take care of the terminal project and the bus service business while you are here. I just want you to do two things."
"Two things? What are those?"
"The first one is that you should keep insisting that they have to change the ownership of the land to the joint venture company's name."
"They are supposed to let the joint venture own the land since that's what both parties agreed in the first place. You bring cash, and they provide the land as an investment in kind, right?"
Gun-Ho smiled and shook his head from side to side.
"You will see. It won't be that easy to make them change the ownership of the land. I'm pretty sure that they don't want to share the terminal business with a foreign company in the first place since it serves the public interest of Chinese people. The terminal project was just a bait to attract foreign investors for their money. Terminal business is different from other ordinary profit-oriented businesses. They have to work with the tenants who would lease the stores there, and they have to negotiate with bus companies that would be using the terminal, and also as you saw earlier, they have a police station there that is working for them."
"What should we do then?"
"We tell them that if they don't transfer the land's ownership to the joint venture company's name, we won't transfer the rest of investment funds any longer."
"Shouldn't we tell that to them even before we send them 3 million dollars?"
Gun-Ho smiled and filled up Jae-Sik's empty glass with beer.
He then said, "3 million dollars is the bait I'm placing for them."
"If I send them 3 million dollars, they will let us run the intercity bus business. Their transportation company will take all the good bus lines, and they will just let us run 20 buses."
"President Moon, a joint venture is between two companies from different countries. The two parties constantly fight with an invisible sharp sword. If the Chinese party is a high-level master, I'm a master too. What would happen if the two masters have a bout of the same level? They would end up settling the matter that they were fighting for, so no one would get hurt."
"I'm not sure if I understand what you are saying, but okay. What's the second one that you want me to do?"
"Secondly, I want you to keep asking them to increase the number of bus lines. You have to do this in every meeting."
"They already told us that they would let us run 20 buses."
Gun-Ho shook his head from side to side again. That head shaking gesture was what Chairman Lee from Cheongdam Town usually did. Gun-Ho learned it from him.
"They will try to delay it. They won't let us get 20 buses easily. They have things that they need to consider in letting us run 20 buses. They can't just let us start with 20 buses, but they need to monitor the projected demand to see if 20 buses would be fully running if they make them available for the service. They will also keep an eye on our attitude and stance on it as well. You just need to remember why you are here. I want you to do those two things, then I would consider that you achieved the purpose of your staying in China. To recap, the joint venture should own the land, and you need to keep requesting to increase bus lines. You will have to be skillful in making these two things happen. You will need to be firm, but you shouldn't push them to the corner. That's all I need from you."
"You probably want to study the Chinese language while you are here too for your own benefit. Once you move into a condo, ask your wife to join you here. And then, look for other income-generating businesses that your wife can run."
"Thank you. I think you are a natural-born businessman with incredible insight. I learn a lot from you."
"Well, I learn a lot from you too."
The two men clicked their glasses of beer to each other again and laughed out loud.
The next morning, Jae-Sik came to the hotel where Gun-Ho was staying to pick him up. They headed to the joint venture's office in the old terminal building in Antang City.
When they entered the meeting room, Antang City's transportation company's president Mr. Runsheng Yan and the joint venture's vice president Mr. Chun Chang were already there waiting for them. The construction director who was in his 50s was sitting at the table as well, along with the Korean Chinese interpreter Mr. Choi from Social Science Academy; he joined the meeting as an interpreter for the Chinese partner. The construction director belonged to the joint venture company, and he was listed under President Jae-Sik Moon in the company's organizational chart.
The Korean partner was composed of Gun-Ho Goo, Jae-Sik Moon, and the interpreter Ms. Eun-Hwa Jo. They were sitting at the opposing side of the table facing the Chinese partner's group.
The vice president stated that they would review the contract together, and he read loudly each provision in the contract one by one. If anyone had a question or objection, it was the time to say it. The provisions stipulated in the contract were not newly added, but both parties already had talked about them multiple times. Therefore, Gun-Ho stated that he agreed to the provisions mostly. And then, he asked a question, "I'd like to make sure that once I send all of the investment cash that I'm supposed to bring in, the ownership of the land must be transferred to the joint venture's name."
"The ownership of Hua Fa (planned land) land can be transferred to a new owner. The land that is supposed to be used to construct a building can be registered as the joint venture's property."
"I'm asking if Zhuan Liang (transferrable land) can be done."
President Runsheng Yan smiled and said, "Changing a land to Zhuan Lian costs a fortune. The government imposes a significant fee for it. A terminal is a special property and cannot be sold to an individual like that. I hope you understand it, Mr. President Goo."
"The land that you provided is overvalued. I don't believe that its value is 25 million dollars. That's absurd. I'm not trying to make an issue about it at this point, but I'm just bringing it up, so you would understand that you will need to give us the corresponding deal to be fair. I'd like to request to increase the number of buses that we would run, to 30."
"As a matter of fact, we wanted to get a new appraisal on the land, but since the appraisal that we have for the land is still valid, we didn't. If we have to redo the appraisal, it will cost 150,000 Yuan. The State-Owned Assets Management Committee recognized the land's value as such."
Gun-Ho's plan was to remind them of two unresolved issues: the ownership transfer of the land to the joint venture's name and the small number of busses allowed, before signing the contract, which he just completed.
"The two parties will sign the contract while Mr. Director of the transportation department is present. Also, we will take a picture afterwards. The contract signing ceremony will be held at 11:30 am."
Mr. Runsheng Yan stood up from his seat and extended his hand to Gun-Ho for a handshake.
"We are getting a lot of calls from Antang City's citizens about the intercity bus service between Antang City and Guiyang City which is the capital of Guizhou Province. They mostly inquired about when they can use the service. I'm sure the bus service business will succeed."