[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 67 (Monday, April 8, 2013)]
[Pages 20893-20896]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-08091]



International Trade Administration

Legal Services Trade Mission to China, September 16-18, 2013

AGENCY: International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

ACTION: Notice.


Mission Description

    The General Counsel of the United States Department of Commerce 
will lead a Legal Services Trade Mission to China, September 16-18, 
2013. The purpose of the mission is to introduce U.S. law firms \1\ 
without a presence in China to the Chinese market, to market U.S. legal 
services to Chinese companies and individuals, to raise awareness about 
the U.S. legal and business climate to Chinese companies interested in 
doing business in the U.S. market, and to further an ongoing dialogue 
with Chinese authorities on opening the Chinese legal services market 
to expanded practice by U.S. firms.

    \1\ For purposes of this trade mission, a ``U.S. law firm'' is 
defined as a law firm that is formed under the laws of a U.S. state 
or the District of Columbia and with its principal place of business 
in the United States.

    The trade mission will include stops in Beijing and Shanghai. In 
both cities, participants will receive market briefings to obtain key 
information from U.S. officials on the legal services environment in 
China. They will then participate in specially-tailored forums on U.S. 
legal services for audiences of Chinese persons seeking to do business 
in the United States and others seeking legal services in China and the 
United States. In addition, the trade mission will include 
opportunities for participants to have policy discussions with Chinese 
government officials in order to learn more about the regulatory 
landscape and present the benefits that U.S. law firms can provide to 
Chinese and U.S. companies. Joining the official U.S. Department of 
Commerce Trade Mission will enhance the participants' ability to engage 
in such meetings, which can be difficult to obtain when not accompanied 
by government officials. In addition to U.S. law firms, bar 
associations and other organizations that represent U.S. legal service 
providers are encouraged to apply.

Commercial Setting

    As China seeks to transition from a manufacturing, export-based 
economy to a center of international business and finance, its need for 
sophisticated multinational legal and financial services is growing. 
Illustrating this trend, more than 200 foreign law firms currently have 
a presence in China.
    In China, foreign lawyers are permitted to: provide clients with 
counsel with respect to the laws of the countries where they are 
qualified to practice and on international conventions and 
international practices; handle legal affairs in the country where the 
lawyers are qualified to practice law when entrusted to do so by their 
clients or Chinese law firms; entrust, on behalf of foreign clients, 
Chinese law firms to provide counsel on Chinese legal affairs; enter 
into contracts to maintain entrustment relationships with Chinese law 
firms; and provide their clients with information about the impact of 
the Chinese legal environment.
    Within this rubric, opportunities exist for U.S. law firms 
providing legal services in China in a number of practice areas, 
including capital markets, mergers and acquisitions, international 
trade, inbound and outbound investment, shipping, intellectual property 
rights, arbitration,\2\ life sciences, real estate, information 
technology and e-commerce, labor and employment, private equity, and 
venture capital.

    \2\ Generally, foreign lawyers may represent clients in 
international or foreign-relation arbitral proceedings before the 
China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission 
(CIETAC) that do not involve Chinese legal affairs. Recent 
amendments to the rules that govern CIETAC permit arbitration before 
CIETAC to be held in languages other than Chinese.

    The trade mission will also present opportunities for participants 
to engage with Chinese individuals, private companies, and state-owned 
enterprises, particularly those seeking to do business in the United 
States. Depending on the type of business, Chinese companies doing 
business in the United States could require legal services on United 
States laws for issues relating to taxation, employment, corporate 
finance, real estate, litigation, sale of goods, intellectual property 

[[Page 20894]]

customs and international trade, export controls, foreign corrupt 
practices, investment, and cross-border data flows, and many other 
legal practice areas.


    As the national capital, Beijing is the locus of China's central 
governmental authorities and provides an excellent base of operations 
for U.S. law firms entering the Chinese legal services market. The 
municipal government is promoting development in Beijing's high-
technology and financial services sectors. Beijing's economic growth is 
primarily driven by the services sector, led by its financial services, 
tourism, healthcare, and IT sectors.
    Beijing is an attractive location for U.S. law firms seeking 
clients who need legal advice on investing in and exporting to China. 
In 2009, Beijing municipal authorities unveiled financial incentives, 
including subsidies and tax breaks, for multinational companies that 
locate their regional headquarters in Beijing. In 2011, companies in 
Beijing received $2.9 billion in venture-capital financing, largely 
focused on the IT industry; this represented 40 percent of the national 
total and was more than twice the amount of venture-capital financing 
in Shanghai, China's second-largest destination for venture capital. 
Beijing is also set to benefit from $317 billion earmarked by the 
central government for investment in IT through 2015.


    While Shanghai has long been considered China's commercial and 
financial capital, in 2009 China's State Council sought to advance 
Shanghai's position in the global economy by issuing an official 
blueprint for Shanghai to become an international financial and 
shipping center by 2020, on par with Hong Kong, New York, and London. 
The development of professional services, including legal services, is 
a key aspect of this blueprint.
    Shanghai, by many economic indicators the largest economy of all 
cities in China, is an attractive market for U.S. law firms seeking 
business or expansion opportunities in China. Municipal government 
authorities reported that foreign direct investment in Shanghai reached 
$15.19 billion in 2012, up 20.5 percent from the previous year. The 
Shanghai Stock Exchange is the world's sixth largest in terms of trade 
value ($3.7 billion) and market capitalization ($2.4 billion), and 
experts expect initial public offerings in greater China (including the 
Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and Shanghai Stock Exchanges, which accounted for 
40 percent of all IPO funds raised worldwide in 2011) to increase over 
the coming years.
    More than 380 multinational companies have set up regional 
headquarters in Shanghai. This city has the highest percentage of 
foreign residents in China, with nine out of every 1,000 people coming 
from abroad. Income levels in Shanghai are among the highest in the 
country, exceeding those in Beijing, and its infrastructure is one of 
the most advanced in China.

Mission Scenario \3\

    \3\ Mission Scenario events are subject to change based on 

    The mission will start in Beijing on Tuesday morning when U.S. 
Embassy officials will provide an overview of the Beijing political, 
economic and commercial environment, with a particular focus on market-
entry rules and requirements and potential opportunities for foreign 
legal services providers in China. Following this market briefing, the 
trade mission participants will meet throughout the day with relevant 
authorities responsible for regulating legal services in China. Tuesday 
will conclude with a dinner and reception, to which the U.S. Ambassador 
to China will be invited.
    On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Commerce will host a forum on 
doing business in the United States specifically tailored to the 
expressed strengths and goals of the trade mission participants, during 
which the participants will have an opportunity to network with Chinese 
businesspersons who have expressed an interest in doing business in the 
United States and Chinese law firms interested in partnering with U.S. 
law firms. Wednesday afternoon, participants have the option to meet 
with their legal industry counterparts, likely including a Beijing-
based bar association. Alternatively, participants may conduct follow-
up meetings. The mission will travel to Shanghai on Wednesday night.
    On Thursday morning, senior U.S. Consulate officials will provide 
mission participants with a Country Team Briefing, which will provide 
participants with an overview of the political, economic and commercial 
environment in Shanghai. The group will then meet key government 
authorities, likely including Shanghai municipal officials responsible 
for regulating legal services, and legal industry counterparts possibly 
to include the AmCham Legal Committee and a Shanghai-based bar 
association. Thursday afternoon, the U.S. Department of Commerce will 
host a forum on doing business in the United States specifically 
tailored to the expressed strengths and goals of the trade mission 
participants, during which the participants will have an opportunity to 
network with Chinese businesspersons who have expressed an interested 
in doing business in the United States and Chinese law firms interested 
in partnering with U.S. law firms. Participants may conduct follow-up 
meetings late Thursday afternoon. The day's events will conclude with a 
no-host or on-own dinner.
    Trade mission participants will be counseled before and after the 
mission by Commerce staff. Participation in the mission will include 
the following:
     Pre-travel briefings on subjects relevant to the mission, 
for example business practices in China and personal security;
     Pre-scheduled meetings with government officials and 
representatives of the Chinese legal community;
     Transfers to and from airports and hotels in Beijing and 
Shanghai; and
     Networking receptions in Beijing and Shanghai.
    Following the trade mission, participants are encouraged to 
consider utilizing additional for-fee services offered by the U.S. 
Department of Commerce's Commercial Service while in China to pursue 
additional opportunities in any of the mission cities or other cities 
throughout China. The Commercial Service offers a full range of export 
assistance services, including single company promotions and tailored 
matchmaking appointments and meetings (additional fees will be charged, 
and participants should arrange for such services in advance).

Proposed Timetable

Sunday, 9.15.2013.................  Afternoon
                                       Arrive Beijing.
Monday, 9.16.2013.................  Morning
                                       Breakfast meeting with U.S.
                                        Embassy officials.

[[Page 20895]]

                                       Meeting with relevant PRC/
                                        municipal officials.
                                       Meeting with relevant PRC/
                                        municipal officials.
                                       Dinner and reception.
Tuesday, 9.17.2013................  Morning
                                       Forum on doing business in the
                                        United States.
                                       Networking with Chinese
                                        businesspersons, law firms and
                                        other potential business
                                       Meeting with Chinese bar
                                        association OR
                                       Opportunity for U.S. firms to
                                        conduct follow-up meetings.
                                       Travel to Shanghai.
Wednesday, 9.18.2013..............  Morning
                                       Shanghai Consulate Briefing.
                                       Meeting with Shanghai (municipal-
                                        level) officials.
                                       Lunch meeting with Shanghai bar
                                        association OR
                                       AmCham Legal Committee.
                                       Forum on doing business in the
                                        United States.
                                       Networking with Chinese
                                        businesspersons, law firms and
                                        other potential business
                                       No-host or On-own Dinner; mission

Participation Requirements

    All parties interested in participating in the trade mission must 
complete and submit an application package for consideration by the 
U.S. Department of Commerce. Applicants will be evaluated on their 
ability to meet certain conditions and best satisfy the selection 
criteria as provided in detail below.

Fees and Expenses

    Applicants selected to participate on the mission will be required 
to pay a participation fee of $4,300 to the U.S. Department of 
Commerce. Applicants that qualify as small or medium-sized enterprises 
(SME),\4\ and bar associations and other trade organizations, will pay 
a reduced participation fee of $4,000. The fee for each additional 
representative (for both large and small entities) is $800. After the 
mission, participants will have the opportunity to participate in 
matchmaking and other Commercial Service export assistance services in 
Beijing, Shanghai, or elsewhere in China; additional fees will be 
charged for such services.

    \4\ A legal services SME is defined as a law office or other 
provider of legal services with a maximum of $10 million in average 
annual receipts, or that otherwise qualifies as a small business 
under Small Business Administration (SBA) regulations (see http://www.sba.gov/services/contractingopportunities/sizestandardstopics/index.html). Parent companies, affiliates, and subsidiaries will be 
considered when determining business size. The dual pricing reflects 
the Commercial Service's user fee schedule that became effective May 
1, 2008 (see http://www.export.gov/newsletter/march2008/initiatives.html for additional information).


    The mission fee does not include any personal travel expenses such 
as air transportation, lodging, most meals, and local ground 
transportation (transportation to and from airports in China and to and 
from meetings on the trade mission agenda will be provided). 
Participants will be able to take advantage of U.S. Government rates 
for hotel rooms. Participants will be required to obtain business 
visas, and Chinese fees and other processing expenses to obtain such 
visas are not included in the mission costs. The Department of Commerce 
will provide instructions to each participant on the procedures 
required to obtain necessary business visas.

Conditions For Participation

    Applicants must submit a completed and signed trade mission 
application and supplemental application materials, including adequate 
information on the applicant's services, primary market objectives, and 
goals for participation. If the Department of Commerce receives an 
incomplete application, we may reject the application, request 
additional information/clarification, or otherwise take the lack of 
information into account when evaluating the applications.
    In question 11 of the trade mission application, each applicant is 
asked to certify that the services it seeks to export as a result of 
the trade mission are either produced in the United States, or, if not, 
are marketed under the name of a U.S. firm and have at least fifty-one 
percent U.S. content. If applicants find this requirement difficult to 
meet, or are unsure of whether they can certify this, we encourage them 
to indicate on the application form why the applicant firm's services 
should be considered for promotion during the mission, including how 
the firm's goals and objectives are consistent with the purpose of the 
    In the case of a bar association or other trade organization, the 
applicant must certify that as part of its activities in this trade 
mission, it will represent the interests of members meeting the 
criteria discussed in the previous paragraph or provide an explanation 
of the type described in the previous paragraph.
    In addition, as part of the trade mission application each 
applicant must:
     Certify that the services that it wishes to market through 
the mission would be in compliance with U.S. export controls and 
     Certify that it has identified to the Department of 
Commerce for its evaluation any business pending before the Department 
that may present the appearance of a conflict of interest;
     Certify that it has identified any pending litigation 
(including any administrative proceedings) to which it is a party that 
involves the Department of Commerce; and
     Certify that it and its affiliates (1) have not and will 
not engage in the bribery of foreign officials in connection with a 
company's/participant's involvement in this mission, and (2) maintain 
and enforce a policy that prohibits the bribery of foreign officials.

Selection Criteria for Participation

    The Department of Commerce intends to select 15 applicants to 
participate in

[[Page 20896]]

the trade mission. A minimum of 13 and maximum of 17 applicants will be 
selected to participate. In the event that fewer than 13 applicants are 
selected, Commerce may carry out the mission with the applicants it has 
selected; cancel the mission; or postpone it. Targeted mission 
participants include: U.S. law firms that have an interest in entering 
or expanding their business in the Chinese legal services market, or in 
providing legal services to Chinese companies or individuals in the 
U.S. market; and bar associations or other trade organizations that 
represent U.S. legal service providers that have such interests. The 
following criteria will be evaluated in selecting participants:
     Suitability of the applicant firm's (or in the case of an 
applicant bar association or other trade organization, represented 
legal service providers') services to the Chinese market, with respect 
either to providing services in China or legal services to Chinese 
companies in the United States.
     Applicant firm's (or in the case of an applicant bar 
association or other trade organization, represented legal service 
providers') potential for business in China, including likelihood of 
U.S. services exports resulting from the mission.
     Consistency of the applicant firm's (or in the case of a 
bar association or other trade organization, represented legal service 
providers') goals and objectives with the scope of the mission.
    The Department of Commerce may also consider factors related to the 
designated representative that will participate in the mission on 
behalf of the applicant, including: his/her practice area and level of 
seniority; his/her experience conducting business in China; any 
experience opening a foreign law office; and whether he/she is admitted 
to practice law in the United States. As the Department is seeking a 
diverse group of participants, the size, location, and areas of 
expertise of the applicant may also be considered.
    Referrals from political organizations and any documents, including 
the application, containing references to partisan political activities 
(including political contributions) will be removed from an applicant's 
submission and not considered during the selection process.

Timeframe for Recruitment and Application

    Mission recruitment will be conducted in an open and public manner, 
including publication in the Federal Register, posting on the Commerce 
Department trade mission calendar (http://www.export.gov/trademissions) 
and other Internet Web sites, press releases to general and trade 
media, direct mail, broadcast fax, notices by industry trade 
associations and other multiplier groups, and publicity at industry 
meetings, symposia, conferences, and trade shows.
    Recruitment for this mission will begin immediately and conclude no 
later than August 16, 2013. The Department of Commerce will review 
applications and make selection decisions on a rolling basis beginning 
April 15, 2013 until the maximum number of participants is selected. 
Applications received after August 16, 2013 will be considered only if 
space and scheduling constraints permit.


U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service

    David McCormack, U.S. Commercial Service, Washington, DC, Tel: 
202.482.2833, Email: [email protected].

U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of General Counsel

    Brett Gerson, Attorney-Advisor, Office of the Chief Counsel for 
International Commerce, Washington, DC, Tel: 202.482.5595, Email: 
[email protected].

U.S. Embassy--Beijing

    Mark A. Lewis, Commercial Officer, (t) 8610-8531-3280, (f) 8610-
8531-3701, [email protected].

Elnora Moye,
Trade Program Assistant.
[FR Doc. 2013-08091 Filed 4-5-13; 8:45 am]