China is the first gold rush of the 21st century, the place to go if you are adventurous and want to get rich fast. For Mr. Martin and his 27-year-old business partner, Pittsburgher Josh Weiner, their get-rich-quick scheme centers on persuading distributors, restaurateurs and bar owners to put imported beers in the hands of young, status-conscious Chinese professionals looking for ways to flaunt their wealth in this city of 19 million.
Mr. Weiner is among the thousands of foreigners, including many Pittsburghers, hustling to make money from the most dramatic international story of our time -- Red China's embrace of freewheeling U.S.-style capitalism.
At least 20 big Pittsburgh-area companies -- from PPG Industries to Alcoa to H.J. Heinz to Allegheny Technologies -- have offices or operations in China, joining about 49,000 other American firms hoping to capitalize on China's massive growth while avoiding the pitfalls of working in a country where the ways of doing business are opaque and complex.
Chris Briem notes the likely economic windfall for the Pittsburgh region if Westinghouse is allowed to service the rapidly growing energy markets in India and China. The Post-Gazette series details the opportunities in China. Either country represents the potential for high-return investments, even for beer distributors.
Pittsburgh should continue to explore ways to increase its global connectivity. Pittsburgh might tap the Indian Diaspora, a network with strong links to Pittsburgh. This is also a selling point to keep Westinghouse in the region when it expands its operations. Pittsburgh could be developing as a global energy player, thanks to being a leader in clean coal burning and nuclear technologies and the innovations in green architecture.