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Hi ,

Greetings from Yiwu China, where I just arrived with Tomas from Bali via Kuala Lumpur.

Last week I was telling you about a secret city on Java and the giant turtle. You can read about it here.
Since then we caught a short flight to Bali and spent a mad few days working on some new products and also negotiating a deal for a new warehouse.
Sadly we will be leaving Yellow Coconut Village near Ubud. Regular readers will know about our sojourn in Nyuh Kuning, we have been there six years and in that time it has gone from being a quiet area near Ubud to being a busy urban part of the town. Getting containers in and out has become almost impossible, so it's time to pack up and go. Ringo (our man in Indonesia) has been searching for for a while for something more suitable. Just two weeks ago I received excited WhatsApp messages about a potential place not far from his family home.

The very first job after arriving from Java to Bali was to drive to the warehouse he had found. It's closer to Denpasar and not far from the main road, so containers can easily access. I was happy to learn that the address translates as in Jackfruit Village, so from Yellow Coconut to Jackfruit sounds kind of poetic. It is owned by a local family, and as is the custom in Bali, you not only have to do a deal with the owner but seek the blessing of the head of the village and the local holy man.
The place is quite run down after being empty for about a year, the last tenant was the Coca Cola distributor for Bali so it has a good roof a big yard and about 1000 square meters plus two offices, one of which could be a studio/showroom.

It's going to need quite a bit of work doing to bring it up to a decent standard, and the owners are expecting the new tenant to do that. So we met with one of the sons who showed us round and tentatively made an offer. Over a few days, Ringo was taking phone calls from all the family and village elders until we reached a deal good for everyone.

I'll spare you all the commercial details, but the social details of the lease you will find interesting.. there will have to be a ceremonial blessing and a donation to the local temple, the amount not specified only that it comes from the heart. Then there will be an annual rice tax of 100kg to be given to the village holy man once per year, we will have to plant a garden and as is the custom make the place pretty. And all this was actually written into the short unfussy lease agreement which we signed in a local Notary Office, whereas it happened the landlord's daughter happened to work. Doing business in Indonesia is refreshingly uncomplicated, do we need government approvals..? nope.. can a foreign company sign a lease..? yep, are there any taxes to be paid..? only tiny ones.

Bali

Bali is a high trust place making business easy to do. I asked Ringo what about the land registry and if the family really own the building and land, he said don't worry 100% safe - the fact that the holyman is involved means that everything is legit.

Meanwhile back in the UK.. Brexit is making things complicated. Who knows what is going to happen?
We have a huge wave of orders from our European customers as they stock up ahead of the unknown situation coming up.. this has set our order turnaround back as we try to cope. So I'm sorry about the delays currently.. we really can blame it on Brexit ..
Whatever you might think or feel about Brexit, I can tell you for our business it will be pretty disruptive on several levels. And nothing much to be done, because no one knows what the hell will happen.

Whatever will be will be.

Hope you have a peaceful and happy weekend.
Next week I'll update you on what's happening in Yiwu..

Take care

David

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