Atlanta-based Simcom International Holdings Inc. has been granted status as an official intermediary between U.S. firms and all five Chinese regulatory agencies, according to Brian R. Smith, president and CEO of Simcom.

The educational and consulting firm that provides original equipment manufacturers with information on global environmental, health and safety regulations, is the first U.S. company to attain this recognition in China, said Mr. Smith. The process took about 180months and was completed in April.

Simcom’s status allows it to act as a go-between for U.S. firms and the Chinese government, assisting companies with the costly and complex process of gaining entry to that market. There is a demand for Simcom’s services, he said, because entering the alluring Chinese market can be “extremely expensive and horribly time-consuming.”

“China’s regulatory process, along with that of Russia, is the most onerous, difficult system in the world,” he added.

Mr. Smith also said that the country’s efforts to protect its own domestic products and power struggles between different government agencies add to the frustration. However, he said, the last few years have seen a significant reduction of government size and control in China and the country is seeing tremendous growth.

“Every day, thousands of companies are being incorporated and the country is becoming less and less communist,” he said.

He added that the government is more welcoming to products that the country needs and the domestic market does not offer, such as semi-conductor and telecommunications devices, environmental technologies for water and air pollution and medical products.

Simcom, which opened in 1993, began working with China four years ago and now has offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. The company also partnered with a Chinese real estate developer, which is the key to doing business in that country, he said.

“It is nearly impossible to survive in China without a Chinese business partner,” he said. “Your company cannot become Chinese without one.”

Simcom also assists companies with regulation requirements in Europe, South America and the U.S.

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