This speech will be focused on how companies and countries can effectively leverage opportunities created by the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The speaker will challenge the conventional wisdom that foreign businesses cannot effectively engage with BRI and will lay out the practical steps that companies can take to capitalize on the infrastructure build-up and internationalization of Chinese companies. In the presentation, the BRI will be approached as a process of evolution in the business environment that unlocks opportunities across a number of sectors worldwide rather than as a Chinese foreign policy initiative. The speech will feature case studies analyzed by the Belt and Road Advisory involving such sectors as manufacturing, logistics, e-commerce, and tourism.
2017 and 2018 have been two years that have brought considerable changes within China which can potentially have far-reaching implications for European businesses operating in the country. Since President Xi Jinping’s speech at Davos in 2017, China has accelerated its pace of reform and opening up. However, while these steps are welcomed by European businesses, European Chamber members still report a ‘reform deficit’ and emphasize the need for a larger set of reforms in order to realize the ambitions stated by Chinese leaders.
It is well-known that, when it comes to issues affecting all businesses, SMEs tend to be hit the hardest. That is even more true for foreign SMEs doing business in China. In the past years, the policy environment for SMEs has undergone a significant transformation, culminating in the issuing of the SME Promotion Law in September 2017. While considerable progress has indeed been made on a variety of areas, European SMEs still report encountering difficulties on issues like access to financing, administrative burden, late payments, and intellectual property (IP) protection.
Ms. Ester Cañada will provide a general overview of the policy and business environment for European companies in China, after which she will focus on the case of SMEs.
Maxime Van ‘t Klooster, with a Master degree in International Business from Maastricht University, has been living in China for over 5 years. As General Manager of 1421 Consulting Group, he is responsible for the implementation of organizational strategy in their Beijing office.
Moreover, he leads the inbound consulting project team and oversees all corporate services for foreign clients. These experiences have given Maxime a deep insight into Chinese culture and expertise in assisting foreign companies with their China strategy.