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Sunday, September 9, 2018

Former French PM Dominique de Villepin Headlines CEIBS CMO Summit

September 9, 2018. Shanghai – CEIBS welcomed more than 300 senior marketing executives to the Shanghai Campus today for the 2nd CEIBS CMO Summit. The one-day event was held at the CEIBS Conference Centre and is a platform for those in the field of marketing to share ideas about the latest innovations and strategies.

This year’s event was highlighted by a keynote address from Former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, who is currently in the midst of a 5-day visit to the Shanghai Campus to meet with CEIBS faculty and students and engage in high-level discussions on a variety of topics. Prof. de Villepin joined CEIBS earlier this year as a Distinguished Professor to lecture on diplomacy, soft power, and global economic competition and was recently inaugurated as the Chairman of the International Advisory Board at CEIBS.

During his 40-minute speech, Prof. de Villepin shared with the packed auditorium his insights on the global emerging economic outlook. In opening his address, he noted that China’s growing interest in the world economy comes at a time when emerging markets are faced with an increasingly complex environment full of contradictions.

“The age we are entering into is not only a time of risk to political stability, it is a time where the global economy is experiencing a major turning point,” he began by stating. “In the context of trade confrontation, it's all about choosing between two paths — the first one is isolation, the other one is cooperation.”

In response to these conditions, Prof. de Villepin used the opportunity to highlight some of the ways in which China is advocating for stronger international ties through its involvement in associations such as BRICS.

“On one hand BRICS have become a dynamic group of exchange,” he said. “On the other hand, it is also a political force defending free trade. They’ve all voted against protectionism and the creation of international multilateral tools is a concrete example of BRICS cooperation.”

Prof. de Villepin further stated that, as we move towards globalisation, the key to prosperity will be in combining the needs of emerging markets and the capacities of developed countries. At the same time, he cautioned that we live in a world where “an economic crisis in an emerging market could trigger regional collapse with negative effects.” He added that “history tells us that financial difficulties on a national level are likely to escalate into regional turmoil. At the end of the day, local crises always initiate a vicious cycle beyond borders.”

Despite the risks involved, Prof. de Villepin pointed in his speech to projects such as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and their potential to have a far-reaching, positive global impact.

“The Belt and Road Initiative provides a real alternative by building bridges between markets and it is a major economic game changer,” he said. “As well, by promoting investment in marginalised regions, the New Silk Road offers the conditions of lasting peace based on employment, integration, and development.”

Moreover, he told those in attendance at the conference that he believes the example China has set with the BRI can provide a model that Europe and other countries in the West can learn from. He also said that the shift to a greater focus on new and emerging economies warrants some reconsideration of who gets invited to the discussion table.

He stated, “Today, diversity has become the key principle of the world. It means diversity of origins that must be better represented in global institutions. The time has come to reinvent international cooperation through new principles of fairness, diversity, and balance.”

In his role as IAB Chairman, Prof. de Villepin will lead a committee of international business leaders in advising CEIBS leadership on various aspects of school governance. His mission will also include helping to establish stronger ties between China, Europe, and the rest of the international community.

To learn more about Prof. de Villepin’s background and interests, visit his CEIBS faculty profile here.

Writer: 
Michael D. Thede
Editor: 
Charmaine N. Clarke