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Europe Express

Volumes 5&6, 2015


By David Yu

So now that CEIBS has a European base in Zurich, what’s next? A lot, it turns out. The school will host a series of forums in major European cities next year in what has been informally dubbed CEIBS Europe Express.

The CEIBS Europe Forum series of events will explore various aspects of Sino-European cooperation including globalisation of Chinese companies, new business opportunities, and RMB internationalisation. CEIBS faculty will present case studies on successful examples of Chinese-European joint ventures and acquisitions, and CEOs of leading Chinese and European companies will share their experiences in working together. During the events CEIBS alumni, along with other senior European and Chinese business leaders, will explore the benefits and challenges that companies on both sides face as they expand business ties with one another.  

China-EU trade is booming – now well over €1 billion a day – and there are increasing numbers of Chinese companies going global, among them many CEIBS alumni companies. It has become vital for Chinese executives to understand the European business environment and for Europeans to understand the Chinese. This was what prompted CEIBS to make a deal with the Lorange Institute of Business Zurich (LIBZ) to establish the CEIBS Zurich Campus. It is the second milestone in CEIBS’ internationalisation strategy, following the launch of the CEIBS Africa Programme in Accra, Ghana in 2008. 

Since its founding 21 years ago the school has had an international mind-set – it is, after all, a joint venture between China and the European Union. However its initial focus was on bringing the best Western business practices to China in order to quickly push Chinese executives up to the level of their Western counterparts. The Chinese economy is now more mature and Chinese companies are looking to increase innovation and move up the value chain. Many companies in China have developed management practices and business models that are not seen in other parts of the world. To keep pace with the changing needs of both Chinese and multinational companies, CEIBS is now turning its focus towards a more interactive, two-way dialogue between Chinese executives and their counterparts in more developed economies. The CEIBS Europe Express is one vital plank in this.

“We are determined to be the forerunner and leader in internationalisation of business education in China,” says CEIBS Assistant President Dr Snow Zhou. “Europe is of great importance to the school in terms of internationalisation.” 

The cities where the CEIBS Europe Forum will be held are home to many practical examples of China-EU cooperation. 

Throughout the events, participants will include members of Europe’s most influential business community. “This forum series is an extension of the high-quality business education that CEIBS is already renowned for providing in China. We have carefully selected the topics for discussion, and participants will be hearing from the top experts in China,” says Dr Zhou. 

The Europe Forum series is also a way for CEIBS alumni in the continent to boost their synergy with their alma mater and many of them will participate during panel discussions. “Our alumni who have set up businesses in Europe can provide a first-hand perspective on the local business environment,” explains Dr Zhou. “Many are quite successful. They are the school’s ambassadors in Europe.”

CEIBS is the first Chinese b-school to fully control a stand-alone business school in Europe. In charting this new path, the school will continue to adapt its strategy to the changing business environment to better serve the business community in China and overseas. “How can we remain outstanding in Asia and ascend into the first class tier of business education providers worldwide to better contribute to exchanges between China and the world? These are questions that we’ve been asking ourselves. To make CEIBS’ dream a reality will require our constant effort in programme design, market channel building and brand promotion,” says Dr Zhou.