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Friday, September 21, 2018

CEIBS Hosts EU Representatives at Beijing Reception

September 21, 2018. Beijing – The CEIBS Insights 2018 Reception in Beijing was held today at the Four Seasons Hotel Beijing on the theme of Challenges, Opportunities, & the Way Forward for the Chinese Economy. The event attracted representatives from more than 10 European embassies, including France, Germany, Finland, Spain, and Romania, along with numerous business leaders and members of the CEIBS alumni community. Among those in attendance were Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Counsellor Shi Xiaotong, European Union Minister Counsellor Günther Marten, and CEIBS Vice President and Dean Prof. Ding Yuan.

In his welcome address, Prof. Ding emphasised the importance of the cooperation between the Chinese and European governments in helping CEIBS develop into a world-class business school and the leading business school in Asia in the less than 25 years since it was founded. He further stated that the reception, hosted on the eve of China’s annual Mid-Autumn Festival, was an opportunity for the school to give back to its many European friends and partners. Prof. Ding was joined by Former Director General of the Financial Survey and Statistics Department at the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), Counsellor to Shanghai Municipal Government, and CEIBS Professor of Economics and Finance Sheng Songcheng and CEIBS Associate Professor of International Business and Strategy Shameen Prashantham as presenters at the event.

As part of his keynote address on The Reform and Opening-up of China’s Service Industry and its Future Developments, Prof. Sheng spoke about the rising status and growth potential of China’s tertiary (service) industry and offered some thoughts on how to reinvigorate the service industry through deepening the process of reform and opening-up. Echoing the words of China’s General Secretary Xi Jinping during the 19th CPC National Congress held last year, Prof. Sheng stated that there is a growing imbalance in China between people’s growing need for a better life and the development of services intended to support that need, including those related to employment, education, healthcare, housing, and elderly care.

As a step toward closing the gap between the two, Prof. Sheng pointed to China’s intentions to broaden market access for service providers, in particular for those in sectors such as finance and insurance. In particular, Prof. Sheng cited the recent move to reduce the number of restrictive measures included in the Special Administrative Measures on Access to Foreign Investment (commonly referred to as the “the Negative List”) from 63 down to 48 as an example of one way in which the Chinese government is trying to promote foreign direct investment in the country’s domestic service industry.

In the day’s second keynote address, Prof. Prashantham delivered a talk on Doing Business with Startups in China in which he argued that, in today’s business environment, new value and growth may not be within a company’s own current boundaries and that firms – both start-ups and multinational corporations – may need to establish relationships with other, often dissimilar, companies to solve problems together. Furthermore, he went on to say that, in order to succeed in this new business ecosystem, companies need to adopt what could be referred to as an “ecosystem mind-set.” While noting some of the challenges new ventures and established, large corporations face in working together, Prof. Prashantham said he believes there are substantial benefits to both parties, including increased legitimacy, improved learning, and enhanced market access.

During his talk, Prof. Prashantham also offered some advice for MNCs looking to work with smaller, local partners in China and other emerging markets. In particular, he highlighted the importance of establishing mutually beneficial conditions, establishing an intermediary or broker as a network entry point, and developing projects which could be used to both nurture and showcase promising partnerships. Finally, he emphasised the need for foreign companies to differentiate themselves from homegrown rivals, align themselves with partner programmes with national priorities, and leverage local government policy efforts as three keys to ensuring greater success.

The Beijing reception was the second of a two-part series of China-based CEIBS Insights events, the first of which took place in Shanghai on September 12. The events are part of CEIBS’ efforts to promote China-EU communication and cooperation in business and culture on the 15th anniversary of the China-EU Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. The Beijing reception also comes just ahead of the next CEIBS Insights 2018 Europe Forum in Prague on September 25. The Europe series wraps up with two more forums next month in Paris (October 19) and Zurich (October 24).

For more information about the speakers at the CEIBS Insights Beijing reception, please visit our faculty profiles page here. For full coverage of the CEIBS Insights 2018 Europe Forum series, visit our website here.

Michael D. Thede
Charmaine N. Clarke