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Friday, December 4, 2020

CEIBS Insights 2020 Europe Forums Highlight Importance of Cooperation in Global Recovery

December 4, 2020. Shanghai – The CEIBS Insights 2020 Europe Forums wrapped up today, with more than 3,000 participants streaming the series online. The events explored opportunities for Sino-European cooperation in areas such as innovation, mobility, finance and investment, as well as ways to accelerate the post-COVID-19 global economic turnaround. For the first time in its history, this year’s forums were hosted online, with virtual stops in Switzerland, Germany, the UK and France.

Speaking during the event, CEIBS President Wang Hong emphasised the fact that, as the only business school co-established by the Chinese government and the EU, CEIBS bears a strong responsibility to promote economic and cultural exchange around the world.

“COVID-19 has presented severe challenges to social and economic development all around the world and has led to profound repercussions in the arena of international exchange and cooperation,” President Wang said. “In the midst of the post-pandemic global economic situation, there is a pressing need to enhance international exchange and promote global economic recovery. For CEIBS, this year’s forums are particularly imbued with a sense of mission and responsibility.”

President Wang’s message was echoed by CEIBS President (European) Dipak Jain, who, during his welcome speech to open the France leg of the series, noted the pivotal timing of the events and the importance of the school’s mission to educate responsible leaders who can make contributions of lasting significance for years to come.

“The challenges we have faced this year have taught us that change is inevitable, worrying is optional and timely action is essential. As we near the end of 2020, there is a pressing need to revive the global economy,” President Jain stated. “At CEIBS, we have […] continued to maintain a strong international outlook and have served as an important bridge for cultural and economic exchange between China, Europe and the world.”

Switzerland forum explores impact of digital transformation and global ‘black swan’ event on new business models

On November 26, CEIBS Zurich Campus CEO Dr. Robert Straw hosted the first event of the series, which took an in-depth look at Sino-Swiss Innovative Cooperation.

Former Swiss Ambassador to China and Swiss Centers Foundation President Jean-Jacques DE DARDEL first spoke about Sino-Swiss business relations in the context of the post-COVID-19 world. In particular, he said that, despite the global economic slowdown, he believes Sino-Swiss relations stand to improve and can serve as a positive example for broader Sino-European cooperation.

CEIBS Associated Professor of Strategy Chen Weiru then delivered a keynote speech, in which he shared some recent cases of digitalization in China. In responding to the trend towards digitalization, Prof. Chen said that traditional businesses need to question whether they are future-oriented, whether their business model is sustainable, whether their capacity has been optimized, whether they have utilized new technologies and whether or not they are mission-driven.

Next, Nestlé Asia-Oceania-Africa Vice President Mr. Bernie STEFAN said that, beyond the sheer size of the market, companies such as Nestlé can benefit from the level of both competition and innovation in China. He added further that innovation and sustainability are no longer two separate things and, moreover, that both are required in order to succeed in the Chinese market.

The speeches were followed by a panel discussion with the speakers moderated by Sinolytics Director Markus Herrmann Chen.

Germany stop looks at factors shaping the future of the global automotive sector

On November 27, Dr. Straw hosted the second leg of the forum series under the banner of Paradigm Shift: The Future of the Global Mobility Industry.

In his keynote speech, CEIBS Professor of Entrepreneurial Management Practice Gong Yan stated that the automotive sector is undergoing a shift from being an industry driven by scale to one which is driven by scale and connectivity. At the same time, he said, the future of the industry will be defined by the business and strategic game between traditional automakers and new car manufacturers.

Prof. Gong was followed by Horváth & Partners Senior Advisor and Former AUDI China President Dr. Dietmar Voggenreiter, who discussed some of the changes being experienced by the automotive industry. In particular, he said that three main drivers – COVID-19, global warming and autonomous driving – will have the greatest impact on supply chains and technological improvements in the next 10-15 years.

The event wrapped up with a panel discussion with Prof. Gong and Dr. Voggenreiter moderated by Aspen Institute Central Europe Founder and President Ivan Hodac.

China-France Investment Dialogue highlights the importance of cooperation in rebooting international business

On December 3, President Jain and CCI Paris Île-de-France President Didier Kling welcomed a distinguished group of speakers for a special look at the Joint China-France Effort to Drive Global Economic Recovery.

CEIBS Distinguished Professor, Paris Peace Forum President and Former WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy delivered a keynote speech, in which he noted that Europe’s post-pandemic recovery could benefit from the effects of China’s economic development and stressed the importance of equal dialogue in continuing to build good cooperative relations between the two sides.

CEIBS Vice President and Dean Ding Yuan then discussed economic exchange between China and France, stating that he believes the post-pandemic situation will provide more opportunities for Sino-French cooperation. In particular, he predicted that France will enjoy more opportunities in cosmetics, medical supplies, agricultural products and other fields, while China will enjoy more opportunities for trade and investment in the process of transforming into a service economy, as well as in the fields of pensions, healthcare and finance.

Finally, Paris Ile-de-France Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vice President Alain Eygreteau led a panel discussion with Prof. Lamy and Prof. Ding, together with French Embassy in China Regional Agricultural Counsellor François Blanc and FreshFresh Co-founder and Chairman and CEIBS alum Shen Bin.

UK event spotlights opportunities in the finance sector amidst the “new normal”

The CEIBS Insights 2020 series came to a close on December 4 with a series of talks and a panel discussion on the theme of Sino-UK Finance Cooperation: Seeking Opportunities in Crisis.

During his keynote speech, CEIBS Professor of Finance and Director of the CEIBS Lujiazui Institute of International Finance Jiang Jianqing said that three kinds of uncertainties – changes in the international environment, the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic and the advent of new technologies – will come to dominate the financial sector in the coming years. Nevertheless, he added he predicts a shift towards environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) investment and huge development potential for the future of the industry.

Standard Life Aberdeen Chairman Sir Douglas Flint then reflected on the challenges facing the asset management industry and opportunities for Sino-UK financial cooperation. As well, he noted that the pandemic has served as a wake-up call to the industry and that the financial sector has a huge opportunity to support the recovery from COVID-19 and contribute to the building of a better future.

Lastly, Yicai Research Institute Managing Director Yang Yanqing then moderated a panel discussion with the speakers.

An important platform for exchange and cooperation

Since its beginning in 2012, the CEIBS Insights Europe Forums have brought together leaders from industry, government and academia to debate and discuss important topics facing Chinese and international business. Looking ahead, CEIBS will continue to focus on its mission to educate responsible leaders and serve as an important platform for exchange and cooperation.

Michael Thede
Rachel Wang