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China Forum for Presidents of Business Associations 2015 Held in Ningbo

The Global Alliance of SMEs co-hosted China Forum for Presidents of Business Associations 2015 on December 12th at the Shangri-La Hotel, Ningbo, with the support of Ningbo Municipal Government, Zhejiang Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, Ningbo Private Entrepreneurs Association, and China Radio International. Around 500 presidents, vice presidents and secretaries-general from China’s national, provincial and municipal chambers of commerce attended this forum.

The theme of this forum focused on setting up a platform for cooperation among business associations, and implement the “Belt and Road” Initiative.

The VIPs attended include: Mr. Li Wuwei, Vice Chairman of the 11th CPPCC National Committee; Mr. Ronald Bew, Former Associate Deputy Administrator of U.S. Small Business Administration and Senior Vice Chairman of GASME; Mr. Fan Yi, Vice Chairman of Ningbo Municipal Political Consultative Conference; Mr. Yang Jiemian, Director of Academic Committee of Shanghai Institutes for International Studies and Former President of Shanghai Institutes for International Studies; Mr. Cai Zhangsheng, Vice President of Zhejiang Association of Small and Medium Enterprises; Mr. Ma Jun, Vice President of China Association of Small and Medium Enterprises; Mr. Frank Cao, Secretary-General of Global Alliance of SMEs; Mr. Phil Roebuck, Executive President of the British Chamber of Commerce Shanghai; and others.

Mr. Li Wuwei, Vice Chairman of the 11th CPPCC National Committee, delivered a keynote speech on two driving forces for the transformation of enterprises. He said that in China’s “new normal” economy, culture creativity and technical innovation would become two driving forces for transforming enterprises and trade organizations. Business associations are vital components of the market economic system and bridges among governments, enterprises and markets. With streamlined administration and delegations of power, business associations would develop rapidly. Mr. Li Wuwei pointed out that the business elites should actively help enterprises innovate and win a fierce competition. There are two ways to cultural innovation: one is to show what we’ve got, and the other is to develop based on the current. For example, we first showed the Great Wall and further develop a movie called Sunvo Adventures based on the Great Wall. Another example is the Dishui Lake in Nanhui, Shanghai. After showing this lake, we have further built a Dishui Lake Park and made an animation called Dishui Genius so as to attract visitors to the Dishui Lake. Meanwhile, a brand has been developed based on this. Therefore it is important to combine technology with cultural innovation to promote economic development.

Mr. Ronald Bew, Former Associate Deputy Administrator of U.S. Small Business Administration and Senior Vice Chairman of GASME, pointed out that The United States and China are the two countries of top importance in the world, sharing broad common interests and huge potential for cooperation. The bilateral economic and trade cooperation is now entering a new development stage. China’s investment in the US is accelerating. China has invested nearly $50 billion in the United States with the vast majority in the past five years. Represented by SMEs, private enterprises have become the main force of investment. Additionally, the investment of Chinese enterprises in the US has shifted from the period of “Whether to Invest” to the period of “How to Invest”. To encourage mutual investment between our two countries, Mr. Bew said, “I think that both sides should further reduce the investment restrictions and open more fields to investments so as to create more opportunities for the cooperation among small and medium-sized enterprises. Given the different stages of development and regional diversities between the United States and China, cooperation between the SMEs of our two countries needs more support.” But the question remains: how do we find solutions to these challenges that face Chinese enterprises when they invest in the US? Mr. Bew advises that we first must fully understand the culture and legal system in the United States. The investment should be compatible with the industrial policies. Secondly, localize administrative staff and business models; thirdly, develop branding and marketing strategies suitable for American consumers; fourthly, invest in industries and fields based on existing management and experience; and last but not least, make good use of local third party services in the United States.

Mr. Yang Jiemian, Director of Academic Committee of Shanghai Institutes for International Studies and Former President of Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, focused on four points in his keynote speech on international issues. The first was the characteristics of the current international situation. Big changes, great competitions and major adjustments are the three characteristics. He appealed to all the participants to pay close attention to national policies. The second was building a new model of major power relations. He emphasized that a sound diplomatic relation is needed in order to avoid confrontation and conflicts, and mutual respect is needed in order to achieve win-win cooperation. The implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative will bring significant breakthroughs for China’s diplomacy with neighboring countries. Last but not least, Mr. Yang pointed out that although China has made great achievements in diplomacy, Chinese government still need to work on building a prosperous society and do more for the people.

As the oldest foreign Chamber still operating in China, British Chamber of Commerce Shanghai celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. Mr. Phil Roebuck, Executive Director of the British Chamber of Commerce, Shanghai pointed out that from luxury retailers to machine parts manufacturers, foreign companies were reducing forecast expectations, attempting to lower operational costs, and revising their business strategies so as to adapt to China’s ‘new normal’. The Chamber of Commerce can help member companies better adapt to the fierce competition and survive in the transition of China’s economy. The Chamber remains a trusted and effective tool for companies looking forward to rapidly expand their business contacts, tap into up-to-the-minute conversation streams, and raise the profile of their brands locally.

Mr. Cai Zhangsheng shared his views on cooperation and innovation. He pointed out that we needed to do three things. Firstly, open enterprises’ appeal channels so that enterprises could have a say. Secondly, integrate excellent social resources and set up an international platform in order to help SMEs solve the problems of financing. Thirdly, give full play to the advantages of Zhejiang Province as a guide for the development of the Internet, the financial market, and the health industries.

Mr. Frank Cao indicated that Global Alliance of SMEs has already implemented three high-end international exchange platforms (Global SME Summit, China’s SMEs Global Development Forum, Transnational Corporation and SMEs Cooperation Forum); four multinational enterprises matchmaking events (China-US, China-Africa, China-EU, China-South Korea SMEs matchmaking sessions); three public service products (White Paper on Global SMEs Development, Global SMEs Development Index, White Paper on Investment Environment of Countries along the Belt and Road Construction). Mr. Cao pointed out that only by cooperating with the many business organizations in the world could GASME achieve the goal of becoming the leading platform for global SMEs. Therefore, he proposed the establishment of Global Alliance of Business Organizations composed of business organizations mainly from but not exclusive to the G20 countries. Its development goal is to include 1000 prominent business organizations from the 237 countries and regions in this Alliance.

Mr. Ma Jun provided some advice on how to promote the cooperation between transnational corporations and SMEs. He said that SMEs even from different industries should unite together so as to be able to compete with those transnational corporations. At the same time, a community of interests of SMEs and transnational corporations needed to be built so as to promote common development. Understanding the market and making scientific planning are critical steps for SMEs’ development in today’s international economic environment.

Mr. Jin Guanghui, Vice Chairman of China Region of GASME and President of Jin Wanhao Group; Mr. Liu Wanglin, Chairman of Hubei Business Development Association; Mr. Chen Long, Vice Chairman of Beijing Olympics Culture Development Association; and Ms. Han Min, Deputy Secretary-General of Western Returned Scholars Foundation, delivered keynote speeches on topics including: how to build a world class institute on economies and policies, how to facilitate the transformation and upgrading of enterprises, and how to support the development of SMEs with SMEs development funds.

In the dialogue session, Mr. Zheng Wei, Vice Chairman of Hubei Business Development Association; Mr. Peng Jiaming, President of Yun Chuang Group; Mr. Si Han, Deputy Secretary-General of China City Economic Expert Committee; and Mr. Guan Congyang, COO of Grape Garden, discussed with Mr. Feng Yong, Moderator from NBTV, on new initiatives that chamber of commerce have in this New Normal era, and discussed hot issues regarding the “Belt and Road” initiative.

During the forum, Mr. Cao Weiqiang, Vice Executive Secretary-General, released the Presidents of Business Associations Ningbo Proposal, which was widely acknowledged by the participants.

Mr. Li Wuwei delivers a keynote speech

Mr. Fan Yi delivers a keynote speech

Mr. Ronald Bew delivers a keynote speech

Mr. Yang Jiemian delivers a keynote speech

Mr. Cai Zhangsheng delivers a keynote speech

Mr. Ma Jun delivers a keynote speech

Mr. Frank Cao delivers a keynote speech

Mr. Phil Roebuck delivers a keynote speech

The Forum Site

The Dialogue Session

Mr. Li Wuwei meets with representatives of presidents of business associations

The Launch Ceremony of GASME Chinese Future Entrepreneur Kids Camp Program

The Launch Ceremony of GASME Chinese Future Entrepreneur Kids Camp Program

The Award Ceremony for the establishment of GASME Hubei Service Center

The Launch Ceremony of Western Returned Scholars Foundation SMEs Global Development Special Fund

Group photo of some VIPs in the Forum