The China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) Third Europe Forum 2017 held in London on July 6, jointly organised by the China Chamber of Commerce in the UK (CCCUK) and China Europe International Business School (CEIBS). The forum was attended by over 200 guests including many Chinese-British politicians; academics; experts; investors; and Chinese company executives. Chinese ambassador to the UK H.E. Liu Xiaoming; President of the CEIBS Professor Li Mingjun; Vice Chairman of CCCUK and CEO of China Taiping Insurance (UK) Co Ltd Mr Geng Jinhai; Vice Chairman and Chinese services group leader of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Service Inc, Mr Angus Knowles-Cutler; Chairman of Council of SIIS Academic Affairs, Shanghai Institutes for International Studies Professor Yang Jiemian; and Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee, the City of London Corporation Ms Catherine McGuinness gave speech in the Forum.
In light of the ‘Belt & Road Initiative (BRI)’, the forum combined the discussions that centred on how will the businesses in China and the UK boost the financial, trade, bilateral commercial and other areas of cooperation and identified new opportunities and developed strategies based on existing cooperation.
Chinese ambassador to the UK H.E. Liu Xiaoming delivered a keynote speech at the forum. He pointed out that there were four main reasons why the Belt & Road Initiative has enjoyed increasing recognition and gathered growing international consensus. First, the BRI is a concrete endeavour in building a community of shared future for mankind. This Initiative aims to build a shared community of humanity, in order to achieve this, it takes on the fundamental problem of development by means of stronger policy coordination, infrastructure connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration and people-to-people bond. It points out the way forward with regard to addressing a series of critical problems in the world today, and it seeks to provide answers and solutions to these problems. Secondly, the BRI strongly advocates an open global economy. The long-term vision of this Initiative is a massive belt of economic growth unprecedented in span and coverage. It aims to link up the vibrant Asia-Pacific in the east with wee-developed Europe in the west and encourages openness and stimulates growth. It helps to build a fair, reasonable and transparent international trade and investment regime. It also strives to facilitate the orderly flow of production factors, enable efficient allocation of resources and lead to a higher degree of market integration. Third, the BRI encourages diversity and innovation. By seeking multi-level, broad-ranging people-to-people ties, the BRI believes in diversity and creativity. Everyone can be a partner, whether it is a country, an international organisation, a multinational company, a financial institution or an NGO. The diversity and creativity within the Belt and Road community are showing its great strength. Fourth, the BRI is a demonstration of China taking the lead to advance win-win cooperation. This Initiative will encourage closer international cooperation; enhance connectivity; align China’s development with that of the countries along the routes, and seek to realise win-win cooperation that China has always advocated.
‘Now is the ‘Golden Era’ of China-UK relations. The UK is the world’s fifth-largest economy with an excellent investment environment and a huge trade advantage, it has been the primary destination for Chinese enterprises to invest,’ said Prof. Li Mingjun, CEIBS President. ‘In light of the ‘Belt & Road Initiative (BRI)’, the forum is aimed to provide a platform that can integrate business resources on both sides and promote cooperation between Chinese and UK companies. This year’s Europe Forum will be held in London, Paris, Warsaw, Munich, Zurich and other cities. It is our hope that our discussions will help foster greater understanding and collaboration between China and the UK, between companies and between people.’
Mr Geng Jinhai, CEO of China Taiping Insurance (UK) Co Ltd. and the Vice Chairman of CCCUK said in his speech: ‘Since 2013 when our President Xi Jinping announced the Belt and Road Initiative, many Chinese firms have started and benefited from investment or doing business overseas. There are three crucial elements we shall take notice if a Chinese company wishes to do well in the UK or any European countries: Firstly, the people. We need to understand and identify the strengths of individuals both from China and local markets. We shall engage in the best use of different talents in the areas they are good at and learn to manage them effectively. Secondly, resources. Whilst we need to rely on the support from the Mainland, at the same time we need to learn to cooperate with local partners and agents who could assist with achieving your goals. We cannot be stubborn people; we shall best utilise the different resources both from China and local markets. Thirdly, culture. We need to understand and contain cultural differences in both countries. International business is all about cultures. We shall respect each other, accept the differences and manage the changes gradually in a mutually agreeable manner.’
‘With respect to the BRI, from 2016 to 2021 the UK plans to invest more than GBP 100 billion in infrastructure. Therefore, we have engaged with Chinese EPC contractors, funds and developers in teaming them up with local players, educating them on the market and helping them to win contracts,’ said Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Services, Inc. Vice Chairman Mr Angus Knowles-Cutler.
Ms Catherine McGuinness, Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee of the City of London, said in a keynote speech entitled ‘Belt and Road Initiative: New Opportunities for China-UK Cooperation,’ London plays a dual role in trade and services in the BRI. The City of London especially has close historical cooperation links with quite a number of countries along the routes. London will continue work with financial centres around the world, promote global business in finance and professional services, build a partnership that will make the best use of BRI and have the ability to turn opportunities into cooperation highlights.
The CEIBS 3rd Europe Forum 2017 series of events continues in France, Germany, Poland, Switzerland and other countries. China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) is the leading international business school which was co-founded by the Chinese government and the European Union. The school has contributed significantly to the economic and trade cooperation between China and Europe and beyond, providing new platforms; innovative ideas and new opportunities.