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BRI may provide cushion for China's growth over next four decades

By Liu Zhihua in Beijing and Han Baoyi in London | China Daily | Updated: 2019-05-22 09:33
A man takes photo of a sign promoting the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing on April 22, 2019. [Photo/VCG]

China is poised to grow strongly in the next two to four decades due to the Belt and Road Initiative and this will provide significant business opportunities to other economies in the world which would benefit from the country's business wisdom, participants of a student-led business forum in London said.

"Growth is going to continue to come from China for the next 20, 30, maybe 40 years ... The greatest growth opportunity in the world is the Belt and Road Initiative," Stephen Perry, chairman of the 48 Group Club, said in a keynote speech to the 8th London Business School China Business Forum.

"What China is trying to do is to free the productive capacity and consumer demand from China, across Central Asia, central Europe, and down into Africa," he said, adding it is in the United Kingdom's interests to take part in the initiative.

The UK should work with the BRI, especially with London facing an uncertain future because of its pending departure from the European Union, Perry added.

The forum, whose theme is entitled "Vitalize Business Landscape: Connecting the Eurasia Continent," was held in London on Friday. Its aim is to provide opportunities for global business leaders, scholars, and political figures to discuss the latest issues facing global businesses.

Chen Wen, charge d'affaires at China's embassy in London, gave an opening remarks at the start of the forum that was followed by Perry's keynote speech.

During the panel discussions, participants discussed key developments of the Chinese and European economies, including the recent trade accomplishment of Italy joining the BRI, trade deals between China and France, and comparisons of innovative business practices in China and Europe.

Xie Weishan, chairman and co-founder of Kmind Consulting, talked about China's wisdom and the role Chinese classics such as "The Art of War," written by Sun Tzu, plays in today's intense business environment.

He cited examples of successful brands such as Firmus, an infant milk brand in China, and Bosideng, a down jacket brand with a history of over 40 years in China, to illustrate how these companies leverage the wisdom of The Art of War to rise against the odds.

"To win the fierce business competition, the best approach is 'Winning without Fighting', and the essence of this approach is to win people's hearts and get power from them," he said.

"If we can leverage the power generated from consumers' recognition through the company's moves in operation, strategy and communication, we can obtain our competitive edge when facing any competitors in any situation."

Within four years, Kmind Consulting has helped nine Chinese companies achieve strong growth as it integrated China's wisdom with Western philosophies to develop service tools, Xie said.

"Globalization brings more challenges for domestic companies than before," he said.

"It is normal and inevitable. The point is how we prepare for that ... . and this is the Eastern wisdom both the East and the West should learn (from)."

Sang Yee Lau, senior executive vice-president and chairman of group marketing and global brands at Tencent, participated in the panel discussion as a representative of China's internet technology sector.

"From a micro and macro perspective, I think it has to do with the emancipation of productivity in (the) growth of China," he said.

"When a country has grown in a double-digit manner for the past two decades, what it basically means again from an economic perspective, you have a great demand that is supported by the state."

Founded in 2012, the London Business School's China Business Forum is one of the largest student-led China-focused business forums in Europe.

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