14 Jul 2009  HBS Business Summit

Business Summit: China in the Global Economy

While the global economic downturn will affect China's exports, the domestic economy is expected to remain strong, agreed panelists at the HBS Business Summit.

 

Editor's Note: This is a summary of an HBS Business Summit presentation. View a full summary and video of the event on the HBS Centennial Web site linked below.

Date of Event:October 14, 2008
Moderator:William C. Kirby, HBS Faculty
Speakers:Victor Fung, Group Chairman, Li & Fung Group
John Stropki, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc.
G. Richard Wagoner, Chairman and CEO, General Motors Corporation
Marjorie Yang, Chairman, The Esquel Group

While the global economic downturn will affect China's exports, the domestic economy is expected to remain strong, said panelists. China's economy has transformed from an export-driven economy to a domestically driven economy.

Given its size, the Chinese domestic market is strategically important for all global companies striving to maintain their global positions. In the short term, companies doing business in China will face challenges such as an underdeveloped infrastructure, unfamiliar business structures, and limited skills among middle- and upper-level managers.

Despite these obstacles, the current and long-term potential in China is immense.

Key concepts include:

  • Economic growth will continue in China, driven by domestic consumption.
  • To retain global leadership, foreign companies must win Chinese consumers.
  • The experience of Esquel Group over the past 30 years reflects China's evolution from a planned to a market economy.
  • Although the future looks bright for business in China, challenges still exist for foreign companies.
  • Read the in-depth summary

For more coverage and video:
http://www.hbs.edu/centennial/businesssummit/global-business/china-in-the-global-economy.html