On April 18, 2017, DaoHe President Jane Zhang was invited to speak at the AmCham 2017 Government Affairs Annual Conference on the topic of “Adapting to Uncertainty”.
“The first Xi-Trump Summit was a successful meeting for both China and the U.S.” Zhang commented. The meeting was for the two leaders to build trust and a good personal and working relationship, and more importantly, it set the overall tone, principles and framework for the further development of China-U.S. relations. However, it should be noted that there is still a great amount of uncertainty in the China-U.S. economic and trade ties, which can pose significant impact and challenges on the operations of multinational corporations (MNCs) in China.
In such new context, Zhang pointed out, it is important for MNCs to reposition themselves and “rethink, refocus and reset”. On rethink, companies need to “rethink big”. Firstly, MNCs should have a higher and broader vision in thinking about China, paying close attention to not only China’s domestic political and economic environment, but also the evolving trends and impact of key international issues such as the U.S.-China trade issues. Secondly, a company’s China strategy should incorporate a global vision. The importance of the China market is increasing, and with that the China operations’ importance is being elevated within the MNCs. The strategic positioning and growth plan of the China operation will generate greater impact on MNCs’ global operations.
In discussing how to handle the growing uncertainties, Zhang provided various examples and case studies to illustrate how government relations (GR) professionals can take a more proactive approach in analyzing the uncertain situations, guiding the company to seek opportunities out of uncertainties, and having GR play a key role in the company’s adjustment of its China strategies.