Senior executives from PwC, Nestlé and Fischer AG joined CEIBS Vice President and Dean Prof. Ding Yuan for a panel discussion on the Chinese economy at the Zurich Campus this evening. Moderated by CNN Money Switzerland anchor Martina Fuchs (right), the event was titled “China after the 19th Party Congress: Intent & Reality – What to Expect” and it attracted more than 70 participants.
Joining Prof. Ding Yuan on the panel was Felix Sutter, Partner and Head of Asia Business Group at PwC Switzerland, who is also President of the Swiss Chinese Chamber of Commerce (SCCC); Joe Mueller, former head of Nestlé in the greater China region; and Yves Serra, President and CEO of Georg Fischer Ltd.
China’s transformation from a manufacturing-based economy to one driven by consumption and services was noted by Prof. Ding Yuan. He also spoke about the growing importance of the emerging market consumers in Asia in driving economic growth around the world. He said he expects that by 2030 there will be around 3 billion middle class consumers in China, Southeast Asia and India. Mr. Mueller said he expected China will soon be one of the world’s most sophisticated markets, and he expects that China’s economy will remain stable over the next five years.
The differences between the Chinese and the US markets were also discussed. Prof. Ding Yuan said the obvious difference between the two is that the US has always been a free trade nation, but seems to be crawling back from that principle lately, while for China it is the opposite. Mr. Sutter noted that besides these differences, technology is also playing a role in how the two economies are evolving.
Following the panel discussion participants had the opportunity to network while celebrating the Chinese New Year with a buffet of special Chinese dishes.
(January 29, 2017. Zurich – Author: Janine M. Coughlin)