Building Bridges between the UK and Chinese Business Communities

Trust is the foundation of any successful business relationship, regardless of nationality and industry. – Jean Jameson

On Tuesday, 5 March, Jean Jameson, UK CEO of Hampton Group, was invited to speak on a panel organised by the Leadership Council. The panel was held under the theme of Reaching out to China.

The panel saw the launch of the latest research report of the Leadership Council which presents “nuggets of wisdom” in an easily portable and accessible format.  The report is based on interviews with industry leaders. “Reaching out to China” is the tenth in a series of papers on topical concerns for leaders. The Leadership Council brings together senior figures from commercial and public life. Chaired by Lord Janvirn, the Council provides a powerful perspective on leadership agenda.

“It was refreshing to see so many senior business leaders have a real interest in building bridges with China. When doing business with China it is crucial to understand its culture and people and to see so many UK business leaders interested in learning about that, made me feel very positive about the future of UK China business relations.” commented Jean Jameson.

The panel discussion made it clear that it is not only western business leaders who need to learn how to communicate with Chinese business leaders but also the Chinese business community that needs to learn how to tell their story to a Western audience. “China is looking to the UK for best practice.” commented Jean Jameson. Countries like the UK play a vital role in serving as a role model for China in various areas such as corporate governance.

Hosted by Lord Janvrin, Deputy Chairman of HSBC Private Bank (UK) Ltd, the panel saw business leaders from Chinese and non-Chinese backgrounds tell their story on how to reach out to China. Panellists included: Suwei Jiang, Partner of China Business Group of PwC, Phil Swash, Former Director and CEO of GKN Automotive and Martin Newman, Founder of the Newman Partnership.

To do well in China you have to keep an open mind and be ready to discard preconceived ideas. It is best to learn about China with your own eyes. – Suwei Jiang, Partner of China Business Group of PwC.

Founded in London in 2005, the Leadership Council brings together senior figures from commercial and public life. The Leadership Council meets regularly to debate the leadership agenda, annually publishing the findings of their research into a specific leadership issue.

What have you learned when doing business in China? What challenges do you still face? Let us know in the comment section on our LinkedIn.