Event to unlock the cultural secrets to business success in China

How to understand and develop constructive, durable business relationships in China is the theme of a new export event being held by overseas trade specialist, Chamber International this spring.

The three-hour event, Increasing Your Chances of Success in China, is being staged jointly with independent China business adviser, Grandage Consulting, Portsmouth, is expected to attract up to 30 businesses and is being held at Deloitte, Leeds, on May 12.

Key speaker at the event will be Matthew Grandage, a mechanical engineer, who lived and worked in China for 15 years until 2014. As well as studying Mandarin full time, he worked on the management team of international not-for-profit organisation, Friends of China Foundation Ltd, and the Sichuan Yihua International Cultural Exchange & Development Centre, supporting and advising ex-patriate business-people and other professionals.

Also speaking will be China-Britain Business Council sector lead for Advanced Manufacturing & Transport, Vince Cunningham, who has helped many UK organisations – of all business disciplines, sizes and types – to understand, enter and develop the Chinese market. Vince joined CBBC in mid 2006 as “China Business Adviser” for the North of England and Northern Ireland and has provided many seminars and briefings on Chinese business culture, methods and understanding of which is necessary to deliver success in China.

The event will enable businesses wishing to trade with China to learn about Chinese history and how the country has developed a unique worldview, the values which underpin its business activity and how to build lasting commercial relationships there.

Matthew Grandage says: “I heard a commentator say recently that China is ‘the land of promise, but also littered with the wreckage of foreign businesses that got it wrong’ and I agree - both are true. It’s dangerous to engage with Chinese business while assuming that learning about their worldview, values and culture is some sort of luxury. They are the key to all that follows.

“For an SME, just one business trip to China could represent a significant investment. However, not learning to appreciate Chinese worldview and values first could easily result in a wasted trip, or misunderstanding what really happened.

“The Chinese worldview is based on family and other established relationships far more than ours. We assume that people are basically trustworthy, that the law protects us when things go wrong, and we use business transactions to establish relationships.

“China doesn’t work like that - they assume that you can’t trust until you have built a relationship. This means that foreign companies, including our British SMEs, often have to spend lots of time working on a relationship with a Chinese company before sales happen.

“This can be frustrating for British businesses, but we need to be prepared to invest in relationships for the long term or trade simply won’t occur. Pricing, value and quality are all important, but they come later.”

Chamber International director, Tim Bailey, says: “This seminar is designed to help delegates understand Chinese core business values, work norms and general business behaviors. Matthew Grandage and Vince Cunningham will bring extremely valuable insights to this session which will benefit any type of business wanting to work with China.”

For further information please click here

Places are limited. Please click here to reserve your place.


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Chamber International - Matthew Grandage and Vince Cunningham