The Business Times Weekend - China business leaders of the future graduate

12 May 2012

THE first batch of “China-ready and China-savvy” business leaders and executives graduated from the inaugural annual Future China Advanced Leaders Programme in a commencement ceremony at the Fullerton Hotel yesterday.

Conducted by Business China and Nanyang Business School, the programme aimed at providing participants with what Business China CEO Low Yen Ling called a “holistic, integrated, immersive and experiential” 15 days as they learnt about China and its affairs. “The economic centre of gravity has shifted to the East,” she said. “This programme will lead Singapore business leaders into gaining first-hand insights into China’s business, historical, cultural, political and social landscape.”

Singapore’s trade with China exceeded $100 billion last year, up 6.4 per cent from 2010.

The programme took place from March to May, with 24 business executives participating in the course, which consisted of two weeks in Singapore and one week spent on a field trip in China.

One such participant was Oon Jin Teik, group executive vice-president and CEO, China of Hyflux Ltd.

He praised the programme for its comprehensive approach, which worked from the “consumer upwards” in order to understand the country’s complex business workings. “China needs to be very well segmented to be understood.”

Echoing the view, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said: “China is not homogenous at all . . . we are still discovering on every trip we make there.”