MEDIA RELEASE: Commencement Ceremony of the Inaugural Future China Advanced Leaders Programme

12 May 2012

The inaugural commencement of advanced management programme to drive bilingual and bicultural business leadership in Singapore

– 24 business leaders and executives underwent Future China Advanced Leaders Programme to be China-ready and China -savvy

SINGAPORE, 11 May 2012 – Today, the inaugural Future China Advanced Leaders Programmesaw its first batch of graduates who are among top business leaders, senior executives and heads of organisations in Singapore.

Jointly conducted by Business China and Nanyang Business School (NBS), the Future China Advanced Leaders Programme is a first-of-its-kind business management course that seeks to provide senior executives and business owners with an all-rounded, in-depth understanding of the Chinese enterprise psyche, business landscape and economic paradigm.

“The economic centre of gravity has shifted to the East. China is undeniably Asia’s biggest global player today,” said Chief Executive Officer of Business China, Ms Low Yen Ling. “For many companies that wish to achieve success in China, it is important to be China-ready and China-savvy. It is akin to understanding the science and appreciating the art of doing business in China.”

“This programme will lead Singapore business leaders in gaining first-hand insights into China’s business, historical, cultural, political and social landscape. They will be well positioned to tap onto China’s dynamic and evolving environment. The programme will also sharpen their abilities to master the nuances in the Chinese way of business.” Ms Low added.

Participants of the three-week programme included high-fliers in the corporate and business world who are part of the management team, or have been identified as future leaders of their organisations.

Coming together from varied backgrounds, these participants share a common belief that it is crucial to gain an understanding of the depth and richness of the country’s political and socio-economic environment in order to ride the tide of China’s growth.

Based in Shanghai, China, Mr Oon Jin Teik, Hyflux Limited’s Group Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer China, is one of the 24 participants of the programme.

Mr Oon said: “Although I have been in China for almost a year, I believe that my understanding of the Chinese business psyche is only at the tip of the iceberg. Achieving success in the world’s second largest economy requires not just a broad understanding of the country, but also a keen appreciation of its inner workings from an insider’s perspective. I think this programme has done a good job in condensing the wealth of information on China and defining what it means to be truly ready to take on China’s business battlefield today.”

Mr Oon heads Hyflux Limited’s business development and operations in China, and is involved in strategic planning and establishing networks with the Chinese government and business sectors. 

Ms Zhong Siwan, Investment Director of Yanlord Holdings Pte Ltd, also a participant of the programme agrees with Mr Oon. She said: “Understanding China is not something that can be achieved in a short span of time especially when it is evolving at a breakneck pace. The programme strikes me with its currency and relevance, and we had the privilege to hear from some of the world’s leading academics and China watchers.”

Apart from the high-profile participants, the programme also saw the gathering of distinguished instructors from regional think tanks and universities.

Lecturer of the topic “China’s Economic Trends”, Professor Tan Kong Yam said: “The economy and business environment of China has been greatly transformed over the past 30 years. This course provides a comprehensive and in-depth perspective on the global dimension of this transformation, examines the persistent importance of traditional cultural values in business dealings, analyses the significant role of the party and government in influencing the business landscape as well as evaluates some of the weaknesses in institutions including corporate governance and the business risks to foreign investors. In particular, participants’ sharing of their experiences in their business dealings in China have been extremely enriching to all.”

Beyond classroom learning, the programme is also designed with an experiential component where participants had a week-long visit to China, covering key regions like Beijing and Shandong.

Some of the key highlights of the trip included the opportunity to interact and establish networks with key government officials and top business leaders like Mr Ji Qi, Executive Chairman and CEO of China Lodging Group, Limited, who is hailed as China’s top entrepreneur.

The participants also visited key cultural sites such as the Confucius Temple and the Kong Family Mansion in Qufu, Shandong. As Confucianism is one of the most influential schools of thought and the backbone of Chinese culture, strong emphasis was placed on understanding Confucianism and how it has shaped China’s economic, social and geo-political outlook.

Interim Dean of Nanyang Business School, Professor Gillian Yeo shared her views on the successful partnership between Business China and Nanyang Business School. She said:” The synergy of Business China's extensive network and NBS’s deep ties with China has given participants of the Programme a tremendous advantage in growing their understanding and connections with the business community there. This partnership also strengthens our vision as a university to forge a New Silk Road of knowledge where the best ideas and insights of the East and West meet. For 20 years, many of China's business and government leaders have taken up our executive education programmes to gain a greater understanding of international practices in management and finance. With the Advanced Leaders Programme, the flow of ideas and insights will become bidirectional as we help those looking to the East gain a deeper appreciation of doing business in this dynamic economy.”

In conjunction with Business China’s fifth anniversary celebration, more than 40 programmes will be rolled out this year and the Future China Advanced Leaders Programme is one of the signature programmes. Business China Chairman, Mr Chua Thian Poh said: “Whilst the centre of global economic gravity is shifting to the East, China is expanding its influence across the globe. Any changes in the country will have a great impact on the world. Therefore, Singapore needs to keep pace with China’s latest developments so that we will always remain competitive in the global world. Since its inception, Business China has strived to be the leading channel to deepen our member segments’ understanding of China’s economic, social and cultural paradigms through a wide range of programmes. We hope these programmes will help them to be more nimble in dealing with the East and the West, as well as contribute significantly to strengthening of the Singapore-China relations."

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For media enquiries, please contact:

Louann Wong

Ninemer Public Relations Pte Ltd

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Wu Ying Ying

Ninemer Public Relations Pte Ltd

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Oon Yee Hon

Business China

T: +65 6213 0412

M: +65 9731 1745


Feisal Abdul Rahman

Nanyang Technological University

T: +65 6790 6687

M: +65 9675 1517




About Business China

Business China was launched in November 2007 by our Patron, then Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. We are a platform integrating language, economic and cultural elements. Our mission is to nurture an inclusive bilingual and bi-cultural group of Singaporeans through extensive use of the Chinese language as the medium of communication, so as to sustain our multi-cultural heritage, and to develop a cultural and economic bridge linking the world and China.

For more information, visit

About Nanyang Technological University

A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has 33,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, and Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences. In 2013, NTU will enrol the first batch of students at its new medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, which is set up jointly with Imperial College London.

NTU is also home to four world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI) and Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N).

A fast-growing university with an international outlook, NTU is putting its global stamp on Five Peaks of Excellence: Sustainable Earth, Future Healthcare, New Media, New Silk Road, and Innovation Asia.

Besides the main Yunnan Garden campus, NTU also has a satellite campus in Singapore’s science and tech hub, one-north, and is setting up a third campus in Novena, Singapore’s medical district.

For more information, visit

About Nanyang Business School

Ranked consistently as one of the top business schools in Asia, Nanyang Business School, a college of the internationally-acclaimed Nanyang Technological University, is committed to excellent teaching, innovative curricula, quality research and dynamic industry linkages. The school nurtures business leaders from around the world, seeking to advance knowledge in the theory and practice of management globally. The school is a well-respected brand name in China, having trained more than 10,000 of the country’s business and public leaders since 1992 through a comprehensive suite of post-graduate and executive China programmes.

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