The Straits Times - Khaw: China leadership programme is holistic

12 May 2012

BUSINESS players operating in China need a comprehensive understanding of the country’s social, economic and business landscape, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said last night.

Mr Khaw was speaking at a commencement ceremony for 24 participants of the inaugural Future China Advanced Leaders Programme (FC-ALP) held in March.

The three-week programme, held locally and in China, aimed to help participants become China-savvy and China-ready through networking with its industry leaders and officials. It included lectures and a field visit to China.

The programme was jointly organised by Business China – which seeks to strengthen cultural and business bilateral ties – and Nanyang Technological University’s Business School.

Participants, chosen by the two organisers, included senior managers, second-generation business owners and top executives from a range of fields such as real estate and finance.

In his speech, Mr Khaw said the programme enables people who are interested in China or those who are already there, to gain a more “holistic and in-depth understanding” of the country.

He noted that China took its place ahead of Japan as the world’s second largest economy in 2010. “It’s growing influence on the global stage is only getting stronger and stronger,” Mr Khaw said.

He also pointed out that Singapore is a major investor in China.

Mr Nicholas Chua, associate director of Ho Bee Investment, attended the programme and called it a “good platform” to learn more about dealing with Chinese nationals. He already has business dealings in China, but said the programme helped to deepen his understanding of how things and people work there.

For instance, he came to learn that history and milestones in the country have influenced the behaviour of the Chinese.

“In the past, most of us who went to China learnt through trial and error, or on the job... but a lot of the information is segmented. This is a good chance for us to piece the whole picture together.”