On April 17th the “Foreign General Managers Annual Meeting and High Profile Forum” was successfully held in the Zhongshan High-Tech Zone. The event was organized by the Zhongshan Torch Hi-Tech Zone Government and Cuiheng New District Government, and was co-organized by Star Rapid.
The theme of the forum was “Challenges and Opportunities of the Economic Development of Zhongshan and Company Management under the New Normal”. The purpose of the forum was to build a platform for exchanging good practices for foreign-invested companies, networking, letting foreign general managers know about the business environment of Zhongshan as well as listening to the suggestions of the general managers. It is hoped that with such regular annual forums in the future closer communication can be developed and enhanced that will help to build much better relationships, ensure best business practices, and improve cooperation.
We were fortunate to hear from such distinguished government leaders at the municipal level as Mr. Hou Yibin of the Standing Committee of the Zhongshan Municipal Party’s Committee to deliver the opening speech. Mr. Zhang Jiahua, Chief Planner of the Zhongshan High-Tech Zone Government, also addressed the Forum.
As the first speaker among the foreign general managers, Mr. Gordon Styles, President and Founder of Star Rapid, shared his experiences growing Star Rapid and defined the terms of the “new normal” relative to standard practices, costs, technologies and the other constraints which define business opportunities and limitations for modern companies wishing to be successful here.
There were eight other speakers (in order): Ms. Lydia Liu, Vice Director of Investment Promotion Office of Zhongshan High-tech Zone; Mr. Rene Foster, Chairman of SwissCham Guangzhou/General Manger of Howag-Swisspur; Mr. Gerd Kaarow, Member of the Board of the German Industry & Commerce Guangzhou/General Manager Greater China of METZ CONNECT; Mr. Said Nakhla, Chief Safety Expert of the American Auto Industry Engineers Association/General Manager Greater China Office RECARO; Mr. Reinhard Betschart, General Manager of SSM Zhongshan; Mr. Jonathan Ross, CEO of Star Rapid; Mr. Zhang Zhou, General Manager of Satisloh Zhongshan and Danyang; and Mr. Patrick Liu, Managing Director of ThyssenKrupp Escalator China.
The other general managers included: Mr. Raymond Wong, Managing Director of ThyssenKrupp Airport Systems Zhongshan; Mr. Paul Gerny, General Manager of Image F&B; Mr. Freddie Wiemer, Managing Director of Pelletino-Moda Pelle; Mr. Cengiz Dana, General Manager of Glodreal; and Mr. Paul Jolley, Managing Director of HGR Technology.
Besides, Ms. Antonitta Mankuzou from ThyssenKrupp, Mr. Chris Williams and Mr. David Dorrigotti from Star Rapid were also in attendance.
Among the issues raised were concerns about access to faster, more reliable Internet service and controlling costs for labor and raw materials.
The Forum was a great success and all participants are looking forward to the next opportunity to continue to build a prosperous business environment in Zhongshan for all.