FutureChina Global Forum 2017

Day 1 – Thursday, 13 July 2017
1015hrs – 1100hrs

Registration

1100hrs – 1330hrs

Welcome and Opening Luncheon

Welcome Address:
LEE Yi Shyan,Chairman, Business China

Opening Speech by Keynote speaker:
TEO Chee Hean,Deputy Prime Minister, Co-chairman of the Singapore-China Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation 

Speech by foreign keynote speakers:

CHEN Deming 陈德铭, Standing Committee Member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, President of China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits, People's Republic of China

LAN Tianli 蓝天立, Standing Member of the CPC Guangxi Regional Committee and First Vice Governor of Guangxi, People’s Republic Chin

ZHANG Jie 张杰, Vice President, Chinese Academy of Sciences, People’s Republic of China

1400hrs – 1515hrs

1 - Opening Plenary Session
A status report on China’s economy in the global context

The government seems now to have stabilized the economy on a course of achieving the official growth target of about 6.5% for the year. However, this comes at the price of maintaining or even amplifying the distortions and imbalances in the economic structure, as no major reform – especially in the SOEs domain – is happening and stimulus measures to sustain activity continue in many cases to reflect an allocation of resources which is not the most efficient. At the same time, the economy continues to remain very vulnerable to financial risks, which are today a key concern for the leadership, and to possible external shocks such as trade frictions with the US and/or Europe.

  • How to assess the present situation of the Chinese economy beyond the official figures of GDP growth?
  • Can this year’s growth target be achieved without increasing structural imbalances in the absence of new reforms?
  • How does China’s “new normal” translate into the trend growth rate that can be expected in the coming years?
  • Will the increase of trade frictions impact China’s economic prospects?

 

CHEN Weidong, General Director of institute of international finance, Bank of China Group.

HU Biliang, Director, the Belt and Road Research Institute (BRRI); Dean, Emerging Markets Institute, professor of Economics, Beijing Normal University, People's Republic of China

Yukon HUANG, Senior Fellow, Asia Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, United States of America

Chris LEUNG, Executive Director and Senior Economist, DBS Bank, Hong Kong SAR

Tommy XIE, Head of Greater China Research, OCBC Bank, Singapore

Moderator: 
Clyde PRESTOWITZ, President, Economic Strategy Institute, United States of America

1515hrs – 1530hrs

Networking Break 

1530hrs – 1645hrs

2 – Plenary Session
Partnering Chinese companies for projects along the Belt and Road

Since the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) was announced in 2013, China has been seeking cooperation across the BRI geographical spread of 65 countries and which spans numerous languages, cultures, economic and political systems. In the process, the initiative has pushed Chinese companies to expand outside of China and become globally competitive. China’s ambition to expand her global standing and influence through the BRI, is not expected to slow down.  Individuals and businesses should not ignore this economic wave arriving in various regions along the B&R, including Southeast Asia, South Asia, as well as other emerging markets like Africa and Central Asia. 

  • Arising opportunities in countries along the Belt and Road (including Southeast Asia and Central Asia)
  • Strategies for companies and/or individuals to be relevant so as to seize opportunities and benefit from the BRI
  • How companies and/or countries can value-add and complement Chinese enterprises to ride the BRI wave
  • How can countries and companies work on third countries’ projects with China along the Belt and Road?
  • Who can leverage on the available BRI funding that has been announced to date, and how?

 

Sergey ANASHKIN, Executive Director, KTZ Express JSC, Republic of Kazakhstan

Setyono Djuandi DARMONO, President Commissioner, PT Jababeka TBK, Indonesia

REN Dongyan, General Manager, China Construction Bank Singapore branch, Singapore

Pisit SEREWIWATTANA, President, Export-Import Bank of Thailand (EXIM Thailand), Thailand

TEO Eng Cheong, CEO International (Singapore, Southeast Asia, North Asia), Surbana Jurong Pte Ltd, Singapore

Moderator:
Kathy LAI, Deputy CEO, International Enterprise (IE) Singapore, Singapore

1700hrs – 1815hrs

3 – Plenary Session
What is required to make the Belt and Road Initiative an all-inclusive, win-win, grand design?

With its huge scope and ambitious objectives, the Belt and Road Initiative has the potential to be a game-changer on the global economic and geopolitical scene. It has raised great expectations in the 65 countries included in the initiative. However, there is no underestimating the complexity of the project and its challenges as the initiative encompasses countries with different levels of economic sophistication, different cultures and ways of doing business, and different socio-political contexts. Despite Beijing’s assurances that the initiative is a win-win project, there are also a number of concerns about how the initiative will play out in terms of benefiting not only Chinese companies – many of whom having to address huge over-capacity problems - but also the companies of the countries along the Road and Belt Initiative.

  • What are the prerequisites to be observed to make BRI a sustainable growth contributor for the countries involved?
  • Are there some initial lessons to be drawn from the projects which have already been undertaken?
  • Have the Chinese companies the cultural skills and the management resources to operate in the many diverse countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative?
  • How to ensure fair competition between Chinese and non-Chinese companies in the bidding processes and –more generally – a level playing field between and what role could international companies play in the Initiative?
  • Given the geopolitical dimension of the Belt and Road Initiative how to ensure that geopolitical considerations will not trump sound economic and commercial ones?

 

Yaseen ANWAR, Senior Advisor, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), Singapore

FENG Da Hsuan, Director of Global Affairs and Special Advisor to Rector, University of Macau, Macau SAR

TEO Siong Seng, Chairman, Singapore Business Federation; Managing Director, Pacific International Lines Pte Ltd, Singapore

WANG Congyuan, Director of Guotsing Holding Group Co., Ltd; Executive Director and CEO of CNQC International Holdings Limited, People's Republic of China

WANG Yin, Rotating Secretary General, China International Council for the Promotion of Multinational Corporations (CICPMC), People’s Republic of China

Gita WIRJAWAN, Founder & Chairman, Ancora Group, Indonesia

Moderator: 
David WIJERATNE, Head, Growth Markets Centre, PwC, Singapore

1815hrs – 1930hrs
Networking Cocktail
1930hrs
End of Day 1
Day 2 – Friday, 14 July 2017
0845hrs – 1015hrs

4 – Plenary Session
How can the US and China work towards a stable and prosperous Asia-Pacific region?

Will the accession of Donald Trump to the White House mark a turning point in the US-China relationship? And what could be the impact of the changes in the relationship on the Asia-Pacific region? The relationship between Washington and Beijing appeared to have come under strain during the Obama administration as a result of increasing trade frictions as well as of serious divergences with respect to Beijing’s territorial claims on - and actions in - the South China sea. The situation has become even more complex between the US and China as the level of concern has risen concerning North Korea’s aggressive initiatives. There is also some uncertainty about how President Trump fundamentally sees the future of the relationship and the role that the US intends to continue to play in the Asia-Pacific region.

  • How important are the trade and economic dimensions in the US-China relationship?
  • Can President Trump’s US and President Xi Jinping’s China reach strategic accommodation? And – if so – on what terms?
  • Will the situation in the Korean peninsula create a major crisis between Washington and Beijing given the growing frustration expressed by President Trump and the inability or unwillingness of Beijing to constrain Pyongyang more?
  • Will the Trump administration be willing and able to preserve the role of the US as a major power in the Asia-Pacific region?

 

CHAN Heng Chee, Ambassador-at-Large, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore

Clyde PRESTOWITZ, President, Economic Strategy Institute, United States of America

SHI Yinhong, Director, Center on American Studies, Renmin University of China, People's Republic of China

Moderator:
Claude SMADJA, President, Smadja & Smadja, Strategic Advisory Inc, Switzerland 

1015hrs – 1030hrs

Networking Break

1030hrs – 1145hrs

5A - Panel Discussion
A year of crucial financial and monetary challenges

2017 has been shaping up as a challenging year for the leadership given many contradictory pressures and priorities: The economy has seemingly stabilized around a 6.5% GDP growth course, but  systemic financial risk has become a major concern with the ratio of debt to GDP now at more than 280% , the rising level of dubious corporate loans and the central or local governments having to keep injecting money in zombie SOEs that have not been shut down, lest this would create social unrest. Huge capital outflows have forced Beijing to put in place some capital controls to defend the Yuan, a move Beijing would have preferred not to have to take in view of its objective of making the Yuan a major international currency. 

  • How to assess so far Beijing efforts in keeping a lid on financial risks and managing external risks
  • To what extent is China’s ability to reduce the present financial risks without impacting significantly on GDP growth prospects limited by the absence of structural reforms?
  • Should markets be concerned about the recent cutting of China Sovereign debt rating by Moody’s
  • How is China managing the trade-offs between the short term imperatives and strategic goals in managing the Yuan?

 

CHU Gang, Chief Operating Officer, China International Capital Corporation, People's Republic of China

Yukon HUANG, Senior Fellow, Asia Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, United States of America

LAU Teck Sien, Partner and CIO, HOPU Investments, Singapore

Paola SUBACCHI, Senior Research Fellow, Global Economy and Finance, Chatham House, United Kingdom

Moderator:
Ben PAUL, Editor and CEO, The Edge Singapore

5B - Panel Discussion
Keeping pace with the fast changing Chinese consumer

While China’s economy has entered a new era of slower growth, consumption continues to grow at quite a healthy pace – way above the GDP growth rate - and the Chinese consumer is increasingly becoming a key factor of the country’s economic life and of its growth prospects. This reflects the rapid rise of the middle class which is expected to comprise about 400 million people by 2020, and also the government policy to shift from exports to domestic consumption as a growth driver. Many key changes happening at the same time are reshaping China’s consumer scene: The spectacular expansion and increase of E-commerce and the growing role of the mobile phone for settling transactions; the changes in the country’s demographic structure, creating a new field of needs to be fulfilled given the rapidly aging population; the new aspirations of a middle class and of the Millennials looking more and more for quality, sophistication and the “experience factor”.

  • Buying on the phone: How fast will this continue to expand?
  • How technology innovation is empowering the consumer
  • The new ways of looking at services
  • Millennial consumers looking for “experience”, emotions and aspirational consumption

 

HE Xiaopeng, President, UCWeb Inc; President, Alibaba Mobile Business Group, People's Republic of China

David LI, Chairman & CEO, YY Inc., People's Republic of China

SUN Ying (HeiYu), CEO & President, Hangzhou Jiuyan Technology Co., Ltd, People's Republic of China

Andrew TAN Yi, COO, GoFun, People's Republic of China

Moderator:
Anthony TAN, Deputy CEO, Singapore Press Holdings Ltd, Singapore

1200hrs – 1345hrs

6 - Plenary Lunch
Smart City Solutions and Next Generation Transport

The urban population today accounts for about 56% of the total global population, up from 34% in 1960, and continues to grow, concentrating in the less developed regions of the world.  This rapid urbanization is putting tremendous pressure to create smart city solutions without which the urbanization trend would be a source of increasing social problems, economic inefficiency, pollution and a waste of valuable resources. Creating smart cities is becoming increasingly crucial for sustaining and even accelerating economic growth, enhancing environmental sustainability and improving the quality of life for the people. Developing the next generation of transport, whether it is electric cars or driverless cars will be a crucial element of smart city solutions as well as the ability to leverage on the IOT for traffic management.

 

Keynote speaker:

ZHANG Junyi, Founding Partner, NIO Capital, People’s Republic of China 

 

Panellists:
Chris LECK, Director, Futures Division, Ministry of Transport, Singapore
LEE Shiang Long, President, ST Kinetics, Singapore
Derrick XIONG, Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer, EHang Inc, People's Republic of China

Moderator:
Lynn DAI, President, China Telecom (Singapore) Pte Ltd, Singapore

1400hrs – 1530hrs

7 – Plenary Session
Looking at the growth drivers of China’s New Economy

Fostering new growth sectors has been a priority for the Chinese leadership over the last few years as a key element in the strategy of shifting the country to a new economic model is to be less reliant on traditional industries.  IOT activities rank very highly among the new growth sectors but they are not alone. Some new services sectors are also booming now, among them the so-called “happiness industries” of tourism, culture, sports, health, and elderly care which have become a hot bed for new companies and new consumption hot spots. In the same way, logistics, e-commerce, financial services have been expanding their share of  GDP. Start-ups are now a steady source of new jobs and increase in incomes with almost 5 million new jobs created since the beginning of this year.

  • What are the key factors driving the fast expansion of new growth sectors?
  • What is the availability of capital for new companies in the new high growth sectors?
  • How are these new growth sectors reshaping China’s economic structure and what will be the next steps in the expansion of these new growth drivers? 

 

Thomas WEE, CEO, Nufin Data Pte Ltd, Jing King Tech Group, Singapore

ZHANG Guobiao, Chairman, Forchn Holdings Group & EC World REIT, People's Republic of China

ZHANG Junyi, Founding Partner, NIO Capital, People's Republic of China

ZHAO Hejuan, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, TMT Post, People's Republic of China

Moderator:
Eva AU, Managing Director, IDC Asia/Pacific, Singapore

1545hrs – 1700hrs

8A – Panel Discussion
Financing the Belt and Road Initiative, on what terms?

The amounts of investment considered for the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative are quite staggering. The estimates for infrastructure investment alone go up to US$ one trillion. The initiative will help address Asia’s pressing needs for infrastructure development and could provide a significant source of financing since the ADB estimates the needs for investments at US$ 1.7 trillion per year for the next 15 years. However, the notion initially held that China would be able to provide most – if not all – of the financing are now proving to be unrealistic. The country’s economy is now in a “new normal” while financial risks have increased significantly given the rise in doubtful loans and having to monitor the volume of foreign reserves to ensure no further hemorrhage.

  • What could be the different foreign sources of financing to cover the initial estimate of US$1.2 trillion to be invested in the road infrastructure projects of the Belt and Road Initiative?
  • How to address the concerns of many investors – including Chinese policy banks – about the very significant risks involved in investing in many countries along the BRI with very weak economic structures, doubtful legal frameworks and poor governance?
  • As the Belt and Road initiative has an economic and business dimension as well as a geopolitical one for the Chinese government, what is the extent to which Beijing will agree to finance projects with no obvious commercial or financial viability but for achieving geopolitical goals?
  • What will be the role of bilateral and multilateral financing, and to what criteria and modalities? 

 

Rana KARADSHEH-HADDAD, Country Manager, Singapore, International Finance Corporation, Singapore

LIANG Haiming, Chairman and Chief Economist of China Silk Road iVally Research Institute, People's Republic of China

Audra LOW, Head of Origination and Structuring, Clifford Capital, Singapore

PANG Yee Ean, Director General, Investments, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, People's Republic of China

Roy TAN, Head of Wholesale Corporate Banking, OCBC Bank, Singapore

WANG Wei (Steve), Managing Director and Deputy Head of Research, Bank of China International (BOCI), People’s Republic of China

Moderator:
LEONG Sing Chiong, Assistant Managing Director, Development & International Group, Monetary Authority of Singapore, Singapore

8B – Panel Discussion
From world factory to smart manufacturer: How China is positioning itself in the global industrial competition

Positioning China as a smart manufacturing country is a priority by Beijing with the “Made in China 2025" initiative set  to move the Chinese industry up the technology and value-added ladder, similar to Germany's "Industry 4.0" plan. The goal is to make Chinese industry innovation-driven, more efficient and integrated so that it can occupy the “commanding heights” of the economy with the objective of raising the domestic content of core components and materials to 70% by 2025. The initiative highlights 10 priority sectors: 1) New advanced information technology; 2) Automated machine tools & robotics; 3) Aerospace and aeronautical equipment; 4) Maritime equipment and high-tech shipping; 5) Modern rail transport equipment; 6) New-energy vehicles and equipment; 7) Power equipment; 8) Agricultural equipment; 9) New materials; and 10) Biopharma and advanced medical products.

  • Assessing China’s technology innovation capabilities in views of the objectives of Made in China 2025
  • What is needed for Made in China 2025 to succeed, beyond technological capabilities
  • Increasing total factor productivity through Internet of things, automation and connectivity 

 

Georges HAOUR, Emeritus Professor of Technology & Innovation Management, IMD, Switzerland

WANG Ge, Supervisor, Chinese Academy of Science Holdings Co Ltd, People's Republic of China

Derrick XIONG, Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer, EHang Inc, People's Republic of China

Edmund XU, CEO & GM, NVC Lighting Global Markets and Singapore Regional Office, People's Republic of China

Moderator:
Christopher HOLMES, Managing Director, IDC Insights Asia Pacific, Singapore

1700hrs – 1715hrs

Networking Break

1715hrs – 1830hrs

9A – Panel Discussion
Setting the priorities and foundation for China's future

The 19th Congress of China’s Communist Party is the seminal event for this year in China with political maneuvering and the preparations for the Congress impacting events in the country.   Of special importance is the context in which the Congress is taking place, with China being confronted with a set of unprecedented economic challenges i.e. a lower GDP growth rate, a debt-to-GDP ratio now at 280%, and capital outflows. On the international front, with Donald Trump at the White House the US-China relationship is in a much more volatile and tense era, with trade and economic frictions looming ahead and the crisis in the Korean peninsula threatening to degenerate at any moment. The outcome of the Congress will provide some crucial indications about China’s future course.

  • How much will President Xi Jinping be able to strengthen his power?
  • Are any changes to be expected in the Party’s decision-making processes and institutions?
  • Will there be any changes in the orientations of China’s economic, social foreign policies? 
 

Kerry BROWN, Professor of Chinese Studies and Director of the Lau China Institute, King’s College London, United Kingdom

Richard HU, Professor of Political Science, Head of Department of Politics and Public Administration, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR

Michael KOVRIG, Senior Adviser, North East Asia, International Crisis Group, Hong Kong SAR

Moderator:
Claude SMADJA, President, Smadja & Smadja, Strategic Advisory Inc, Switzerland

9B – Panel Discussion
What opportunities for foreign investors in China’s new normal?

Foreign companies in China are increasingly frustrated by what they see as a deterioration of the conditions for their activities.  The last survey of AMCHAM Beijing indicates that more than 80% of US companies feel less welcomed in China than in the past. There are concerns about the impact of the domestic innovation policy which could gradually exclude foreign companies from high-tech sectors; about the Manufacturing in China 2025 (Made in China 2025) initiative which would put foreign companies at a disadvantage vis à vis Chinese companies  in key industrial sectors; about the new cyber security law which will increase costs for MNCs because  they will have to rely on Chinese servers data relating to the country’s citizens instead of on their Headquarters servers and which could put their intellectual property at risk by allowing the government to demand access to their computer sourcing codes. Europeans and Americans may also be exasperated by the lack of reciprocity between the conditions granted to Chinese companies in their countries and the ones given to US and European companies in China. 

  • Is a level playing field becoming more difficult to achieve for foreign MNCs?
  • In which domains do foreign MNCs need more transparency and/or policy adjustments from the Chinese government?
  • Could the increase of trade and economic frictions at the international level impact the conditions in which foreign companies operate in China?
  • What sectors should foreign MNCs focus on in China’s new context?

 

Alan BEEBE, President, American Chamber of Commerce in China, United States of America

Nick COYLE, Executive Director & CEO, China-Australia Chamber of Commerce in Beijing, People's Republic of China

George LAU, Vice President, European Chamber of Commerce in China, People's Republic of China

Ivan Kwang Ping LEW, Chairman & CEO, Shaw Holdings Pte Ltd, Singapore 

Nina YANG, Chief Executive Officer, Sustainable Urban Development, Ascendas-Singbridge, Singapore

Moderator:
Yaël SMADJA, President, Smadja & Smadja, United States of America 

1830hrs – 1900hrs

Cocktail Reception

1900hrs – 2130hrs

10 – Business China 10th Anniversary Celebration, Business China Awards Presentation 2017 and FutureChina Global Forum Closing Gala Dinner

Welcome address:
LEE Yi Shyan, Chairman, Business China 

Co-presenter:
Samuel TSIEN, Group CEO, OCBC Bank

Keynote speaker:
LEE Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore

Moderator:
Robin Hu Yee Cheng, Business China Board Member; Head, Sustainability & Stewardship Group, Temasek International, Singapore