Corporate social responsibility in China
By Stephanie Yan

What happens when businesses are driven not just by maximizing profits for their shareholders, but also by benefiting the wider community and environment in which they operate? Sparks fly. Amazing feats are achieved in local communities, factories, businesses, and even nations.

The past quarter of a century has seen Western businesses investing heavily in China, all striving to adapt their business models to this huge market, while bringing capital, technology and management know-how to the country.

Doing good means doing well, too
By Raymond Zhou

Corporate social responsibility, or CSR for short, has a lot of synonyms. It is sometimes called "corporate stewardship", "corporate citizenship", "corporate governance", "business ethics", "corporate community involvement" or "social entrepreneurship".

Whatever term one prefers, business executives have overwhelmingly made it a major consideration in their corporate decisions, according to William Valentino, who cited a January 2005 survey that sampled the opinions of 130 CEOs across the globe.

Steps that determine success
By Edward Tse and Ronald Haddock

Across industries, we have seen companies that achieved success in China while others failed. To cite some examples:

FMCG: In the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector, Procter & Gamble (P&G) is widely regarded as one of the most successful foreign companies in China. Its hair care and cosmetics products, among others, are leaders in these respective spaces.

Passenger cars: In this industry, the success of Volkswagen is legendary.

Growing with China, the Bayer way
By Zhou Li and Alexander Wan

With Greater China now among the fastest-growing markets in the world, Bayer has stepped up its involvement here. Continuing its successful strategy of investing in tandem with the development of the host country, the company offers solutions to China's needs in healthcare, nutrition and high-tech materials. Bayer is committed to sustainable development in China, and so pays equal attention to economic, ecological and social issues.

Bayer is a group of research-oriented companies doing business across a wide range of industries worldwide. Its major divisions include Bayer HealthCare, Bayer MaterialScience and Bayer CropScience. A focus on innovation and development form the basis for a current portfolio of some 5,000 products.

The key to being competitive

Wan: Since China's entry into the World Trade Organization in December 2001, many of the barriers to operating directly and efficiently in Chinese markets have fallen. As a consequence, competition has heated up in China for MNCs, not only among themselves but also with local Chinese companies. In this kind of frenetic marketplace full of opportunities, what is the key to being competitive?

Parrett: With great opportunities, you invariably get great competition. That's part of the level playing field that is rapidly emerging in China. That's why the fundamentals really count. From my trips to China and meetings with government officials and businesses, it is clear to me that both Chinese companies and foreign corporations - big and small - must focus on three things if they are to compete successfully: brand, supply chain management, and people.

 
China Daily CEO Roundtable

 

Growing with China: Forum for sharing and learning

An economy powering ahead while also in transition. A vast market with great regional variations. Increasingly-affluent consumers with quirky buying habits. Investors queuing up but not quite sure where to put their money. A national desire to move up the value chain.

In short, the challenge of China.

There are other, more specific, issues too. Is the auto market slowing down? How can Hong Kong's famed banking system help with restructuring on the mainland? How can Chinese enterprises build their brands abroad?

Who has the answers?

The China Daily CEO Roundtable, for one. And if the answers are not readily forthcoming, the least they do is provide a forum for global business leaders to frankly discuss concerns and issues uppermost in their minds.

So what do they discuss? And share? And learn?

Edward Tse, managing director, and Ronald Haddock, director, respectively of Booz Allen Hamilton in Greater China put the China picture in perspective:

"The emergence of China in the global economy is arguably the most significant economic event in recent history. Headlines in newspapers around the world proclaim the advent of the China century. With economic growth averaging between 8 and 9 percent per annum for the past decade, coupled with a truly massive domestic population, most global companies have long since recognized that China is simply too large a market for them to ignore.

"For some companies, the reasons for pursuing China are the potential opportunities for new growth and profits. For others, China is a defensive play, essentially an opportunity to access low labour costs or to build and sustain an advantageous business model before a competitor can do the same and exporting this new model back into the home market.

"Whatever the reason for pursuing China, most companies are well beyond the question of whether to be in China and are struggling with the question of "how", and how to succeed over the long term. Indeed, for many Western and even Asian executives, China remains an enigma that is both difficult to understand and in which capturing the true value potential remains elusive.

"So what is the real China? Perhaps the most useful definition is William Graider's in his book One World, Ready or Not where he sums up quite succinctly when he says: 'Diverse and contradictory, China is like a black box where both optimists and pessimists can find proof to support their expectations.'

"Winners in this marketplace will recognize the real China's market potential, its diversity, and its speed of change; and will be able to reconcile and make practical business decisions" they write.

Up for discussion on Friday, for example, was corporate social responsibility (CSR). Executives from corporates and organizations as diverse as Bayer, Amcham China, Metropolitan Life and Ogilvy Public Relations debated the issue threadbare. The consesnsus: CSR is no longer sporadic or impulsive philanthropy; it is a matter of corporate strategy (see report on next page).

Last month marked the first anniversary of the roundtables. The event, with the theme "Auto China" was held to coincide with the last day of Auto Shanghai 2005 and focused on strategic issues relating to all aspects of China's automobile industry.

China Daily CEO roundtables are positioned as a platform for CEOs and senior executives of the world's largest companies to address and share executive insights, working practices and management experience that is relevant to their operations in China. Attendance is by invitation only and the delegates make up a who's who of their respective industries or organizations.

Leaders from governments, academic life and NGOs are also invited to share their thoughts on policy and market development issues. The goal is that the delegates become members of a global network sharing knowledge and expertise in China business operations.

In the 11 roundtables held so far, over 300 CEOs and senior executives have taken part. Benefits of the China Daily CEO Roundtable:

A small group of people of similar profiles; CEO or senior executive position managing the China operation for Fortune 500 or multinational companies.

Carefully researched and selected topics of common interest on China's strategic economic, business, management and society issues.

* Closed door environment.

* Open and candid discussions.

* No self promotion or attacks.

* Efficient moderation.

* Strategic level dialogue that provokes further thought and possible follow up.

* Personalized follow up.

* Good and relevant post-event coverage on newspaper and website.

* Most importantly, a platform for collective sharing and learning.

Upcoming events

June 24,2005: Beijing, CEO Roundable/Asia News Network Editors&CEO Summit

Confirmed speakers
Professor Anthony Saich
Daewoo Professor of International Affairs
Kennedy School of Government
Harvard University

Mr. Long Yongtu
Secretary General, Boao Forum for Asia.
Former Vice Minister of Moftec, PRC

July 8, 2005: Shanghai, CEO Roundable on China Banking

Enquires on how to get invitation, strategic
partnership and customized events, please
Email Alexander Wan, Executive Editor, China
Daily CEO Roundable at
alexwan@chinadaily.com.cn
For more information about our precious-
Events, please visit our website at
http://ceoroundtable.chinadaily.com.cn

 
Copyright 2004 by Chinadaily.com.cn
All rights reserved.
 

The 11th China Daily CEO Roundtable

 
 
Honourary Chairman
 
 

Mr. William Valentino
General Manager Corporate Communications , Greater China Bayer (China) Ltd.

 
     
 
Host Chairman
 
  Mr. Zhu Ling
Editor-in-Chief, China Daily
 
     
 
Moderator
 
  Mr. Alexander Wan
Executive Editor, China Daily CEO Roundtable
 
     
 
Expert Panelists
 
 
Ms. Zhang Ye
China Country Director, The Asia Foundation
 
Mr. Eberhard Schrempf
President & CEO, BMW-Brilliance Automobile Ltd.
 
Dr. Edward Tse
Managing Director, Greater China, Booz Allen Hamilton
 
Mr. Scott Kronick
President, China, Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide
 
 
     
 
List of Delegates
 
Name Campany   Title  
Mr. Emory Williams
Sureblock Company & Chairman, AmCham China President  
Mr. Michael Furst Ph.D AmCham China
Vice Chairman  
Mr. Philip Tang
Bank International Ningbo General Manager  
Mr. Jorg Wuttke

The Better Hong Kong Foundation Chief Representative  
Mr. Yao Wang
Boao Forum for Asia   Director  
Mr. Kenneth Yata
Boeing China Inc Vice President, China Business Development  
Ms. Shannon Ellis
British Embassy Co-ordinator, Global Opportunities Fund (GOF) Economic Governance Programme  
Mr. Winston Kan
Canadian Embassy Regional Manager, Greater China Export Development Canada  
Mr. Zhai Qi China Business Council for Sustainable Development Executive Secretary General  
Professor Wen Tiejun
China Foundation of Macro Economics Deputy Secretary General, China Society of Economic Reform Deputy Secretary General  
Mr. Levin Zhu China Internatioinal Capital Corporation Ltd. CEO  
Mr.Kurt Fasser
Delegation of German Inudstry & Commerce Shanghai Senior Advisor  
Professor Wang Zhile Research Center on transnational Corporations, Ministry of Commerce, PRC Director  
Mr. Barry Livett EU-China Financial Services Co-operation Project Project Co-ordinator & Director - Securities industry  
Mr. Atul Dalakoti
Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry China (FICCI) Executive Director  
Mr. Victor Y. Yuan
Horizon Research Consultancy Group Chairman  
Mr. Zhang Xubiao   Institute for Environment And Development And Policy advisor for China Business Council for Sustainable Development (CBCSD)   CRS advisor  
Mr. Jason Yat-sen Li   Global Insight   Director, Asian Automotive Inudstry Research  
Mr. Tiger Tang   Insurance Australia Group   General Manager, Sales & Marketing  
Mr. Robin Chi   Metropolican Life Insurance Company   CEO, China Region  
Ms. Jeffrey Li   Novartis China   Country President  
Mr. E. Allan Gabor Pfizer Pharmaceuticals Ltd. Chairman & General Manager  
Mr. Ge Lin-tao Runder Investment Ltd. CEO  
Mr. Henry K. H. Wang Shell (China) Ltd. And Vice President of EU Chamber of Commerce in China Corporate Planning Director  
Dr. Alastair Carthew Star Alliance Director, Corporate Affairs Manager, Asia Pacific  
Mr. Fushing Pang TNT China SVP, strategic Development  
Ms. Luan Yiying United Nations Development Programme China Country Office (UNDP) Assisstant Resident Representative  
Mr. Zhou Li China Daily CEO Roundtable Producer  
 
Photos