Economic integration drives growth in Asia
By Luo Man

Asian countries may have to put aside their differences and work on a louder, more united voice as they grow in economic and political power.

"The western voice is much louder... The Asian voice is much lower... and I think this is not fair. I think we have to change this situation. Asian media plays an important role to provide accurate reports and also a positive attitude," said Long Yongtu, secretary-general of the Boao Forum for Asia last Friday during China Daily's CEO Roundtable.

About 40 executives and CEOs met in Beijing for the 13th instalment of the roundtable, which has also been held in Shanghai and Hong Kong in the past. This time around, the lunchtime gathering was built into the Asia News Network annual conference, attended by top editors and CEOs from 14 newspapers from 12 countries in Asia.

"As Asia's influence grows, driven in part by China's economic growth, it is facing new challenges both within and without. One of the toughest is adjusting to the new realities of trade brought on by China's entry to the World Trade Organization and its shift to a market economy," Long said.

"Another is protectionism and the potential for countries in the region to close themselves in. We think Asia should be developing in an open international environment," Long said.

"All but 20 of the Fortune 500 are already in China. Transnational corporations are perhaps the most active players in the so-called economic globalization. A more joint economic voice may simply be part of a trend towards supply and manufacturing chains that span the continent. An auto manufacturing (plant) of an American company based in Beijing may have spare parts from Korea, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines and so on," said Long.

At the same time, strong domestic demand from China and strong trade ties with the rest of Asia is helping neighbouring economies and improving regional trade. Trade among Asian countries increased substantially over the last two decades boosted by China's strong economic growth. China can help provide a more stable legal framework to further open markets.

However, economic co-operation can be threatened and some delegates, like Giorgio Magistrelli, executive general manager of the European Chamber of Commerce, wondered about them, particularly in the face of difficulties with Japan.

Long, however, said the differences with Japan are not a serious and practical threat to economic integration. "Despite the political differences we've had with Japan, trade and investment are still very, very, very strong. In the first five months of this year, China-Japan trade was more than US$70 billion," Long said.

China's willingness to open up further may help eliminate some of the fears around the region.

"The trade surplus of Asian countries with China has grown past the US$20 billion mark," he said. "At the same time the existing competition is a sign of strength. Competition can be healthy and manageable," Long said.

Around Asia, however, China's rapid industrialization and globalization may be causing fears, said Felix Soh, deputy editor of The Straits Times. "Every day we are being told that China is eating your lunch," Soh said. "While other countries are left behind fighting for the crumbs."

"The fears may be unfounded," said Long, as other countries in Asia have trade surpluses with China. "China imports a lot of products from these countries," he said. "Such as palm oil, spare parts and electronics."

What is happening now, he said, is a readjustment of all the regional economies.

"As bilateral co-operation grows, however, the WTO may be weakened from within, one representative feared. Countries are now starting to make bilateral free trade agreements irrespective of WTO provisions," said Wong Sulong, group chief editor of The Star in Malaysia. "How can countries make this organization more relevant in the context of growing protectionism?"

The answer may just be patience, said Long. Although he acknowledged the growing frustrations with the delays of negotiations around the WTO, he said it was still the most efficient way to deal with trade issues.

"I believe the WTO is the best answer because you have to have a legal framework." He said trade disputes may be high profile news, but they represent a miniscule part of trade.

China Daily CEO Roundtable


CEO Roundtable connects movers and shakers

"I am very delighted to see this CEO Roundtable organized by China Daily, and your theme today 'The World's Shanghai by 2020' actually matches entirely with our own goal, Mr. Han Zheng, mayor of Shanghai, said in his opening remarks when he met with delegates over the weekend.

Few envy the jobs of CEOs and presidents in charge of China or Greater China operations these days.

The mounting pressure from global headquarters, employees, customers and shareholders to growing, winning or surviving in the China market keeps any CEO in charge of China "stretched as hell."

No melodrama. China CEOs actually need much more help than their colleagues running operations in other countries.

The reason is simple: China is probably much more complicated than any other country.

Local knowledge, or information-in-context, is what they need most. One of the best sources to gain such critical knowledge, is to learn from their peers.

The China Daily CEO Roundtable was created and launched to serve just that need.

Since its inception in April 2004, more than 500 CEOs, senior executives and government leaders have taken part in 12 roundtables on various topics that are central to China's economy or business and social development.

Delegates were invited according to their current or potential impact on their respective sectors or to China's economic growth as a whole.

The key task is "collective learning" among fellow CEOs behind closed doors.

"I have long been overdosed by those big forums and conferences with hundreds of people," said one delegate, "and I found this China Daily network is second to none in putting the right people on the right topic at the right time."

As a service to the global business community by China Daily, the country's only nationwide English-language newspaper, the China Daily CEO Roundtables have put CEOs and senior executives face-to-face with senior government leaders.

They get first-hand information about China's most important policies, economic developments and social changes; to establish personal relationship and explore public-private partnership initiatives; and to make China their best performing market and, equally important, their homes.

Future roundtables will cover China's banking, logistics, telecom, lifestyle, education, health care, high technology, sustainable development, social welfare, entertainment, and others in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and other major cities.

China Daily CEO Roundtables are rapidly emerging as the voice of global business in China and the private club of the movers and shakers from the government, business, academic, cultural and social sectors.

We aim to provide nothing but first- class knowledge and networking to the China business community, said Zhu Ling, China Daily's editor-in-chief.

Future Roundtable Topics:

*Sustainable Development and Environment
*Health Care China
*Human Capacity Development
*Lifestyle China
*Digital China
*Connecting China
*Capital China
*Logistics China
*Property and Living in China
*Sports China
*Entertaining China
*Retail China

Enquires on how to get invitation, strategic
partnership and customized events, please
Email Alexander Wan, Executive Editor, China Daily CEO Roundable at

For more information about our precious-
Events, please visit our website at

Previous Sessions

No. Topics Date
1 China's Regions: Towards Balanced Development April 20, 2004
2 Taking Pulse of China's Economy Growth May 25, 2004
3 The Role of HK in Building China's Financial System July 19,
4 Entertaining the Nation August 26, 2004
5 Globalizing Chinese Brands August 31, 2004
6 Life Style China Nov. 12, 2004
7 China:2005 and Beyond Dec 3,
8 Road Ahead for MNC Feb. 25, 2005
9 China-Asia Business Partnership: Implication for Multinationals March 29, 2005
10 Auto Sector Growth Sustainable April 28, 2005
11 Corporate Social Responsibility in China May 13, 2005
12 2020 The World's Shanghai June 17, 2005
Copyright 2004 by
All rights reserved.

The 13th China Daily CEO Roundtable

Honourary Chairpersons

Mr. Long Yongtu
Secretary-General, Boao Forum for Asia

Professor Anthony Saich Faculty Chair, Aisa Programs, Center for Business and Government John F. Kennedy School of Management, Harvard University, USA

Professor Wen Tiejun
Dean, School of Agriculture and Rural Development, Renmin University

Ms. Xiong Lei
Executive Editor of China Features, Xinhua News Agency

Ms. Hu Shuli
Editor in Chief, Caijing Magazine

Ms. Shen Ying
Executive Director, CTR

Host Chairmen

Mr. Zhu Ling
Editor-in-Chief, China Daily

Mr. Werner Vom Busch
Regional Representative, Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation

  Mr. Alexander Wan
Executive Editor, China Daily CEO Roundtable
List of Delegates
Name   Campany   Title  
Mr. Syed Fahim Munaim
  The Daily Star, Bangladesh   Managing Editor  
Mr. Zhou Li   China Daily CEO Roundtable, China
Mr. Yao Wang
  Boao Forum for Asia   Director  
Mr. Levin Zhu

  China International Capital Corporation Limited, China   CEO  
Mr. Charles Yen   Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu CPA Ltd.   Managing Partner, China Northern Region, China  
Ms. Jenny Ma
  Tianhua Capital, China   Director, Vice-President  
Mr. Giorgio Magistrelli
  European Chamber of Commerce, EU   Executive General Manager  
Mr. Barry Livett
  EU-China Financial Services Co-operation Project, EU   Project Co-ordinator  
Mr. Christian Klick   Star Alliance, Germany   Vice President, Corporate Office  
Mr. William Valentino
  Bayer China Limited, Germany   General Manager Corporate Communications, Greater China  
Mr. Harm Kiezebrink   HKI-Wageningen BV, Holland   CEO (Europe)  
Mr. Stephen Elderhorst   HKI-Wageningen BV, Holland   CEO (international)  
Mr. Ravindra Kumar   The Statesman, India   Editor and Managing Director  
Mr. Endy M. Bayuni   The Jarkarta Post, Indonesia   Chief Editor  
Mr. Sabam Siagian
  The Jarkarta Post, Indonesia   Editor-Aat-Large  
Mr. Shigefumi Takasuka
  The Daily Yomiuri/The Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan   Staff Writer  
Ms. Naoko Aoki   Kyodo News, Japan   Staff Reporter  
Mr.YU Kun-ha   Korea Herald, Korea   Editorial Writer  
Dato' Wong Puan Wah (Wong Sulong)   The Star, Star Publications (Malaysia) Berhad, Malaysia   Group Chief Editor  
Dato' NG Poh Tip   The Star, Star Publications (Malaysia) Berhad, Malaysia   Group Editorial/Education Adviser  
Datuk Steven Tan   The Star, Star Publications (Malaysia) Berhad, Malaysia   Group Managing Director/CEO  
Da tin Linda Ngiam   The Star, Star Publications (Malaysia) Berhad, Malaysia   Deputy Group General Manager  
Ms. Iris Tan   The Star, Star Publications (Malaysia) Berhad, Malaysia   Senior Marketing Manager  
Mr. HOO Ban Khee   The Star, Star Publications (Malaysia) Berhad, Malaysia   Editor, East Asia Bureau based in Beijing  
Mr. Gan Chin Kew   Sin Chew Daily, Malaysia   Executive Director  
Mr. Kuik Cheng Kang   Sin Chew Daily, Malaysia   Deputy Executive Editor-in Chief  
Mr. Wong Khang Yen   Sin Chew Daily, Malaysia   General Manager  
Ms. Stella Gonzalez-Perez   Philippine Daily Inquirer, Philippines   Editor, Philippine Inquirer News Service  
Mr. Alan Chan Heng Loon   Singapore Press Holdings Ltd, Singapore   CEO  
Mr. Felix Soh   Singapore Press Holdings Ltd, Singapore   Deputy Editor, The Strait Times  
Ms. Mabel Chan   Singapore Press Holdings Ltd, Singapore   Senior Vice President, Customer Services  
Mr. Loo Chin Wah   Singapore Press Holdings Ltd, Singapore   Representative, China  
Mr. Peter Gysel   Holcim Group Support (Zurich) Ltd, Switzerland   Deputy Head Holcim Corporate Communications  
Mr. Edward Schwarz   Holcim Group Support (Zurich) Ltd, Switzerland   General Manager  
Mr. Pana Janviroj   The Nation, Thailand   Editor-in-Chief  
Mr. Sae-Yoon Suthichai   The Nation, Thailand   Group Editor-in-Chief  
Ms. Yasmin Lee G. Arpon   The Nation, Thailand   Deputy Editor  
Mr. Theerapatvong Thanachai   The Nation, Thailand   Chairman & CEO  
Mr. Alastair Carthew   Star Alliance Bangkok, Thailand   Director, Corporate Affairs (Asia Pacific) Manager, Bangkok Business Center  
Mr. Thomas Bernd Stehling   Konrad Adenauer Foundation, UK   Representative ,London  
Mr. Richard Spencer   Daily Telegraph, UK   Bureau Chief  
Mr. Mark Magnier   Los Angeles Times, USA   Bureau Chief, Beijing  
Mr. Vu Ngan Binh   Vietnam News, Vietnam   Deputy Editor-in-Chief