Innovation, creativity needed to sustain growth
Alexander Wan and Selina Lo)

Are local Chinese industries ready to design and innovate, or is it easier and more cost effective just to copy others like other Asian economies are doing? Those were the questions raised by delegates at the 20th China Daily CEO Roundtable meeting held on November 30, 2005.

The questions provoked ardent discussion at the "Next Generation Design, Innovation and Creativity for China" meeting, co-hosted by China Daily and the Illinois Institute of Technology. More than 30 CEOs and senior executives from prestigious companies in the design, media, lifestyle, technology, communications, education and legal sectors sat down at the Peninsula Palace Beijing with one objective: to exchange views on China's capacity and challenges in rising to the global stage of design and innovation. Mary Ma, a former national model and now president of her own fashion design company, was among the distinguished delegates that attended the prestigious event.

Assuming a more active role

In their opening speeches, both honorary chairmen at the 20th roundtable were optimistic when discussing the future of design in China and its implications for the country.

"China is progressing in its revolution from the old, stifled economy into a robust and global economy," began Victor Chu, chairman of the First Eastern Investment Group."As China is still in transition, I think it will make a difference whether it can be at the cutting edge of innovation - not just on the industry side, but on the financial and social side as well."

"The centre of gravity, energy and growth of the design market is shifting from North America to Asia," said Professor Patrick Whitney, principal of the IIT Institute of Design. He was equally excited about China's creative prospects. "When things are designed by Chinese factories they are exported back to the West.But I think that model will change and we'll be designing things in China for China."

Christian Boustany, chairman and managing director of Boustany Projects Development, welcomed Chinese influence in the global design market.

"China was completely absent from everything that had to do with creativity and innovation just a few years ago," he said. "The countries that are currently on the world scene have reached a level where there's nothing new, so it's very healthy for everybody to have China come into the picture now. It will introduce and impose its tastes, styles and specifications onto others."

Bruce Nussbaum, assistant managing editor of Business Week, claimed it was only in the past year or two that he has been able to see "that there is a great deal of value to design thinking, design strategy and innovation."Which means China is not so far behind.

"It's only been recently that large corporations such as Apple, Starbucks and General Electric have led to a tipping point in the US economy for going very deeply into design and innovation," Nussbaum remarked. "It would be wonderful to see how China adapts and evolves in terms of innovation and design because the US is just about to begin as well."


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About China Daily CEO Roundtable

As a service by China Daily for the global business community, China Daily CEO Roundtable is a by-invitation network of government leaders, CEOs and senior executives of FORTUNE 500 and China's largest companies, for the collective learning and sharing of executive insights on China's strategic issues relating to its economy, business and social developments.

Discussions will be given prominent coverage on China Daily.

Twenty roundtables have been held in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong over the past year on various issues such as China-Asia business partnership, the macro-economy, China's regional development, Shanghai by 2020, Hong Kong's future role, the next generation MNC, corporate social responsibility in China, Chinese branding, automobiles, entertainment and lifestyle, etc.

Upcoming Roundtables:

The 21st China Daily CEO Roundtable:
Sustainable Development in China

Honorary Chairperson:
Dr. Jane Goodall, UN Ambassador for Peace, Founder of The Jane Goodall Institute

December 6, 2005, Grand Hyatt Beijing

For enquiries on invitation, speaking opportunities, sponsorship, strategic partnership and customized events, please email Alexander Wan, Executive Editor, China Daily CEO Roundtable at:

For more information about our previous
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
13 Economic integration drives growth in Asia June 24, 2005
14 Nation's healthcare reform examined August 26, 2005
15 CEOs view digital entertainment puzzle September 30, 2005
16 World-class event offers a ride in the fast lane October 14, 2005
17 Hotel and tourism development in China November 14, 2005
18 Capital Market Reforms - Visions, Process and Imperatives November 18, 2005
19 Made-in-China under Globalization November 27, 2005
20 Next Generation Design, Innovation and Creativity for China November 30, 2005

Copyright 2004 by
All rights reserved.

The 20th China Daily CEO Roundtable

Honorary Chairmen

Mr Victor Chu
Chairman, First Eastern Investment Group

Prof Patrick Whitney
Director of Institute of Design The Illinois Institute of Technology

  Mr. Alexander Wan
Executive Editor, China Daily CEO Roundtable
List of Delegates
Name   Campany   Title  
Mr Richard Gref¨¦ American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) Executive Director  
Mr Anthony Lim Aussino Group Ltd.
Chairman & CEO  
Mr Guo Yu Director of User Experience Design  
Ms Mary Ma
Beijing Maryma Couture, Ltd. President & Director of Art  
Mr Eric Sun Beijing Huaqi Information Digital Technology Co., Ltd. (AIGO) Special Assistant to ChairmanVP of Business Development  
Mr Bruce Nussbaum Business Week Editorial Page Editor  
Mr Christian Boustany
Boustany Projects Development (BPD) Chairman and Managing Director  
Mr Peter Lawrence
Corporate Design Foundation Chairman  
Mr Stanley Tong China International Media Group Limited President  
Ms Jacqueline Chen
CCTV International Anchor & Editor, Business News  
Ms Echo Zhang China Fashion Association Vice Secretary General  
Mr David Liang China Industrial Designers Association Chairman of the Board  
Mr Ian Thackwray Dow Corning Asia AreaDow Corning Corporation President &Vice-President  
Mr Ton Borsboom GE Advanced Plastics Manager Global Industrial Design  
Mr A. S. Mathur Godrej & Boyce Manufacturing Co. Ltd CEO  
Mr Tony Sin Gold Peak Industries (Holdings) Limited Design Management Consultant  
Prof Liu Yuanli Harvard University School of Public Health Director of China Initiative  
Mr Darsh T. Wasan Illinois Institute of Technology HVice President and Motorola Professor of Chemical Engineering  
Ms Sarah Yao Illinois Institute of Technology Head of China Initiatives, Institute of Design  
Mr Yingjia Yao Lenovo Group General Manager, Innovation Design Center  
Mr Moses Cheng Messrs. P.C. Woo & Co. &Hong Kong Exchange and Clearing Limited Senior Partner &Chairman, Listing Committee, Main Board and Gem Board  
Mr Radishah Lukic More Than (Beijing) International Culture Development Ltd. Chairman & Creative Director  
Ms Vera Yu McCann WorldGroup Director of Consumer Insights and Market Intelligence Center  
Ms Asha Hemrajani Nokia (China) Investment Company Director, Solutions & Applications
Mr T.J. Chia Raffles-BICT International College Executive Vice Dean  
Mr Ben Tsiang Executive Vice President  
Mr J¨®sef Fung Sixth Sense Technology & Cultural Exchange Ltd. Co-Chairman  
Ms Gloria Li Sony (China) Ltd. General Manager, Public Relations Division  
Mr Henry Steiner Steiner & Co. Founder and Chairman  
Mr Jan Stael von Holstein The Network with a Silver Lining Co-Chairman  
Mr Xiaobo Lu Tsinghua University Vice Dean, Academy of Arts and Design  
Mr Jikun Liu Tsinghua University Director of Human Factors Lab., Academy of Arts & Design  
Mr Tim Zhang UniCredit China Capital General Manager  
Mr Geoffrey Lee Woodhead International Chairman  
Ms Sally Grisedale Senior Director, Product Design  
Mr Zhou Li China Daily CEO Roundtable, China Daily Producer