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China-US Relations: Looking Ahead, Moving Forward and Expanding Global Partnership - Guo Guangchang

The 11th China-US Business Leaders Roundtable of the Yabuli China Entrepreneurs Forum was held on April 11, 2019 at the newly renovated 28 Liberty in New York.


The first roundtable was held in the Morgan Library & Museum in New York ten years ago, which was the 30th anniversary of formalized China-US diplomatic relations. It was also the year that former US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson started the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue. At that time, Chinese enterprises were eager to go global, but they were also uncertain about how to make the first step. We witnessed the globalization process of Chinese enterprises, the ups and downs of China-US relations, as well as the great efforts made to promote prosperity between the two countries.


“It’s important to have the right partners. We were very lucky to meet great partners in New York. During our long-time partnership with Prudential, we would discuss issues together and development solutions.” Guo Guangchang, chairman of Fosun International, in a dialogue with Mark B. Grier, vice chairman of Prudential Financial, said, “In terms of cooperation experience between China and the US, there are several principles that I have valued: first, we need to look ahead and spend time solving problems; second, we need to move forward and use right strategies to solve problems; and last, we need to have a global outlook, solve problems through cooperation. In the long run, I think that the China-US relations will be in a state of positive competition and cooperation. I’m convinced that leaders of both countries are wise enough to address the epic issue of China-US relations.”


“The cooperation between Prudential and Fosun can be dated back to a cold call eight years ago. Since then, we have established Pramerica Fosun in China and a fund overseas.” Mr. Grier said. When Fosun began its journey of globalization, the cooperation with Prudential enabled Fosun to gain an insight and quickly shaped its overseas team; equipped with industrial investment and operation capabilities.


Afterwards, Fosun has achieved rapid growth. It has a proven track record in buying as well as selling with increased knowledge about how to make valuable global investments and when to divest. Meanwhile, Fosun has brought many global resources and brands back to China, and leveraged its access to promote their development. Club Med, St. John, and Fosun Pictures films have been favored by domestic consumers. In this context, Fosun upgraded its industrial operation and strategic C2M transformation to better serve its consumers.


Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg was a guest speaker at the first China-US Business Leaders Roundtable. In early April, Bloomberg officially included China’s treasury bonds and policy bank bonds into its Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Index. It’s anticipated that approximately 2 trillion USD of capital will eventually flow to China’s domestic bond markets, something Mr. Bloomberg is proudly stated, “At the Bloomberg-China New Economy Summit held in Singapore last year, when some Chinese entrepreneurs reminded me of the forum in New York, I realized I hadn’t been there for ten years, so I’m back this year to celebrate the 10th anniversary with you all […] Faced with numerous issues in the China-US relations and the evolution of the world economy, we as entrepreneurs can contribute a lot to address them instead of sitting back and waiting for the government to do the work. For the past years, Bloomberg has been supporting the internationalization of China’s financial market and promoting the communication of Chinese enterprises with the political and business communities in the US.”


Former US president Jimmy Carter, who promoted the normalization of China-US diplomatic relations, sent the China-US Business Leaders Roundtable and “Fosun Night” a congratulatory letter, “Amid unprecedented challenges posed to the China-US relations, forums like the China-US Business Leaders Roundtable are very meaningful to enhanced economic exchanges between the two countries […]I’m also pleased to be informed that the forum will discuss a key topic of health, which is aligned with the founding purpose of the Carter Center.”


Fosun also hosted the Healthcare Forum with the theme of innovation, digitalization and collaboration. As health is the universal concern, guests from pharmaceutical research enterprises and medical investment industries discussed health insurance, cooperation on medical research between China and the US, and the future of healthcare technology. Participants were excited to embrace new environments to explore new opportunities, and shape a global collaboration landscape for healthcare businesses.


The highlight of the “Fosun Night” Dinner began with a discussion between Stephen Schwarzman, chairman of the Blackstone Group, and Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister of Australia. When talking about China’s economic development in the past few decades, Mr. Rudd said: “Internationalization of global economy will continue to deepen in the future, and capital from different sources will increasingly flow between countries. If Chinese companies want to seek better development, they should cooperate with global players in a more open and active manner.” Mr. Schwarzman mentioned: “In a fast changing world where economic system is being reshaped, education becomes particularly important. Although there are so many businesses between China and the US, the US still has a less comprehensive understanding of China. That’s why I pay so much attention to the education of future business leaders.”


In the rebalancing of commercial markets in the era of globalization, cultural and art exchanges between the East and the West may be another driving force. The discussion was followed by an act of Guqin (the seven-string Chinese zither) arranged by Fosun Foundation and an opera performance by “Sing for Hope”, an art NGO partnered with Fosun. Guqin and opera are a perfect mix that brings together the Eastern and Western cultures.


It was a thought-provoking experience looking back on the past decade. We will remain committed to addressing issues and disputes with win-win solutions based upon shared beliefs. Our consensus is to lay a solid foundation for common development. In this new era, let’s work together to make a difference.