High-end talent needed to en­hance busi­ness ven­tures over­seas

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By WU JIAO and ZHANG YUNBI

Chi­nese en­ter­prises “des­per­ately need” a large num­ber of busi­ness and man­age­rial tal­ents for re­al­iz­ing their “Go­ing Global” strate­gies, Wan Jifei, chair­man of the China Coun­cil for the Pro­mo­tion of In­ter­na­tional Trade, said on Thurs­day.

And cul­ti­va­tion of high­end, in­ter­dis­ci­pli­nary man­age­rial tal­ents re­quires a stronger boost from both the govern­ment and businesses, Wan, also a se­nior po­lit­i­cal ad­viser, told China Daily on the side­lines of the on­go­ing an­nual two ses­sions.

Wan, a mem­ber of the Stand­ing Com­mit­tee of the CPPCC Na­tional Com­mit­tee, made the re­marks at a time when a grow­ing num­ber of Chi­nese busi­ness own­ers are faced with loom­ing chal­lenges as they are tap­ping into over­seas mar­kets.

The topic has be­come a hot is­sue as law­mak­ers and po­lit­i­cal ad­vis­ers gather in Bei­jing.

In the Govern­ment Work Re­port de­liv­ered to the top leg­isla­tive body on Wed­nes­day, Pre­mier Li Ke­qiang un­der­lined the ne­ces­sity of lift­ing the com­pe­tence of Chi­nese busi­ness in­vest­ing abroad.

As the head of China’s leading agency for eco­nomic ex­changes and co­op­er­a­tion with over­seas coun­tries, Wan said the top chal­lenges that have slowed Chi­nese firms abroad are the lack of qual­i­fied busi­ness and man­age­rial em­ploy­ees, stum­bling blocks in le­gal af­fairs and dif­fi­cult ac­cess to visas.

Last year, Chi­nese in­vestors con­ducted di­rect in­vest­ment in 156 coun­tries or re­gions world­wide, with 5,090 en­ter­prises abroad, ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry of Com­merce.

“Al­though the businesses ex­pand­ing over­seas en­joy a con­sid­er­able num­ber of projects and fast-paced de­vel­op­ment, the num­ber and the qual­ity of man­age­rial em­ploy­ees are still lag­ging be­hind their de­mands,” Wan said.

The coun­try’s to­tal in­vest­ment in over­seas non-fi­nan­cial sec­tors in­creased 16.8 per­cent year-on-year to $90.17 bil­lion last year. The amount of the coun­try’s over­seas in­vest­ment is ex­pected to out­num­ber its for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment in­flow in 2015 or 2016.

In Wan’s view, a daunt­ing short­age re­mains among the tal­ents who are “fa­mil­iar with the chang­ing mar­ket, lo­cal laws and reg­u­la­tions as well as out­bound fi­nan­cial mar­ket cir­cum­stances” as our com­pa­nies are en­ter­ing the global mar­ket quite late and lack talent re­serves and ex­pe­ri­ence.

One so­lu­tion is to strengthen the train­ing of in­ter­dis­ci­pli­nary tal­ents that are in­tended for the “Go­ing Global” strat­egy, he said.

Wan also sug­gested that busi­ness own­ers should also get well pre­pared in out­bound reg­u­la­tions, in­ter­na­tional prac­tices and com­mon rules, as well as cul­tural in­te­gra­tion to avoid le­gal and cul­tural risks.

Only by do­ing so, “they may over­come dif­fi­cul­ties posed by their in­ex­pe­ri­ence in the busi­ness”, he said.

On the visa front, Chi­nese en­ter­prises have also met chal­lenges be­cause some na­tions have im­posed high thresh­olds on their work­ing visa ap­pli­ca­tions to pri­or­i­tize do­mes­tic em­ploy­ment.

Wan noted that while he has fre­quently rec­on­ciled with rel­e­vant for­eign of­fi­cials to elim­i­nate stum­bling blocks in spe­cific visa cases, the prob­lem will be there in the long term and re­quires joint ef­forts by the govern­ment and the busi­ness cir­cles.

In an­other de­vel­op­ment, as pri­vate en­ter­prises in China are gath­er­ing mo­men­tum in the “Go­ing Global” ini­tia­tive, pro­vid­ing them sup­port will be a key task for the coun­cil, ac­cord­ing to Wan.

Last year, pri­vate firms for the first time took in more than half of China’s over­all out­bound di­rect in­vest­ment.

Fig­ures also show that the Chi­nese pri­vate businesses ac­count for 76 per­cent of the coun­try’s di­rect in­vest­ment in the United States, cov­er­ing 90 per­cent of the rel­e­vant projects.

When in­vest­ing abroad, “a flex­i­ble par­a­digm of op­er­at­ing and man­ag­ing as well as a sen­si­tive and quick re­sponse to mar­ket sig­nals” are among the strengths of the Chi­nese pri­vate com­pa­nies, es­pe­cially in those projects lo­cated in re­mote ar­eas, Wan said.

But pri­vate businesses are also wor­ried about a range of bot­tle­necks in terms of cap­i­tal strengths and risk-re­sis­tance ca­pac­ity, in­clud­ing their in­fe­ri­or­ity in fi­nanc­ing, in­for­ma­tion gath­er­ing and talent re­serves, he said.

Help­ing the com­pa­nies with their “Go­ing Global” strate­gies is an im­por­tant on­go­ing mis­sion of Wan’s coun­cil.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion will “strengthen sup­port and ser­vice” for fa­cil­i­tat­ing Chi­nese pri­vate businesses’ plans to tap into over­seas mar­kets, Wan said. Con­tact the writer at wu­jiao@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

Wan Jifei,

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