Opportunities and Challenges for Doing Business in China

On the afternoon of Sunday, October31, 2004 the North Carolina Chinese Business Association (NCCBA) and the Duke Chinese Student Association jointly hosted a seminar on the opportunities and challenges for doing business in China. The seminar was held in the Chemistry building on the campus of Duke University.

The seminar’s speaker was Peter Cheng, a member of the Board of Trustees and one of the Vice Presidents of NCCBA. More than 30 people attended the seminar with representation by Duke students, professionals, and entrepreneurs from the Research Triangle Park area.

The seminar, entitled “China: The Opportunities and Challenges”, covered trade relationships and an economic benefit analysis. The speaker, Mr. Peter Cheng, has extensive experience in doing business in China. He spoke of his own experiences and illustrated his ideas using numbers and graphs. Mr. Cheng discussed the excellent business opportunities available with China, citing how trade between the United States and China has grown three fold over the past ten years while trade between the United States and other regions in the world has grown less than ??%.

In the coming decade, although trade will not grow at the same rate, the increase in business between Sino and US will still outpace other trading partners in the world. With the Chinese economic community predicted to soon have the world’s largest GDP, there is no doubt that the business opportunities are great.

Mr. Cheng encouraged the attendees of the seminar to look in to the many opportunities.

On the challenges, Mr. Cheng listed the top six as cultural differences, negotiation, communication, lack of a common legal structure, management of relationships, and project control. Mr. Cheng stated that those in the United States should be flexible in their business models in order to readily adapt to the inevitable changes that the increased business with China will bring.

Mr. Cheng’s speech drew enthusiastic feedback from the audience and many questions were asked at the end of the presentation pertaining to their business and personal interests on the subject.