Economists predict that by 2020, China will be the world’s first economy. Legacy Ventures recently provided a group of MBAs with a learning platform in China to interact with political and business leaders and understand first hand how China is impacting the world.
There were few key messages that stood out throughout the week:
- Social political transformation – China is undergoing a process of social political transformation and is inventing its own political modernity. Under their new leader Xi Jingping, the government is taking a more activist role in microeconomic development. Laws are seen as tools of governance rather than rules of governance which favour domestic enterprises rather than over foreign ones.
- Intellectual and cultural metamorphosis – The Chinese are undergoing an intellectual and cultural metamorphosis. For the Chinese, modernization does not mean westernization and the Chinese are reinventing their own brands and will soon start to project these on the international market. Although still enjoying luxury Western goods, the Chinese consumers are now on the cusp of brand nationalism.
- Co-architect of the new century - China is the co-architect of the new century global order along with the United States and Europe. This by no means is synonymous with the decline of the West. The West will provide solutions to China’s problems and vice versa. Their potential synergy is not a loss but a gain, not only for the two sides, but also for other parties, such as the promising African continent.
On the latest China executive tour, students travelled to the second tier city of Chengdu and then to the cultural and political capital of Beijing. On the ground the MBAs had the opportunity to meet and engage with members of the China Communist Party, leading local businesses such as Nanchong Bank and Lenovo and also hear from international expats who shared many insights about doing business in China.
The message of the week was that China is ready to disrupt the world’s market and future Western leaders need to be ready for the new global wave the Chinese will project in the next decade. It is very likely one in three MBAs will end up working for or with a Chinese owned enterprise. The focus of current and future MBAs should be on doing business with China rather than in China.