Description: Trade and economic relations between the U.S. and China are of great significance for the stability and development of the global economy. As the world’s two largest and highly interdependent economies tussle for global influence, there is a need to enhance mutual trust, promote cooperation and manage differences. Over the last year, the escalation of trade tensions between the U.S. and China has become one of the major concerns of business and investment communities both domestically and globally. China’s strategy to upgrade its industrial and technological capabilities has been identified as critical to the country’s economic competitiveness and growth in the 21st century. While it can be argued that U.S. companies and international corporations are unfairly disadvantaged by such an upgrading strategy, such a strategy that aims to shift a country’s economy into higher-value added sectors is not unique to China and is quite standard for developing countries as they look to industrialize. For China’s economic partners such as the U.S., the country’s economic advancement could open up opportunities for a mutually beneficial deepening of economic, technological as well as political cooperation. In the short run, U.S. enterprises may benefit from an increased demand for smart manufacturing in China; however, in the long run, U.S. businesses may face rising competition from their Chinese counterparts. There are also causes for concern to U.S. businesses as the strategy appears to intervene in domestic markets to facilitate the economic dominance of Chinese enterprises and disadvantage foreign competitors. In principle, the global economy has good reasons to welcome China’s quest for increased innovation capacity, provided that China abides by the principles and rules of open markets and fair competition. It could also contribute to the development of both countries, promote market reforms in China and competitiveness globally. How will the new era of U.S.-China relations and China’s industrial and technological upgrading affect cross-border businesses and investment opportunities? How can enterprises navigate possible challenges and leverage opportunities to enhance mutual trust, promote cooperation and manage differences? What industries are synergistic to both countries and will provide the greatest opportunities for collaboration? What role will China’s own domestic market play in the country’s industrial upgrading? Panelists will share their thoughts and perspectives on these questions and issues.
TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION: The Importance of Collaboration in Advanced Technologies, Scientific Advancements and R&D
Description: As rapid technological advancements promise new and exciting changes to industry, society, and lifestyles, the U.S. and China - the world’s first and second largest research and development spending countries and home to the world’s largest tech companies – are well positioned to lead this next phase of technological innovation. During the 19th Party Congress, President Xi Jinping emphasized innovation as the primary driving force behind development and the strategic underpinning for building a modernized economy. Companies and institutions are pushing ahead on new frontiers of research, science and advanced and disruptive technologies, such as artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing and autonomous driving, building a digital China and a smart society as well as its aspiration to become a world leader in artificial intelligence. Innovation in science, technology and R&D have long been core drivers of the U.S. economy. In China, technology driven transformation has more recently been enabled by Government policy, changes in consumer preferences and enterprise driven innovation. Companies based in China have also shifted their attention beyond the domestic market as the technology sector expands, and this trend is expected to continue. The U.S. has been a preferred destination for Chinese investors seeking investments that allow them to upgrade technology and innovative capacity in various fields ranging from environmental protection to food safety to medicine to hybrid vehicles. While China has led the world in such some technologies, such as mobile payments, it lacks technological innovation capacity in certain high-end science and technologies, such as industrial robots, chips, and medical devices, prompting Chinese companies to collaborate with the U.S. by investing in, forming research consortiums with, and acquiring U.S. counterparts. However, such collaborations face increasing challenges as Chinese authorities tighten administrative reviews for capital outflows and the U.S. government heightens its scrutiny of Chinese investments in the U.S. Amid the tension and uncertainty with U.S. and China relations, is there a path for a collaborative future of global innovation driven by the world’s two superpowers? Panelists will share their experiences driving innovation and change by developing new strategies, technologies, products and business models and discuss their successes, observations and lessons learned from cross-border collaborations. They will also share their vision on the globalization process of Chinese technology firms and offer perspectives on the trends and future opportunities that lie ahead for U.S.- China collaboration.
IMPROVING PEOPLES WELLBEING: Opportunities in Healthcare, Eldercare, Housing, Education and Environmental Protection
Description: China’s rapid economic growth and modernization has led to increased awareness of the importance of wellbeing – both as a prerequisite for people's all-round development as well as a precondition for economic development and social stability. The development of a ‘Healthy China’ is central to the Chinese Government’s agenda for health and development – and has the potential to create huge opportunities across many sectors for businesses around the world. There will be new bright spots for investment in the areas of innovation and new technology, improving people’s well-being, green development and environmental protection. China’s rapidly aging population is also increasing demand for elder care, providing opportunities for both domestic and foreign companies alike. The U.S. is a country with significant experience and best practices in providing solutions that make positive contributions to the well-being of society. Hence, there are numerous opportunities for Chinese companies to both learn from and cooperate with U.S. firms in related areas such as healthcare, education, and environment protection. While limitations in transfers of capital overseas, foreign buyer restrictions, taxes in key markets and a predicted slowdown of the Chinese economy have presented barriers to Chinese investment in the U.S., investors have pivoted to different sectors, such as hospitals, education and acquisitions of preschools and student housing. At a local level, U.S. authorities and companies are continuing to build ties with China on everything from technology to climate change. Panelists will share their insights around the opportunities as well as mitigating the risks and challenges for companies promoting international cooperation in these areas and discuss areas that provide the greatest opportunities for cross-border success. They will also address emerging investment trends and new opportunities and pivoting plays in the real estate sector across the Pacific.
INVESTMENT FINANCING, ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND GROWTH STRATEGIES: Cross-Border Investment and the Growth of Private Equity
Description: After years of rapid growth, cross-border investment between the United States and China is experiencing an unexpected setback as tensions between the two superpowers reach all-time highs and threaten to dampen cross-border trade and investment. The impacts are reverberating into the capital markets, with cross-border investment flows and deal making looking vulnerable in part due to the United States enhanced investment review process and China’s own investment regime. Chinese outbound FDI into the U.S. has dropped considerably and according to a report by the Rhodium Group, in the first half of 2018, Chinese FDI into the U.S. was down 90% from the same period in 2017; the lowest level in seven years. Money is also being rapidly pulled out. The turnaround comes at a time when China's private markets were beginning to flourish and Silicon Valley’s dominance in VC investment was being challenged by China. However, a broad-based interdependence continues to tie the two countries. According to Rhodium, U.S. investment into Chinese tech companies has taken off in recent years, as has Chinese investment in foreign startups, particularly in U.S. companies. Despite the reduction in overall outbound FDI, China’s targeted acquisitions of technology and intellectual property persist and Chinese VC investment in U.S. technology centers such as Silicon Valley has intensified. A clearer picture of the investment landscape will emerge as the two superpowers continue to negotiate on key items such as technology transfer regime, licensing restrictions, and foreign ownership restrictions. Panelists will provide insights on the current cross-border investment landscape, effects of the U.S.-China trade war, the future outlook for the VC, PE and M&A spaces, as well as discuss new investment strategies and partnerships.