On the afternoon of June 15, the “2013 International Trade Forum – Innovation Driven Development – Seeking a New Driving Force for International Trade Development” jointly undertaken by JT&N and China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) was held in Shanghai.
Attending the forum were leaders from the Ministry of Commerce, famous experts from international trade industry and the executives of international trade companies, who in view of the current economic and trade situations in the world and China, explored how to transform the development modes of enterprises, control the international trade risks and enhance the core competitiveness of enterprises under the current challenging trade environment. The forum has served as a platform for the communication of the frontier information on international trade for enterprises. The over 100 guests attending the forum expressed a high regard for its standard and practicality.
In the first half of the forum, Zhang Guoqing, the Special Commissioner of MOC Special Commissioner’s Office in Shanghai was invited to deliver the keynote speech entitled “World Economic Situation and Challenges Facing China’s Foreign Trade”. He first analyzed the economic situation in 2012, and then in the second part concerning the issues that need to be addressed in current world economic and trade development, he pointed out the following aspects: first, the impetus for economic growth is not adequate and there still exists the downside risk in the global economy; second, the global overflow of liquidity merits guarding against; and third, the European debt crisis impacts market confidence. After analyzing the main countries and main commodity markets in the world, Zhang pointed out that China needs to transform the ways to control the risks in foreign trade development. In the past few years, foreign trade development has been the greatest highlight of China’s economic development, increasing by a peak growth rate of 20-30%. However, with the appreciation of Renminbi, the increase of labor cost and the rise in the costs of various aspects of production, the competitive price advantages in China’s foreign trade have been lost and the gains therefrom have been on the decrease. How the competitive edge is to be maintained is a big issue and should not be treated casually. Zhang summed up saying that, first, we should attach great importance to accelerating the adjustment of the structure of import and export products; second, we should attach great importance to guarding against trade protectionism; third, we should attach great importance to the changes in international exchange rates; and fourth, we should attach great importance to the price trend of bulk commodities, and we should observe the current world economic situation and develop our foreign trade through an overall perspective and the goal of development.
In his keynote speech entitled “How to Arbitrate Abroad – On the Position and Role of Hong Kong International Arbitration Center”, Liu Jing, Deputy Secretary-General of Hong Kong International Arbitration Center, presented in detail the characteristics and functions of international commercial arbitration and the factors to be considered in choosing an arbitration agency. Deputy Secretary-General Liu then talked about Hong Kong and Hong Kong International Arbitration Center. As it retains the rule of law and the legal system based on British laws, Hong Kong is in a better position to provide extremely economical arbitration services than other major arbitration agencies in Asia and in the world. Hong Kong courts support but do not interfere in arbitration. The new Hong Kong Arbitration Ordinance that took effect on June 1, 2011 reinforces Hong Kong’s position of adopting United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Model Law and facilitating the parties to arbitration. According to the New York Convention and the Arrangements on Mutual Enforcement of Arbitration Awards between the Mainland and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the awards made in Hong Kong can be compulsorily enforced in more than 140 judicial jurisdictions. Hong Kong International Arbitration Center is an important arbitration agency in the world and plays a decisive role in Asia. Recently, more and more Chinese and foreign companies have chosen Hong Kong International Arbitration Center to govern their disputes. Compared with the arbitration agencies in Paris and London, Hong Kong International Arbitration Center has unparalleled advantages in procedures, costs, language, culture and convenience.
The keynote speech delivered by JT&N Senior Partner Yang Chen was entitled “How to Properly Use International Trade Remedy Rules to Expand Markets”. In his speech, Yang first analyzed the core features of such international trade safeguard measures as anti-dumping and anti-subsidy cases, that is, on the relevant market of a given commodity, the international trade rules can be used to fully (or partially) eliminate (or restrict) competition within a certain period of time so as to create the opportunities for enterprises to occupy and expand the market. By taking the examples of the VC Case and the EU Smart Chip Case, Yang analyzed the differences between Chinese and foreign enterprises in their attitudes towards the use of the international trade protection mechanisms. Yang went on to analyze how Shenzhen Yanjialong Industrial Development Co., Ltd, Sichuan Yibin Grace Group and the Chinese caprolactam industry obtained competitive advantages in the international market by responding to the international trade remedy cases and actively used the international trade remedy measures to lawfully reject the products from other countries outside the Chinese market. In summarizing the cases, Yang pointed out, trade conflicts are unavoidable in global economic integration; attitude is important when we are faced with trade conflicts; foreign trade protection measures are both challenges and opportunities and we should make efforts to obtain the comparative competitive edge in the process of response; and we should not only learn how to cope with being beaten, but even more we should learn how to properly use the international trade rules to strike back at our competitors. In the end, Yang proposed that Chinese enterprises should make good use of the international trade remedy measures, get familiar with the trade protection mechanisms and competition conditions of the markets in the host countries, work out the feasible strategies and tactics, make full preparations and win support from relevant government departments, business associations and importers, thus transforming the seemingly unfavorable international trade protection disputes into our own competitive advantages.
In the second half of the forum, the Roundtable Forum on “Practice of International Trade Market Expansion”, Senior Partner Yang Chen was grouped together with Lu Jiangning, his CEIBS alumnus and Board Chairman of Shanghai Wanxiu International Co., Ltd, Zhang Jian, General Manager of Shanghai Lansheng Property International Trade Co., Ltd and Sun Xiaoqing, his alumnus and Board Chairman of Jiangsu Hongkun Supply Chain Management Co., Ltd. They discussed the current status, transformation and market expansion of foreign trade enterprises and fervently interacted with the keynote speakers and the audience. The forum was a complete success.