Me mbe r m aga zi n e f or th e Swe d i sh Cha mbe rs of Comme rce i n Hong Kong an d Ch i na i s sue 4 â€˘ 2 017
Karine Hirn Time to put Sweden on the Belt and Road map
EQT Partners Asia Helping companies unleashing their potential
The grey wall of China China is sitting on a demographic time bomb. People live longer and the population is rapidly ageing. At the same time, the number of working people is shrinking.
Publisher The Swedish Chambers of Commerce in Hong Kong and China For advertising inquiries, please contact respective chamber’s office The opinions expressed in articles in Dragon News are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. Editorial management, design and printing Bamboo Business Communications Ltd Tel: +852 2838 4553 www.bambooinasia.com firstname.lastname@example.org Art director: Johnny Chan Designer: Victor Dai English editor: Chris Taylor Cover: iStock INQUIRIES Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong Room 2503, 25/F, BEA Harbour View Centre 56, Gloucester Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong Tel: +852 2525 0349 Email: email@example.com Web: www.swedcham.com.hk General Manager: Eva Karlberg Event Manager: Daniel Hartman Finance Manager: Anna Mackel INQUIRIES Swedish Chamber of Commerce in China Room 313, Radisson Blu Hotel 6A, East Beisanhuan Road, Chaoyang District Beijing 100028, People’s Republic of China Tel: +86 10 5922 3388, ext 313 Email: Erika@swedcham.cn; Martin@swedcham.cn Web: swedcham.cn General Manager: Martin Vercouter Office Manager: Erika Staffas Lindberg Communication Manager: Jaycee Yang Shanghai contact Unit 201, No 885 Renmin Road, Huaihai China Tower Huangpu District, Shanghai 200010 People’s Republic of China Office Manager Shanghai: Marianne Westerback Tel: +86 21 6217 1271 Mobile: +86 136 8179 7675 Email: Marianne@swedcham.cn
Opinion: Karine Hirn
10 Focus story: The grey wall of China 18 Executive talk: EQT Partners Asia
20 Feature: Lisette Lindahl 22 Young Professional interview: Oscar Alfelt 24 This is Sweden: Enjoy the julbord 26 Chamber activities in Hong Kong
28 Chamber activities in Beijing 30 Chamber activities in Shanghai 32 Chamber news 34 Team Sweden
36 New members 40 The chamber and I: How will you celebrate Christmas? 42 Directors and committee members
APC page 39, Asia Perspective page 9, Bamboo page 25, Ericsson page 29,
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DRAGONNEWS • NO.04/2017 3
Kristian Odebjer Chairman Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong
Lars-Åke Severin Chairman Swedish Chamber of Commerce in China
Will China grow old before it grows rich? Dear Reader, Since our previous issue, the Communist Party of China has held its 19th party congress. As the congress concluded in October, important questions about the composition of China’s future leadership were answered. We can see that President Xi Jinping has consolidated his power further, and that he will have a tight grip in leading China into the future. It also has become clear that we should now get used to a more confident and assertive China on the world-stage. In fact, President Xi referred to Chinese development having entered a “new era” no less than 36 (!) times during his speech at the congress. As China grows ever more influential in world affairs, the Chinese government has repeatedly stated that the country will keep reforming its economy, with the goal of providing a level playing field in the market place for domestic and foreign companies alike. We should welcome the re-emergence of a strong and prosperous China. According to a study by Stanford historian Ian Morris (Why the West Rules for Now, Profile Books, 2010), China led the West in social development for well over a millennium until the late 18th century. So, in a way, China’s return to the top of the world economy and an influential role in world affairs, is only a reversion to the way things have been for a substantial portion of history. An open China that abides by rules 4 DRAGONNEWS • NO.04/2017
agreed among the community of nations will be able to provide priceless contributions as we all get ready to face enormous challenges lying ahead for mankind. We look forward to China implementing the economic reforms needed in order for the country to deliver on President Xi’s promises. In this issue, we have a timely focus story on a very significant issue that China needs to resolve soon: how will the country take care of a rapidly ageing society? While China’s progress since the initial launch of reforms in 1978 has been stunning, it still looks like the country will grow old before it grows rich. In China, the responsibility of taking care of older family members has traditionally fallen on the son. If a couple only had a daughter, she would marry into the family of her husband and her parents might be left to care for themselves. A lot has changed over time, but there is still an expectation that children will look after their parents. This responsibility is also, in part, written into the law. With this strong family tradition to lean on, the Chinese government will be able to manage an ageing society in the short to medium term. We are, however, already seeing that moral standards are shifting in many areas of society. For example, divorce used to be taboo, but has now become all too common. Unfortunately, it should only be expected that the tradition of looking after elderly relatives will only erode over time.
Strong innovation and huge investment will therefore be needed given the almost unfathomable scale of China’s population rebalancing (around 350 million people above the age of 65 by 2050). The challenge is huge and perhaps best compared to NASA’s “Moon-shot” or global warming. In other words, China needs the world’s smartest entrepreneurs to help it build out its future elderly care! Hong Kong ranks among the world’s top nations on a GDP per capita basis (just behind Sweden, but ahead of both Canada and Germany in the World Bank’s 2016 ranking), however its wealth is unevenly distributed. The elderly, in particular, are vulnerable. In fact, as per the government’s own figures, one out of three Hong Kong residents above the age of 65 lives below the poverty line. This is simply not acceptable, and improving the lot of Hong Kong’s elderly must be a top priority for the government. While the challenges of an ageing society are similar in Hong Kong and cities across mainland China, it can be argued that the mainland for now is taking the issue more seriously. Hong Kong and the rest of China should remember that the way a country treats its elderly provides a good indication of its overall level of development. As the festive season approaches, we would like to take the opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Swedish companies need to understand that China’s Belt and Road Initiative is not only for Chinese companies, but for all companies that can become a partner, supplier, advisor or an investor, says Karine Hirn of East Capital.
Time to put Sweden on the Belt and Road map TEXT: Karine Hirn, firstname.lastname@example.org ILLUSTRATION: iStock
o pi n i o n
still remember when I moved to Shanghai in 2010, there were many discussions about the “Go West” policy, as the country was pushing for more investments in the western and central parts of China to allow the country to catch up with the wealthier eastern coast areas, and how Swedish companies could benefit and contribute. Now the priority seems to have shifted to “Go Global” with the Belt and Road Initiative (by the way, still embracing the priority of developing and connecting China’s West), becoming a major long-term strategic development project for which efforts and funds are mobilised by companies, policymakers and financiers all around the world. However, surprisingly, not in Sweden. Swedish companies need to understand what implications this new direction implies in terms of market opportunities but also threats if they do not tag along.
is what you could call a “grand strategy”, to be implemented over a long period of time, pushed from the top all the way to the bottom, and assuming a fullfledged mobilisation of private and state resources in a way few others but China can master. The BRI’s timeframe stretches all the way to 2049, when the People’s Republic of China will celebrate its 100th anniversary. As of now China has already invested large financial resources in Belt and Road countries, offering loans up to US$110 billion for more than 600 projects. In 2016, 61 countries signed BRIrelated industrial cooperation agreements with China.
The first reason why Swedish corporations and authorities should not ignore the BRI is related to the trends of Chinese outbound investment. The world has seen a dramatic Hardly a day goes by in Hong Kong without hearing about the Belt and Road expansion in China’s overseas foreign direct Initiative (BRI), which is also called OBOR investment (OFDI), especially in the form (One Belt One Road), combining the “Silk of mergers and acquisitions, over the past Road Economic Belt” and “21th Century several years. This is a consequence of China’s increasingly massive Maritime Silk Road”, financial resources or “The Marshall Plan and appetite, but also of China”. It is not decreasing rates of simply the name that is return on domestic puzzling, as the actual investment and currently scope of the BRI, its lack of geographical motives, the financial diversification of Chinese sums involved, and even corporates’ assets. the geographies covered The amount of loans China has OFDI expansion slowed are constantly changing. offered so far for more than 600 down in 2017 due to a I have been to projects in Belt and Road countries. government crackdown many presentations and on capital outflows and conferences about BRI closer scrutiny of acquisitions, but the BRI and noticed that the map itself differs from projects continue and have even been actively time to time. But make no mistake, lack of supported, as they fall in the “encouraged clarity and opacity should not be interpreted investment” categories. as uncertainty and improbability. Another reason is trade. Enhanced Sweden should work its way to have a cooperation and connectivity, along with place on the map and engage with China, better infrastructure should be supportive to encourage investments, trade and services to the commercial exchange of goods. Just a opportunities. The BRI, which was even few days ago, Finland and China announced added to the Communist Party of China within the BRI framework the start of a new (CPC) charter during the latest 19th Congress, railway line from the south-eastern Finnish is a tool to reach what Xi Jinping has defined city of Kouvola to Xi’an in China. Trains as the “China Dream of the great rejuvenation leaving each week with 40 containers take of the nation” and is indeed a major initiative, 17 days to reach their destination along the the kind of project our grandchildren will 9,000-kilometre line, 30 days shorter than read about in their history books (or tablets or sea freight. whatever way history lessons are given in the A third area where Swedish companies future). will find opportunities to participate in BRI The brainchild of President Xi, the is professional services. What is fascinating initiative was first announced late 2013 about the BRI is the symbolic value of during a speech in Astana, Kazakhstan. It
The Belt and Road Initiative
Karine Hirn is a partner at East Capital, an independent asset manager specialised in emerging and frontier markets, that she co-founded in 1997 in Stockholm. After three years in Shanghai, she now lives in Hong Kong where she is CEO of East Capital Asia Ltd and vice president of SwedCham Hong Kong. East Capital manages real estate funds in the Baltics as well as a range of equity funds including global strategies (Sustainable Emerging Markets, Global Frontier Markets), regional and country-specific strategies (Russia, Emerging Asia, China) as well as a thematic green fund, East Capital China Environmental. East Capital incorporates ESG-related risks and opportunities in its investment process, and favours companies with long-term, sustainable growth perspectives and responsible owners.
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I am surprised to see how little interest and curiosity there is in Sweden in the Belt and Road Initiative.” such a commitment for projects outside of China, a country which has been known for centuries to be inward looking. It does bring considerable challenges such as increased overseas-investment risk and the difficulty for China of sticking to its non-interference principle. But such strategic ambitions will help consolidate China’s status as a global economic power and with it will come a range of problems and challenges that China has not yet met. There will be a need to provide services to help Chinese firms manage their risks in the BRI region. What is important to understand is that BRI is not only for Chinese companies, but for all companies that can become a partner, supplier, advisor or an investor. Swedish corporations are neither expected nor required to start operating in all the BRI’s 60 markets, but the BRI’s major markets such as Russia, Indonesia, Korea, Turkey are already on their map anyway so it is more about how we profile and position ourselves towards the initiative. I am surprised to see how little interest and curiosity there is in the BRI in Sweden. The few people that have heard about it are either downplaying the importance of the initiative or consider that this is not something that concerns Swedes. I think this wait-andsee approach is an error of judgement that will lead to missed commercial and financial opportunities, and could even erode the longterm competitive positioning of Swedish companies. Of course, it is not a formal policy – it is a very broad conceptual framework – but the fact that it aims at achieving greater economic integration within Asia, between Asia and Europe and between Asia and Africa makes it a framework that cannot be ignored by policy-makers and the business community. Let’s make sure Sweden is not left out of the BRI; let’s put Sweden on the map! b DRAGONNEWS • NO.04/2017 7
S mor gasbord Ageing in numbers
240,000 23% 289 60 1/3 19.7% 65
estic The number of additional dom in helpers that Hong Kong will need ing age ly rapid a of 2047 to take care nd arou are there y, Toda population. 360,000 foreign helpers in the city.
Where do people live longest? n In a 2015 ranking by the World Bank of life expectancy at birth among countries and economies worldwide, Hong Kong, Japan and Macau topped the list with a life expectancy of 84 years. Seven countries follow closely with an expected life of 83 years: France, Iceland, Italy, Singapore, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
The percentage of China’s seniors over the age of 65 that live by themselves, according to a nationwide survey.
The number of pension hou ses in Beijing. They can, however, only accom modate 9,924 people or 0.6 per cent of the pop ulation above age 60.
In China, men currently retire at 60 years of age, while women who work in factories retire as early as 50. Female public-sector workers can retire at 55. nea rly one in three Government stati stics show that d 65 or over in two age be will Kong people in Hong is on track to lose 14 per decades’ time, while the city next 50 yea rs. cent of its labour force over the
Almost every fifth person in Hong Kong lives below the poverty line and many of them are elderly. The poverty line stands at a monthly income of HK$3,800 for a one-person household and HK$8,800 for two people.
Although the Mandatory Provident Fund in Hong Kong is compulsory up until the age of 65, there is no statutory retirement age in the city. Parties are allowed to negotiate and allow the employment contract to govern the age in which the employee must retire from his or her employment.
Half a million missing people n Some 500,000 elderly people in China go missing each year – equivalent to the whole population of the Swedish city Gothenburg. Senior citizens aged 65 or over account for up to 80 per cent of missing elderly person cases, according to a report in 2016 by the Zhongmin Social Assistance Institute under the Ministry of Civil Affairs. “This is obviously a huge number and a social issue we cannot afford to ignore,” said Wang Zhikun, president of the Zhongmin institute, reports CNN. Around a quarter of those missing had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia, while 72 per cent suffered some sort of memory impairment, according to the report. Of those who were found after being reported missing, 25 per cent then went missing again.
“Treat the 60+ demographic in China the same way we are increasingly doing so across OECD countries – as important consumers of products from healthcare to financial services, technology to retail ... If Mick Jagger in his seventies can keep singing, how is it not obvious that ‘old’ in the 21st century is to be redefined?”
“Grey hair travel” is growing n Over five million elderly Chinese citizens travel each year with almost half of them taking longdistance flights. In a series of interviews conducted with “grey-hair travellers” by the Shanghai Daily, it appeared the norm for elderly Chinese citizens who can afford to travel was two trips a year –
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A public policy proposal from the Shanghai Roundtable on Active Ageing in March 2016.
one being long-distance to Europe or America, and the other shortdistance to other parts of Asia, reports the website China Travel Outbound. The vast number of journeys being made by “grey-hair travellers” brings in tourism revenue of over RMB10 billion yearly, according to the website.
The four seasons of life (4): Old age
arly in the mornings in parks all around mainland China and in Hong Kong, numerous people – especially of the older generation – stand or walk slowly while performing gentle movements for mental focus, breathing and relaxing, often to the sound of recorded music. They are practicing tai chi, or qigong, which is centuries-old, related mind and body practices for improved health, fitness and well-being. This form of healthy daily exercise probably also contributes to longevity. According to World Bank statistics from 2015, people in Hong Kong live longer than anywhere else in the world. The average life expectancy for a child born in Hong Kong stands at 84 years – in 1960 it was 67 years. Women live in average 87 years and men 81 years. Another reason that Hong Kong has the highest life expectancy is that only about 10 per cent of the population smoke daily, according to government statistics. Sweden comes close to Hong Kong with a life expectancy of 83 years, compared to 73 years in 1960. China has very much improved its average life expectancy from only 44 years in 1960 to today’s 76 years.
Even though China has dropped its onechild policy, its birth rate is too low and needs to rise, if the nation does not want to be confronted with a shrinking labour force and a rapidly ageing population. Hong Kong is also struggling with low fertility rates. For this year’s four issues of Dragon News, the Swedish Chambers of Commerce in Hong Kong and China have chosen, as the magazine’s theme, the four seasons of life: childhood, youth, midlife and old age. We will analyse demographic facts and social trends, and will interview member companies and people representative of these different generations.
lacks a welfare system for the elderly. The annual value of the provided care services and products for elderly in China is under 100 billion yuan, while demand implies a massive potential, estimated at RMB1 trillion, according to the market research firm Daxue Consulting.
However, this also opens up many business opportunities within the healthcare sector. Diaverum, one of the world’s leading providers of renal (kidney) care, is now on its way to establishing itself in the China market. Chronic kidney disease is often caused by other medical conditions such as diabetes and hypertension, which has a higher prevalence among the elderly population. In fact, China is ageing more rapidly than almost any country in recent history. “China is changing its healthcare system By 2050, more than a quarter so that more care will be of China’s population – 370 delivered by private providers, million people – is expected to that is why we are entering be over 65. China now – five years ago it According to the United wouldn’t have been possible,” Nations (UN), it will take China says Måns Olsson, senior vice just 20 years for the proportion of president and head of Middle The estimated the elderly population to double East and Asia at Diaverum. number of people in from 10 per cent to 20 per cent “We want to be among China that will be 65 (between 2017 and 2037). It can the Top 3 renal care providers years or older in 2050 be compared with Japan, where it in all countries where we are – about a quarter of took 23 years, and with Sweden, present, we are often on top the population. where it took 64 years. or second. Within seven years, What makes it worse is that we aim to have 100 clinics in China lacks many of the welfare capabilities China, otherwise we won’t be in the Top 3,” that wealthier countries had during their says Olsson and refers to Saudi Arabia where demographic transitions. Diaverum has opened 35 clinics within four To make it even worse, after 35 years of years (see separate article). the controversial one-child policy China today Elderly care is expected to surpass real has a rapidly shrinking labour pool. estate as China’s largest industry within 12-14 China implemented the policy in 1979 years, and is estimated to be worth RMB1.8 to curb population growth. As a consequence, trillion by 2020 and RMB7.6 trillion by there are now far more older people than 2050, according to the business intelligence younger in China and this imbalance is expected newsletter China Briefing. to further worsen in the decades to come. By tradition in China, younger adults Today, there are 7.6 workers for every are expected to care for their elderly relatives. retiree, while in 2050 each retiree will be Ageing parents have traditionally been looked supported by only 2.1 working people. after by their children – but in today’s China Caring for the growing proportion of older that is not always the case. people will be very costly since China today Many younger people have migrated
China is sitting on a demographic time bomb. People live longer and the population is rapidly ageing. At the same time, the number of working people is shrinking. Text: Jan Hökerberg, Bamboo, email@example.com
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The grey wall of China
DRAGONNEWS • NO.04/2017 11
to cities in other parts of the country leaving the ageing parents or grandparents behind. Hong Kong has an even more alarming population pyramid than mainland China, with some 35 per cent of the population expected to be 65 and older in 2050. However, when it comes to pensions the city’s older generation has it a little bit better. Even if the Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) pension system is far from standards set by pension systems in, for example, western Europe, it at least gives people some assurance of how much they will get when they retire. “Employees in Hong Kong are clear how much money they will
Måns Olsson and Diaverum’s CEO Dag Andersson together with Saudi officials and staff at a Diaverum clinic in Jeddah.
Elderly care is expected to surpass real estate as China’s largest industry within 12-14 years.” China Briefing business intelligence newsletter
Targeting China’s kidney disease patients Diaverum, formerly Gambro Healthcare, has expanded fast since 2007 when it was acquired by a British private equity company. The company will open its first clinics in China next year. Even though Diaverum is the world’s third largest service provider for treating chronic kidney disease the company has only 1 per cent global market share. The main reasons for such a fragmented market is that kidney treatment in most countries is taken care of both by many small independent clinics and by large public hospitals. However, the proportion of privately-owned care facilities is steadily increasing. “Governments have started to realise that their public healthcare systems are focusing so much on emergency healthcare that they can’t take care of the growing number of patients with chronic diseases,” says Måns Olsson, senior vice president and head of Middle East and Asia at Diaverum. “In China and Saudi Arabia, for example, all healthcare has, until recently, been handled by the governments. However, the current trend is that governments will still regulate the market and pay for much of the care, but are beginning to let private clinics treat the patients,” he adds. Before 2007, Diaverum was part of the Swedish company Gambro but was then acquired by the British private equity firm Bridgepoint. After that, the company has grown rapidly through acquisitions of clinics and smaller clinic chains with new market entries such as Germany, Chile, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Oman, Brazil and currently China. “Today, we operate some 350 renal care clinics in 21 countries, and have
around 11,000 employees. The Middle East and Asia is the fastest growing region, and Saudi Arabia has recently become the largest Diaverum market globally,” says Olsson who shares his time between China and Saudi Arabia and is based in Hong Kong. Diaverum offers both haemodialysis, where the patient goes to a clinic three times a week for four hours per session in which the blood is treated outside the body, and peritoneal dialysis, in which the treatment is performed inside the body and the treatment can be done at home. In addition, the company also provides a wide range of other medical services such as preventive care, vascular access surgery and transplantations. Another service that Diaverum offers is holiday dialysis which enables patients to go abroad on holiday and still get the same treatment three times a week. “It is a service for our patients so that they can go to any of our clinics in the world and ensure that they will get the same high quality treatment as they get at home. Last year, we had some 10,000 patients using this service which gives them an increased quality of life,” says Olsson. Diaverum’s patients’ ages differ from country to country but the majority of them are over 55 years old. In 2016, Diaverum went into China by entering a joint venture (JV) with a local partner. This is necessary in China, where a foreign company within healthcare services is only allowed to own up to 70 per cent of the business. However, the JV didn’t work out so Diaverum took a quick decision to end the cooperation. “Today, we have a new strategy. We have moved our China office from Beijing to Guangzhou and we are planning to open a handful of clinics during 2018, but with different partners. The first two will be in Hainan and Guangdong and then we are also looking at possibly establishing ourselves in additional provinces,” Olsson declares. Diaverum has estimated that there are up to half a million people in China getting renal care through dialysis today, mostly at big hospitals in the cities.
The current trend is that governments will still regulate the market and pay for much of the care, but are beginning to let private clinics treat the patients.” Måns Olsson, Diaverum
“If we compare that to the percentage of the population in Taiwan who are getting dialysis treatment, we would estimate that between 2.5 to 3 million people are in fact in need of dialysis in China,” Olsson says. “However, many of these people have never been diagnosed and will probably die without knowing the cause of death,” he adds. “To increase the focus on preventive care, so that more people will be diagnosed, is therefore urgent in China. However, a problem is that most hospitals’ dialysis clinics today operate at full capacity. The capacity has to increase in China, but it has to be with good quality healthcare and this is where Diaverum can help,” says Olsson. Diaverum’s clinics always cooperate closely with a local hospital in case the dialysis patients need treatment other than renal care. A social security system already covers dialysis in all Chinese provinces in which the government pays part of the treatment
and the patient pays the rest. Today, the government pays 8590 per cent of the reimbursement for the treatment, up from around 60 per cent five years ago. In Hong Kong, it is different. Patients with kidney failure can get peritoneal dialysis at home, or haemodialysis at hospitals, for free through the public healthcare system. If the patient wants to have privately delivered renal care they have to pay for it themselves or pay through private health insurance. “We have discussed whether we should establish Diaverum in Hong Kong, but haven’t yet acted. However, there are signals that the overloaded public healthcare system in Hong Kong will buy services from private operators in the near future so we hope we can establish clinics there as well. There are also other markets in Asia that we are looking at, such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand,” says Olsson.
Facts about renal care Kidneys are vital organs that keep the blood clean and chemically balanced. Healthy kidneys clean the blood by filtering out extra water and waste products. They also produce hormones that keep the bones strong and blood healthy. If the kidneys are damaged, patients either no longer urinate or produce a lot less urine while waste products continue to be produced. When the kidney function is at 15 per cent or less, this is called kidney failure. Dialysis or transplantation are the only ways to replace a lost kidney function. Dialysis is designed to replace several functions of the kidney. The therapy removes waste products and excess fluid and balances the amount of chemicals (electrolytes) and other substances in the body.
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China is changing its healthcare system so that more care will be delivered by private providers, that’s why we’re entering China now – five years ago it wouldn’t have been possible.”
have after retirement, they know they will get it in cash and it won’t be gone,” said David Wong Yau-kar, chairman of the MPF Authority to the South China Morning Post. “The working class is yet to be the real beneficiary of the pension system in China, as the return is inappropriately low in comparison to their contributions.” Wealthier ageing people in Hong Kong can also hire a domestic helper – with some basic medical education – from the Philippines, or other countries, for a relatively low salary. Such opportunities don’t exist in mainland Måns China, even if the authorities are now thinking of making it possible for Filipino helpers to work there. However, the elderly care system in Hong Kong is not very developed. Most elderly who need medical care are staying in hospitals. “Dying at home is almost impossible with 90 per cent of deaths now in a hospital bed – far higher than international norms … Less than 5,000 Hong Kong people die annually outside hospital and only 300 in hospice beds … End of life care at home is currently far too rare in Hong Kong,” the Business Professionals Federation (BPF) concluded in a recently published study.
According to a survey, released in May 2017 by the recruitment website Zhaopin, 67 per cent of working women in China with one child don’t want a second, up from 50 per cent in 2014. About 40 per cent of working women without children don’t want to have any children at all. The reasons may vary but the rising wealth among China’s middle class has also meant that couples in the big cities have high living costs and long work hours. To raise another child or get a first child means hefty expenses and many young adults are not willing to take that risk. Even though China’s government in 2015 scrapped the oneChina’s policymakers are confronting the country’s rapidly ageing child policy by allowing parents to have two children it might not be profile and shrinking workforce by raising the official retirement age, enough to solve the demographic problem. which has been in place since the 1950s. China’s retirement age is 60 for men, 55 for female white-collar workers and 50 for female blue-collar employees. However, China is planning to raise the statutory retirement age to relieve the pressures from an ageing population. “The plan is likely to be implemented in 2022 after a five-year transitional period,” said Jin Weigang, a researcher with the Ministry of Human Resources David Wong Yau-kar, chairman of the MPF Authority in Hong Kong and Social Security, to China News Service. b Photo: iStock
Employees in Hong Kong are clear how much money they will have after retirement, they know they will get it in cash and it won’t be gone.”
Elderly people practising tai chi - a common sight in China in the mornings.
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China could become an innovation hub for elderly care Adopting automation technologies will be very important for China to manage its demographic bomb, says Christer Ljungwall, counsellor and head of the science and innovation section at the Swedish embassy in Beijing. China is sitting on a demographic time bomb with an ageing population that grows faster than in any other country and at the same time a labour force that is shrinking. What are, in your opinion, the main reasons for this problem? “There is no doubt China’s demographic time bomb continues to tick. Some recent surveys claim that 40 per cent of working women without children don’t want to have any and roughly two thirds of those with a child don’t want a second. In big cities such as Beijing or Shanghai, high living costs, long work hours and surging expenses linked to raising children have deterred more females from becoming mothers. “Child-bearing may also lead to real financial or career losses. One third of women had their pay cut after giving birth and almost 40 per cent were demoted. This phenomenon isn’t unique to China, but it’s particularly acute given its rapidly aging population. This has pressed the government to consider measures such as birth rewards and subsidies to help encourage more people to have another child. Yet, China remains far from providing incentive packages of significance and a poorly developed safety network offers little help to families who can’t afford children’s education or healthcare.” The mandatory retirement age in China is low compared to other countries – 60 for men and 55 or 50 for women. There are now plans to raise the retirement age. What effects would that have? “Let’s begin by saying that China’s state pension has a severe funding shortage, perhaps reaching a shortfall of more than US$10 trillion in the next 20 years. The government’s plan to raise the retirement age is a response to the fact that China’s shrinking workforce and ageing population has begun to bite into the country’s labour market and pension system. “Simply put, a shrinking working-age population, coupled with longer life spans and retirements, means there will
be fewer working people around to carry the burden of supporting a larger non-working population. At the same time, it is important to reflect upon the potentially negative relationship between ageing and GDP per capita. According to a study by Acemoglu and Restrepo (2017) the relationship is de facto positive. This, in turn, could be explained by the increased adoption of automation technologies. “In fact, the increasing scarcity of labour due to ageing might actually be spurring the increased adoption of laboursaving technology thus offsetting the negative effects of ageing on economic growth. China could become an innovation hub for elderly care, creating new higherproductivity jobs.” What more can China do for solving its demographic situation? “China needs more babies! Despite having the largest population of any country in the world, China isn’t having enough babies. Despite the recent increase, the country’s fertility rate remains below replacement level, where it has languished for years. The government will definitely struggle in its efforts to change this in a meaningful way. As a matter of fact, this is a very hard area to have any impact on, and it will probably have a very limited impact whatever the government does.” Can China learn from Japan, which has had this problem for several decades? “Before examining whether any parallels are reasonable, one must first understand what exactly went wrong for Japan. A look at the data reveals that it was productivity growth that stagnated, and this appears to have been one of the main reasons for the overall economic slowdown. While people like to draw the parallel between China today and Japan a few decades ago, the analogy is inaccurate first and foremost because China still has plenty of room for further productivity growth. In a country like Japan, productivity growth is primarily derived from innovation and the adoption of new technologies. This is also where China must continue to improve.”
Despite having the largest population of any country in the world, China isn’t having enough babies.” Christer Ljungwall, Embassy of Sweden
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e xe cu t i ve talk
Helping companies unleashing their potential Since 2006, the global private equity company EQT has taken controlled ownership of 18 companies in the region to develop them and then, after a number of years, sell them. Dragon News talks with EQT Partners Asia’s executives about EQT’s requirements and strategies for picking the right companies to invest in. Text: Jan Hökerberg, firstname.lastname@example.org
he global private equity company EQT is the second largest of its kind in Europe in terms of fund raised over the past five years. Since 1994, EQT has raised 24 funds with 37 billion euros in committed capital. It has entered 170 companies around the world and has divested 84 of them. Even if Europe is still by far the leading market for EQT, Asia-Pacific is a fast growing region for the group. In 2006, EQT Partners Asia set up office in Hong Kong, which was a few years later followed by offices in Shanghai and Singapore. The company has 36 local employees in investment advisory, investor relations and central functions, as well as a number of industrial advisors. EQT Partners is owned by senior investment advisory professionals with the Swedish listed investment company Investor, controlled by the Wallenberg family, holding a minority stake. Dragon News met with EQT Partners Asia’s chairman Johan Bygge and his partner colleagues Martin Mok, Tak Wai Chung and Jerry He to find out more about what role EQT can play for companies that need to develop and grow their businesses in order to unleash their potential.
We bring a lot of value to the companies, but also take a lot of risk.” Martin Mok, Partner and Head of EQT Mid Market Asia
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We work a lot with social responsibility, it’s a huge issue for us and we have zero tolerance for not addressing these matters.” Johan Bygge, Chairman, EQT Asia-Pacific
How many companies in the Asia-Pacific has EQT entered into as an owner? MOK: “Since 2006, EQT has done 18 transactions and invested some US$1.3 billion in equity. Seven of these 18 companies are now fully exited.” Are any of the 24 funds that EQT has raised specialised in Asian investments? MOK: “Today, there are two funds that focus on Asian investments. EQT Greater China II was raised in 2006 and the EQT Mid-Market fund started in 2013.” In Asia, do you specialise in certain types of industries? MOK: “Healthcare is the largest sector for us in Asia. EQT has invested in LBX Pharmacy [one of the largest pharmacies in China], I-MED [the largest diagnostic imaging chain in Australia], Econ Healthcare [the largest nursing home in Singapore], and so on. Business services is another large segment where there are investments in, among others, DataFlow [which conducts background checks on credentials of highly skilled professionals], and ELEVATE [a leading global social compliance assessment and improvement service provider]. “Consumer retail is another area where we have undertaken quite a number of investments, for example in Japan Home Centre [a Hong Kong-based discount houseware retail chain], Qinyuan Bakery [a network of stores in southwestern China], and China F&B [which
operates two international restaurant chains, Dairy Queen and Papa John’s Pizza in China].” What criteria must a company fulfil for EQT to step in as an owner? BYGGE: “We have to ensure that the companies have good potentials, that they want to be owned by us, that investors want to have their money with us and that, later on, other investors want to buy these companies. We want EQT to be a quality stamp for all counterparties.” CHUNG: “We want EQT to own companies and support them taking the next step, for example, by bringing technology from Europe to China, helping them expand into new customer segments or by making acquisitions.” HE: “The company must have a mature business model, a mature cash flow and operate in industries where EQT has plenty of expertise. We evaluate their management team and could supplement that with additional hires if needed.” MOK: “Most of the companies EQT owns are leaders in some way in their local markets and have a solid track record when it comes to revenues and profit growth. They are typically well managed and their culture is straight forward. The management is normally positive to us stepping in. EQT is not a company that goes in with a view to fire everybody. “Some of them are planning for succession and want us to help them get a CEO. Others, who are still running the business, need someone who can open international doors. Furthermore, when we do our financial analysis we are very commercially oriented. The companies we target must be attractive in terms of giving a return on investment. We bring a lot of value to the companies, but also take a lot of risk.” What percentage shares do you normally take when you enter a company? Full ownership, majority or minority stake? MOK: “In the majority of the 18 transactions, it has been a control stake. Even if EQT’s stake is below 50 per cent we want to secure co-control, for example by having veto rights on a CEO appointment.” You have a network of some 250 industrial advisors, what role do they play in the decision-making when you shall enter or exit a company? BYGGE: “We have a unique model with EQT’s network of industrial advisors, who are proven specialists in their industries or countries. They can help our investment advisory teams to evaluate opportunities and they might serve on the board of an acquired company.”
We want EQT to own companies and support them taking the next step.” Tak Wai Chung, Partner and Head of Southeast Asia
Every market has its own characteristics and in China the pace is very fast.” Jerry He, Partner and Head of EQT Shanghai
Is it more difficult to enter a mainland Chinese company compared to companies in other Asian markets? HE: “Every market has its own characteristics and in China the pace is very fast. New business models and companies grow rapidly and business cycles can go from boom to bust much faster than in a developed economy, so you have to deeply understand and be skilful in pacing your investments in China.” MOK: “Legally, there are more processes, licenses and approvals involved in China. For most of the deals you either have to file for Ministry of Commerce record or if the acquisition is large enough go through an anti-trust process. There are also industries that are not possible to enter for a foreign investor and China also has a capital gains tax which, for example, Hong Kong doesn’t have.” Are there industries that you would never invest in? BYGGE: “We have overall policies that we follow. For example, EQT doesn’t invest in raw material companies or in the weapons and tobacco industries. We also don’t look at industries where we don’t have access to talents and insider know-how.” HE: “We would also be cautious about investments in industries that have already been disrupted by new technology or new mega-trends.” What requirements do you have on your companies when it comes to corporate social responsibility (CSR)? BYGGE: “We work a lot with social responsibility, it’s a huge issue for us and we have zero tolerance for not addressing these matters. Every acquired company has CSR on its board agenda on a very regular basis because we want to future-proof the companies. If you don’t have an agenda in this area, you’re not future-proof.” How does EQT’s exit strategy look like? MOK: “The key principal is to exit when the value creation plan for the company is accomplished . Normally, this takes five or six years. Selling the company to an industrial buyer is most common, but it could also be to another financial investor or that the company gets listed on a stock exchange.” What does your relationship to the Wallenberg family mean in Asia? BYGGE: “The Wallenberg family has a fantastic reputation for being long-term and they have been in business for six generations. This brings great value for us when we recruit people and look at investment opportunities. The Wallenberg name is known all over the world and gives us a network of tremendous value that we can step into.” b DRAGONNEWS • NO.04/2017 19
fe at u re The diplomat
Building bridges between Sweden and China Sweden’s consul general in Shanghai, Lisette Lindahl, has worked as a diplomat in North America, Europe and China and brings rich networking experience to the table. Text: Jan Hökerberg, email@example.com
to the Swedish embassy in Bulgaria’s capital Sofia. uring her more than three decades long career as a At that time, Bulgaria was a one-party socialist state as part of diplomat, Lisette Lindahl’s focus has mainly been on the Soviet-led Eastern Bloc. “It was a closed society and of course North America and, to a lesser extent, on Europe. In it affected our work. On the other hand, it was very fascinating. I 2014, when she was appointed counsellor and head learnt a lot and made many friends that I’m still in contact with,” of the economic section at the Swedish embassy in Beijing, it was Lindahl says. her first visit to Asia. Today, as Sweden’s consul general in Shanghai since 2016, she is starting to feel at home in China. “To be stationed in China opened up a new perspective for After two years in Sofia, Lindahl moved to Spain’s capital, Madrid, where she worked with trade-related issues and learnt me,” Lindahl says. “Even though my focus had previously been basic Spanish. In 1986, she was appointed press attaché at the North America, I’d followed China issues regularly since the Permanent Mission of Sweden to the United Nations in New York. relationship between the US and China is so important. China In New York she married Brian, an American, and they had wants to compare itself with the US and what the Americans think two sons, Sean and Julian, who are 26 and 24 years old today. is important for them. I believe that my American experience has Four years in New York were followed by another period at been valuable for me here in China.” the press section in Stockholm and then back to North America at Another valuable asset for Lindahl in China is her long Sweden’s embassy in Ottawa, Canada. “We had a great time there experience of social networking: “I have always liked social contacts with a lot of family life,” she says. and building networks, which is very important in this country.” A few years later she worked on the Today, Sweden’s three top diplomats in preparations for the inauguration of China are all women. Anna Lindstedt is the Öresundsbron in July 2000. It is the longest ambassador in Beijing, Lindahl is the consul combined road and rail bridge in Europe, general in Shanghai and Helena Storm holds connecting the two major metropolitan areas the same position in Hong Kong. of Malmö in Sweden and Copenhagen in Lindahl appreciates that some of the The number of postings that the Denmark. activities that the embassy and the consulateConsulate General of Sweden “It was kind of mental bridge-building generals have launched in 2017 have been in Shanghai received when they work, using networking to get Swedes and about gender-equality issues. invited Chinese fathers to send Danes closer to each other. We organised “In conjunction with a photo exhibition photos of themselves together cultural events as well as kids’ football matches about dads, we invited on our WeChat with their child/children. between the two countries,” says Lindahl. account Chinese fathers to send photos of themselves together with their children and we got 15,000 postings. We also had a children theme for After a year at the then Invest in Sweden Agency, which is now part of Business Sweden, and some time with a joint Sweden’s National Day in June where visitors could become Swedish-Baltic action programme against trafficking, Lindahl had familiar with Swedish products for children that are both safe and the opportunity to move back to the US, this time for four years environmentally friendly,” she says. in Washington DC. She was divorced at that time but the sons’ grandmother and other relatives lived there so they could resume Lindahl was born in 1954 in the southern Swedish city of regular contact. Back in Sweden she spent another four years as Hässleholm and graduated from the School of Social Studies in deputy director at the ministry’s Americas department, where she Örebro in central Sweden, where she also got her first job at the was responsible for trade promotion for both North and South county council. America. Then it was time for the move to China. “I realised that organisational work and personnel statistics “My main focus here in Shanghai is to work for the interests was not what I wanted to do in life, so I applied for admission to of Swedish companies. I am still curious and I read a lot of books the annual recruitment programme of the Ministry for Foreign about China. I communicate regularly with a group of Swedish Affairs. I had been politically active for quite some years and business people that have been here for a long time. What they tell international issues had always had a high priority for me. At that me about their experience is very valuable for me,” Lindahl says. time, there were not that many other opportunities in Sweden if She enjoys staying at the consulate’s residence in Shanghai’s you wanted to work internationally,” she says. former French Concession even if her sons now live in Sweden and Lindahl was admitted and started the one-year education in the UK: “Shanghai is really a city where it’s easy to live.” b 1981. After a short stint at the ministry’s press section she was sent
China wants to compare itself with the US and what the Americans think is important for them.”
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yo u n g pro fe ss i o n a l i n t e rv i e w
Despite not knowing much about China when he arrived in Shanghai two years ago, Oscar Alfelt has quickly climbed the career ladder thanks to great patience and an easy-going approach. Text: Sofia Norén, firstname.lastname@example.org
From salesman to GM within two years A
lmost two years ago, when Oscar Alfelt was working as a salesman for Silvent in Borås, he received an offer from the CEO that would change his life: “Would you like to pack your belongings and move to China to set up a brand new office?” the CEO asked. For Alfelt, the answer was easy. “I’ve never hesitated to take chances and challenge my comfort zones. Especially if it means exploring new countries and cultures. All my life I have been curious about diverse cultures and have always dreamed about working abroad and internationally. During my studies back in Sweden, I made sure to take every chance of going abroad to further my studies, living both in [the Austrian cities of] Salzburg and Vienna,” he says. In January 2016, Alfelt and his now fiancé Evelina gathered their belongings and moved to Shanghai. “Actually now when I think back I had no idea what I was getting into. However, I believe that not knowing was why everything worked out so well. If I’d known about all the obstacles we were going to run into, I might have hesitated before embarking on this journey. Nonetheless, the challenges I’ve experienced throughout my time here has really made me grow as a person and evolve my leadership qualities,” he says. When asked about how he approaches leadership, Alfelt says that he does so with humility: “For me it is extremely important to live as you learn, and since I encourage my sales team to step out of their comfort zones to grow as people and do better business I challenge myself every day. “I remember one of my first sales meetings when I moved here. I About Silvent Silvent’s mission is to improve the industrial working environment and optimise energy efficiency when blowing with compressed air, which is employed by most industries for cleaning, etc. Among Silvent’s clients are Volvo, Foxconn, Tesla, Rolex and Coca-Cola.
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Since I encourage my sales team to step out of their comfort zones to grow as people and do better business, I challenge myself every day.” basically went right out in the middle of nowhere, without speaking a single word of Chinese. Fortunately, I brought a Chinese handbook about our solutions. Once I arrived, no one spoke English so we gestured and went down to the factory where I pointed at different machines and then in the handbook. It was not the best sales meeting I have carried out, but it actually worked out quite well since they ended up buying some of our products,” he says. “Doing business in China acquires a great amount of patience and a very easy-going approach. A lot of things can seem rather vague and sometimes the system does not work the way you are used to. However, at the same time as it can be confusing and complicated, a lot of processes can be extremely fast if you approach the right people in the right places,” he adds. Dedication and hard work have really paid off. In December 2017, Alfelt became general manager of Silvent’s China office. “My mission right now,” he declares, “is to have our China office lead our organisation. China has the muscles to become a leading country in the world and I believe there are few countries that possess that kind of capacity. I’m very optimistic about our future in China. After all, we are selling a premium product and the higher standards become in Chinese industries, the better it is for us. We also have the advantage of selling a Swedish product, and the label ‘made in Sweden’ is really valuable in China because Sweden is associated with quality, safety and sustainability.”
Remember, it’s the daily decisions and activities that determine and form your future.” Alfelt has a career tip for other young professionals: “Remember, it is the daily decisions and activities that determine and form your future. Aspire to create many short-term goals, and together they will guide you to fulfilment of your grander ambitions. Finally, don’t rush. Be present – life is a journey, not a destination.” b
Oscar Alfelt in brief Age: 28. Occupation: General manager at Silvent (Shanghai) Trading Co, Ltd. Hometown: Borås, Sweden. Lives: In Shanghai. Tips: “Since I’m a bit of a tech nerd I really enjoy going to the cinema here since they have several IMAX theatres. It’s a really powerful experience.”
T his is S weden Photo: Helena Wahlman/imagebank.sweden.se
Photo: Helena Wahlman/imagebank.sweden.se
Photo: Carolina Romare/imagebank.sweden.se
Delicious flavours and delightful fragrances At Christmas, most Swedes enjoy the julbord – a Christmas smorgasbord full of typical Swedish dishes – which is served both at homes and at restaurants. TEXT: Sofia Norén, email@example.com
he cold and misty Swedish winters together with the beautiful Lucia are only part of the reason why celebrating Christmas in Sweden is an idyllic experience. Add to that the fact that it is also the time of the year spent with loved ones and an endless array of Swedish delicacies. Imagine the delightful smells of homemade gingerbread cookies, saffron buns, freshly baked rye-bread, pickled herring, pork sausage and the often enormous Christmas ham, cooked and glazed with a mixture of egg, breadcrumbs and mustard. All of these, and at least 20 other dishes, is what you might expect on the Swedish julbord (Christmas smorgasbord) in most homes during Christmas Eve.
From late November until Christmas most Swedish restaurants also host their own special julbord. Usually it is organised for companies to treat their employees and have a good time together before the holidays. Depending on the geographical location of the feast, the array of dishes might vary to some extent. This variation also applies to the Swedish homes and the traditions within the family. Ordinary Swedish food might not be very exciting but the exotic spices and mixture of delicious flavours really makes the Swedish julbord worth a try. It is a combination of food that is roughly what you also can expect on a Swedish dinner table at both Easter as well as Midsummer. Why ruin a winning concept, right? b
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Below are some of the holidays, or other celebrated days, in Sweden in the coming months.
24 DRAGONNEWS • NO.04/2017
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Upcoming Swedish holidays Wednesday 13 December: Luciadagen (Lucia Day, not a holiday). Thursday 21 December: Vintersolståndet (Winter Solstice, not a public holiday). Sunday 24 December: Julafton (Christmas Eve). Monday 25 December: Juldagen (Christmas Day). Tuesday 26 December: Annandag jul (Boxing Day).
Sunday 31 December: Nyårsafton (New Year’s Eve, de facto a holiday). Monday 1 January: Nyårsdagen (New Year’s Day). Saturday 6 January: Trettondedag jul (Epiphany).
chamber activities hong kong
How to attract and retain talents n One of the first events this autumn was about how to attract and retain talents in small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The event on 26 September at the IFC was arranged together with the Belgium-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce and attracted many people from various chambers. HR executives from both large enterprises and small start-ups participated in the seminar, including Scott Mason (H&M), Cathy Chan (Intertrust Hong Kong), Benjamin Cox (The Artist) and Ailin Yang (EF). The event moderator was Jens Helmersson of QuizRR.
Minimising plastic waste n Plastic waste accumulates further with every passing day. Today it is a global issue with huge environmental impact, and is an acute problem in Hong Kong and mainland China. This year the Sustainability Committee of SwedCham Hong Kong has focused on the plastic waste issue with the mission to spread knowledge and minimise plastic waste. In line with this mission, the chamber arranged a screening of the celebrated documentary film A Plastic Ocean directed by Hong Kongbased journalist Craig Leeson. The event took place on 12 October at EFâ€™s Hong Kong headquarters. The screening attracted around 70 guests, who stayed long after the movie ended to discuss the plastic waste problem. Before the screening of the film a round table discussion about plastic waste was arranged with NGOs, academia, businesses and government representatives to share ideas and knowledge between each other. The session resulted in bullet points that will be the foundation for further work on this subject.
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The panel with (from left) Scott Mason, Cathy Chan, Benjamin Cox, Jens Helmersson and Ailin Yang.
chamber activities beijing
Fruitful business visit to Ji’an City n During two days in September, members of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in China visited Ji’an City together with 17 other foreign chambers, invited by the Folk Organisation Administration of the Ministry of Civil Affairs and the Ji’an Municipal Government, to participate in seminars and workshops on the Belt and Road initiative, the economic development and foreign investments in Ji’an. Ji’an City is located in the middle of Jiangxi province, the home of Jinggangshan mountain – known as “the cradle of the Chinese revolution” since, in 1927, it was the official birthplace of the Red Army and it was also from here that the Long March began in 1934. It is rich in cultural heritage and beautiful natural scenery. During the visit, the participants from the chambers also had the opportunity to visit four factories in the Jinggangshan Economic and Technological Development Zone that specialise in LED packaging for displays, transformers, filters and other electronic components, hardware plastic mould, products used in auto parts, office automation equipment and so on.
We would like to extend our thanks to Mr Wang Shaoxuan, mayor of Ji’an municipal government and Mr Zhan Chengfu, director-general at The Folk Organisation Administration, and other people for inviting us to Ji’an City and their impressive arrangements.
Increasing interest for visas to Sweden
Anna Eriksson from the embassy informs about how to apply for visas to Sweden.
n In China, the number of visas issued by the Embassy of Sweden have increased drastically over the past couple of years. Progress has been made in simplifying the application process, with the implementation of fast track for approved destination status (ADS) travel agencies, the possibility for some companies to obtain a Bona Fide status and with 10 new visa offices that opened last year. To get the latest information on the new regulations, the chamber’s Beijing office organised a seminar together with the embassy in Beijing on how to effectively apply for visas to Sweden. The Invited lecturer was counsellor Anna Eriksson from the embassy, who gave a very informative brief on all the latest regulations.
Insightful talk on the 19th Communist Party Congress th n The immediate effects of the 19 Communist Party Congress have been quite easy to notice: security has been tightened, license plate restrictions have been enforced and the access to internet has been further limited. In order to gain a better understanding before the congress, SwedCham China invited Andrew Polk, co-founder of Trivium/China, a Beijing-based research firm, and former resident member of the Conference Board China Center, to brief us on possible outcomes after the 19th Communist Party Congress with a specific focus on economic policies and the business environment in China.
Jeffrey Towson talks about trends in the Chinese consumer market.
Andrew Polk shares his views on the outcomes of the recent Communist Party Congress.
The brutal fight for one billion consumers n Peking University professor, best-selling author and speaker Jeffrey Towson was invited for a sharp talk on Chinese consumers and how they are impacting both Chinese and global markets. Towson spoke of excellent examples of how Chinese and foreign brands are merging because of customer demands, and recent spotted trends in the Chinese consumer market. He left the audience with the only example that the professor still hasn’t figured out himself: Why does Starbucks not have a real competitor in China? Professor Towson encouraged anyone that might have an idea about this to contact him personally ...
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chamber activities shanghai
Panel discussion on CSR
Swedish banking in China
n On Friday 27 October, SwedCham Shanghai arranged a breakfast seminar on corporate social responsibility (CSR) together with the Finnish Business Council Shanghai (FBCS) and the Benelux Chamber of Commerce’s Shanghai Chapter. We had a multifaceted panel with CSR specialists from IKEA, Stora Enso and EARTH Concepts.
We feel at home in the Chinese market and want you to feel the same. It’s a large and fastgrowing market. As a result, more and more Scandinavian companies need banking solutions, such as cash management, financing in local and foreign currencies, trade finance and treasury solutions in China.
Newcomers’ Gathering n On Monday 23 October, the chamber arranged a successful Newcomers’ Gathering together with the Consulate General of Sweden in Shanghai. During the evening we provided information about the key Swedish communities and organisations followed by a social get-together at the residence of Sweden’s consul general.
Business insights with Mats Harborn n At the Fairmont Peace Hotel on 24 October, the president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, Mats Harborn, presented key insights from the European Chamber’s Position Paper from 2017. The seminar was very appreciated by the audience.
Swedish language course Lucas Jonsson, chairman of the Shanghai chapter, together with Mats Harborn.
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n At the end of September, the chamber initiated a 10-week Swedish language course for beginners. Experienced language teacher Charlotte Colliander is providing lessons to eight diligent students curious to learn the Swedish language.
We’ll help you – bringing our 25 years of experience of business in China. If you have the opportunity, please visit us in Shanghai where we’ve been located since 2001.
Swedbank Shanghai Citigroup Tower 601, 33 Huayuanshiqiao Rd, Shanghai, China +86 21 386 126 00
A unique lobbying opportunity n The International Business Committee (IBC) meetings, chaired by the Chief Secretary for Administration, are held four times a year. Established in 1989, the IBC provides a forum for discussion between the government and international business representatives on matters affecting the business environment and perceptions of Hong Kong. The committee comprises representatives from 30 foreign chambers of commerce in Hong Kong and the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce. SwedCham member companies have this unique possibility to raise issues of concern with the Hong Kong government, especially when it comes to Hong Kong maintaining its reputation as an ideal place to do business in. Over the years, environmental issues (such as air quality and shotcreting), international school places and landing fees have been brought up. As late as in October 2017, our chamber raised a visa concern from one of our member companies, which was successfully resolved. Please email or call us if you have anything you would like to raise through this lobby channel.
a New Department in Beijing Syntronic Beijing continues to grow their business and have expanded their offer with a new Van Hoang
department, the Solution Department strengthening Syntronic’s R&D competence and satisfying customers.The solution department consists of three teams, Basic Hardware Test System, RF Test System and IoT.
Chalmers alumni association in Hong Kong n Chalmersska Ingenjörsföreningen (CING) has been a network for Chalmers alumni since 1907 – see www. cing.se. CING is the largest Nordic network, with more than 13,000 members. There are some 70 Chalmers alumni in Hong Kong and Macau and there are already approximately 20 from South China. CING in China has more than 200 members. The aim is to create friendly and social gatherings for members that share the same interests. If you are a Chalmers alumni and want to join the CING network in Hong Kong, contact Van Hoang at +852 9016 7282 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Basic Hardware Test System
including hardware, software and system
This team will provide customers with
electronic products, automotive parts, testing, test automation line and test solutions within the industrial sector.
RF Test System The RF Test System team will deliver radio
Syntronic is a leading design house
frequency tests of RF modules, RF units and
specializing in advanced product and
other RF products. We have complete RF
systems development, production and
test solution for 3G/4G/5G.
aftermarket services. Among our customers and partners are some of the world’s most technology intensive businesses and organizations in sectors such as telecom,
New Hong Kong chamber in Sweden Ulf Ohrling appointed Honorary Member n After six years as chairman, Ulf Ohrling, resident partner at Mannheimer Swartling, recently chose to step down from SwedCham Hong Kong’s board of directors. During the following board meeting, Ulf was appointed Honorary Member of the chamber. We wish to thank Ulf for all his years on the board for his amazing commitment and we look forward to many more years with Ulf as Honorary Member.
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n We welcome the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce in Sweden, which was established in March 2017 through a transformation of the Royal Sweden Hong Kong Society. The chamber is a non-political, non-profit membership organisation with its registered seat and head office in Stockholm. It also has a regional chapter in Malmö/Lund. The mission of the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce in Sweden is to promote trade relations between Sweden and Hong Kong and act as a catalyst for projects between the two regions. For more information, please visit the chamber website: www.hongkong.se
defence, industrial, medtech and automotive.
IoT The IoT team will be responsible for delivering complete solutions of IoT systems,
Team Sweden is a network of government authorities, agencies and companies that all work to promote Swedish exports abroad. In this section of Dragon News, we present information about Team Sweden’s activities.
State Secretary Oscar Stenström visits China
scar Stenström, State Secretary to Ann Linde, Minister for EU Affairs and Trade, paid a visit to Beijing and Hangzhou on 19-21 November. The visit was a follow-up to the visit of Prime Minister Stefan Löfven who headed the Team Sweden delegation to China in late June earlier this year. The theme for the prime minister’s visit was green innovation and sustainability. Apart from meeting with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang, the prime minister also met with many companies, both Swedish and Chinese. Stenström picked up on some of the discussions initiated by Löfven with the aim of further increasing bilateral trade and investments. Another important issue for Stenström’s visit was the recent 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China that took place in mid-October and its consequences for economic development and trade. Stenström also took the opportunity to listen to Swedish companies in China and hear their views on market developments and the business climate.
A general comment from Swedish companies to the state secretary was that it is important to understand and identify trade obstacles and address these in a constructive manner. According to statistics from the Swedish National Board of Trade, Swedish exports of goods to China increased by 33 per cent in the first two quarters this year compared to the same period last year. In Hangzhou, Stenström visited Alibaba and met with representatives of the Zhejiang provincial government. At Alibaba, Stenström was given an introduction to several of the platforms under the Alibaba umbrella – including Tmall, Fliggy and Ant Financial. Swedish companies are increasingly eyeing the Chinese e-commerce market, and Alibaba is eager to get more Swedish brands on Tmall. This was Stenström’s third visit to China in 2017. b Oscar Stenström visiting Alibaba.
From left, Joakim Hedhill (Handelsbanken), ambassador Anna Lindstedt, Oscar Stenström, Martin Vercouter and Lars-Åke Severin (both SwedCham China).
“To catch the best business opportunities, use better paperboard.” Vaidas Petronis Technical Engineer, Iggesund Paperboard
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Cathay Pacific Airways 9/F North Tower, Cathay City 8 Scenic Road, Lantau Hong Kong Tel: +852 2747 5063 Web: www.cathaypacific.com
Duni AB 1902-5, 19/F, Sunlight Tower 248 Queen´s Road East, Wan Chai Hong Kong Tel: +852 9735 4754 Web: www.duni.com
About us Cathay Pacific Airways is an international airline registered and based in Hong Kong, offering scheduled cargo and passenger services to more than 110 destinations around the world. Today, the Cathay Pacific Group, including Cathay Dragon and Air Hong Kong, operates more than 150 aircraft to some 130 destinations across the globe. We are committed to growing our operations to help strengthen Hong Kong’s role as a premier international aviation hub.
About us Duni is a market leader in providing premium packaging solutions, products for table-setting and takeaway. Our premium napkins and other table-top products are all own produced at our production sites in Germany and Poland. Our products are all single-use but we take pride in the high quality, linen-feel products that we deliver to the market. Besides our table-top products, we also trade complete ranges of meal service products. Our key market segments are the professional/Horeca sector and the consumer retail sector.
Chamber representative Paul Johannes, Head of Global Sales
Chamber representative Renzi Soh, Area Manager North Asia
JOHAN & JOHAN (Hong Kong) Ltd The Workstation, Room 7002 43 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central Hong Kong Tel: +852 9882 2527 Web: www.johanjohan.com
About us The business idea behind JOHAN & JOHAN is to offer a one-stop-shop set-up for Western companies and brand owners who want to sell their products in China, Hong Kong and Vietnam. JOHAN & JOHAN has developed a new distribution model – an alternative way to enter these markets – based on close partnership and collaboration, emphasising transparency in inventory, sales and marketing matters. For offline sales we act as wholesaler, and online we do retail on a number of platforms, including Alibaba where JOHAN & JOHAN is a certified partner. Our work focuses mainly on the segments Baby & Kids, Health & Sports, and Family & Lifestyle. The brands we work with add something to premium and affordable segment of the Asian consumer goods market, they have stories to tell and they are preferable of an ecological mindset. Chamber representatives Johan Aledal, Partner Email: email@example.com Johan Wikander, Partner Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Control Risks Pacific Limited 2501-02, Level 25, The Centrium 60 Wyndham Street, Central Hong Kong Tel: +852 6963 0040 Web: www.controlrisks.com
Wardrobe K Ltd Flat C&D, 8/F, Hop Hinh Industrial Building 704 Castle Peak Road, Lai Chi Kok Hong Kong Tel: +852 2990 7328 Web: www.wardrobek.com
About us Control Risks is a specialist risk consultancy. We are committed to helping our clients build organisations that are secure, compliant and resilient in an age of everchanging risk and connectivity. We believe that responsible risk taking is at the core of our clients’ success. We have unparalleled experience in helping clients solve the challenges and crises that arise in any ambitious organisation seeking to convert risk into opportunity globally. The insight and depth of experience we have gained over more than 40 years proves invaluable in giving our clients the intelligence they need to grasp opportunities with greater certainty.
About us Established in 2009, Wardrobe K is a leading fashion distributor that specialises in urban fashion and lifestyle brands across Asia. The company currently represents Scandinavian labels such as Cheap Monday, 5 Preview, Sweet Sktbs, Australian premium denim Neuw and more. Wardrobe K also provides PR, marketing, and digital and events consultancy services through a close partnership with sister company Popkorn, specialising in media liaison, digital seeding and campaign strategising for various street trends and fashion clientele.
Chamber representatives Neal Beatty, Partner Sara Calvert, Director
Chamber representatives Raphael Wong, Managing Director Michael Cheung, PR and Creative Marketing Executive
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Yellow Brand Protection Norrgatan 10, SE-432 41 Varberg Sweden Tel: +46 340 69 56 04 Web: www.yellowbrandprotection.com
About us Yellow Brand Protection specialises in providing online anti-counterfeiting services to protect companies’ brands, reputations and revenues all over the world. Established in Sweden in 2010, we now also have expert teams in China, UK and USA, who, with our own technology, analyse over 900 online marketing places, web shops, social media and apps to find and remove online counterfeit products and brand infringements. Yellow Brand Protection is driven by our guiding principle “We Stop at Zero”, which simply means that we make a significant difference by striving to remove all unauthorised listings worldwide. Chamber representatives Zihan Liu, Asia Director Klas Karlsson, COO
HONG KONG INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS >>> Kristofer Bremström Email: email@example.com Tel: +852 9288 5819
Kenneth Hedh Email: Kenneth_hedh@yahoo.com Tel: +852 9300 6652
Jonathan Crompton Email: Jonathan.firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +852 2216 7000
Mike J Kannberg Email: email@example.com Tel: +852 5561 3366
DRAGONNEWS • NO.04/2017 37
new members HONG KONG INDIVIDUAL MEMBER >>> Antony Phillips Email: Anthony.firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +852 9272 0357
Asian Tigers K C Dat (China) Ltd, Shanghai Branch 8/F, Asionics Technology Building 6, Lane 1279 Zhongshan West Road Shanghai, PR China Tel: +86 21 3209 5561 Fax: +86 21 3209 5560 Web: www.asiantigers-mobility.cn
CHINA COMPANY MEMBERS >>>
Scandinavian Sustainable Design Association Coffizz, 74 Wangfujing Street, Dongcheng District Beijing PR China Tel: +86 185 1952 6069 Web: www.ssda.org.cn
About us The Scandinavian Sustainable Design Association (SSDA) is a non-profit organisation registered in Stockholm, Sweden. As a strategic cooperation, the association (SSDA) is launched jointly with Sweden-based Chinese Sofia He, the Green Leap of the Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden), the Sustainable Design Center of the Tsinghua Academy of Fine Arts, among others. SSDA works closely and strategically with main industrial organisations and several universities in both Sweden and China. SSDA aims to develop a platform to popularise and spread sustainable design notions and promote academic and business communication between Chinese and Swedish actors in the field of architecture and urban planning, design and social innovation. The projects include Nordic Sustainable Design Tour, Nordic Sustainable Design Symposium, Nordic Sustainable Design Institute and Nordic Space platform. Chamber representatives Sofia He, Founder Email: email@example.com Mobile: +46 738 05 14 20 Shiying Chen, Director of Beijing Office Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Mobile: +86 186 0003 0415
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About us Asian Tigers is a leading provider of international relocation solutions, providing comprehensive, end-toend mobility services tailored to our client’s needs. We are a US$130 million organisation that relocates more than 16,000 families each year. We provide office moves and management records storage for our corporate clients as well. Our aim is to combine an international outlook with an Asian flair – all to provide the highest level of service to our clients. Chamber representative Jason Gregory Will, Country Manager China Email: email@example.com Mobile: +86 138 1700 4591
North of North, Interior Design by Lindoff Room 213, Building 37, Z-Park Hangxing Science Park Beijing 100013, PR China Tel: +86 135 2294 4714 Web: www.north-of-north.com About us North of North is an interior designer and consultant company that focuses on Scandinavian interior design combined with harmonious feng shui, based on the clients’ needs and wishes. Sustainability is naturally integrated into all projects. Chamber representative Felicia Lindoff, Business Owner Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Mobile: +86 135 2294 4714
We are catalysts of evolutionary development ... customer by customer, order by order. Every customer is unique and our role is to make their logistics more efficient in every way, every day.
T he chamber and I Celebrating Christmas in different ways Christmas is for many Swedes the highlight of the year, especially if it is a white Christmas with plenty of snow. Homes are decorated, candles are lit and Santa Claus arrives already on Christmas Eve. However, Christmas can for others be an opportunity to go somewhere to get away from the winter cold and darkness. We asked some of our members how they are planning to celebrate the upcoming holiday. This was our question: How will you celebrate Christmas this year? And here are the answers. Fengning Xia Fransen Wall Vision, Suzhou “I love Christmas songs. I listen to them all day; when I wake up, at work and before I go to bed – even when it’s not Christmas time. I never get tired of them! Before, when I lived in Sweden, we used to have a huge Christmas celebration, but here in China I generally don’t. I just put up some Christmas decorations like a Santa, an advent candelabra and a red table cloth in my house. Also my husband brings glögg [mulled wine] and gingerbread cookies from Sweden that we give to our staff and nearby Chinese business owners – some of them like it more than others. This year, like almost every year I will attend the Christmas Cocktail in Shanghai, which I’m very much looking forward to.” Fonnie Tang Young Professionals, Hong Kong “I’m delighted to be celebrating my first summer Christmas with my Latin American friends venturing around South America, and wandering around the driest desert in the world, Atacama in Chile. I also look forward to seeing the colours of the heavens at the salt flats of Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, breathing the thin air in the lost city, Machu Picchu in Peru, witnessing the mythical archaeological site of Chichen Itza in Mexico. This year will be a magical Christmas!”
Per Hoffman Ericsson, Beijing “I’m going to spend the Christmas holiday with my family, enjoying Swedish Christmas smorgasbord dishes and hoping Santa Claus will bring me Christmas gifts.”
Magnus Dettmar entrepreneur, Shanghai “I’m going to Hainan with my family over Christmas. So hopefully I will celebrate it on a beach somewhere wearing shorts and a linen shirt.” 40 DRAGONNEWS • NO.04/2017
Malin Liljert CCR CSR, Beijing “Every year on Christmas Eve, the Swedish community here in Beijing gathers at Tiananmen Square to drink glögg, eat gingerbread and celebrate Christmas together. On Christmas Day, my family and I will travel to Myanmar for a two-week holiday. Good friends of ours have just relocated there and we will take the opportunity to visit them as well as travel around the country. We have given much thought into whether we should cancel the trip or not, given the terrible situation the Rohingya people are facing, but have concluded that it is better to go and to try and learn as much as possible about the country than it is to stay at home.”
Jingwei Qian ABB China, Beijing “I would like to have a snowy, magical Christmas, without having to do a long journey into the mountains to celebrate Christmas and New Year in fresh snow as in Disney’s animated film Frozen. Perhaps I will go on a trip to Sweden or Switzerland, and enjoy the charming aurora or the magnificent Swiss Alps. In my mind, snow, ice and Christmas should often go together. That might mean Snow World, because it rarely snows in Shanghai, or even in Beijing. In short, it would be fantastic to go skiing at a resort, or take a ride through the snow and ice by train, or simply meditate in a wooden house.”
Eva Bostam Consulate General of Sweden, Hong Kong “My family and I will go home to Sweden and celebrate Christmas in the south, in Småland, where Santa lives I´ve been told. We will celebrate with our families. The day before Christmas Eve we´ll make rhymes on the Christmas gifts, while eating the first carving of the Christmas ham. On the 24th we´ll wake up with a gift in the stocking and we´ll have a big Christmas lunch, eating all kinds of traditional Swedish Christmas dishes. Afterwards, we´ll watch the Donald Duck show on TV, while having some butterscotch, and then it´s the big moment – Santa arrives. Merry Christmas to you all!”
Jonathan Crompton individual member, Hong Kong “Following a busy year of travelling and change, I’m looking forward to spending Christmas in Hong Kong this year. I plan to start the Christmas season with the luxury of the SwedCham Gala Dinner, then cook a relaxed traditional Christmas lunch at home for family and friends. Christmas is a good time to see Hong Kong move at a slower pace and to get onto the hiking trails with our dog (without overheating). I’ll use the time to rest and regroup before attacking 2018 with renewed energy. God Jul!”
Josefine Gillver IKEA, Shanghai “My Christmas celebrations always start a few weeks before Christmas when I decorate my apartment. In mid-December my mother will come to visit and like the true Swede I am Christmas Day will be celebrated in Thailand. However, Swedish glögg, mulled wine, from IKEA is a must.”
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DIRECTORS AND COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong DIRECTORS OF THE BOARD Kristian Odebjer, Chairman [Odebjer Fohlin] Karine Hirn, Vice Chairman [East Capital] Patrik Lindvall, Vice Chairman [Dairy Farm-IKEA] Anders Bergkvist, Treasurer [Stora Enso] Karin Brock, [Daniel Wellington] Jimmy Bjennmyr [Handelsbanken] Katarina Ivarsson [Boris Design Studio] Petra Schirren [Ericsson] Per Ågren [APC] CREATIVE SWEDES Katarina Ivarsson, Chairman [Boris Design Studio] Filip Bjernebo [South Lane] David Ericsson [VOID Watches] Anders Hellberg [Boris Design Studio] Alexis Holm [Squarestreet] Anna Karlsson [Boris Design Studio] Pontus Karlsson [Happy Rabbit] Johan Persson [C’monde) Mikael Svenungsson [M2 Retail Solutions] EDITORIAL COMMITTEE Per Ågren, Chairman [APC] Jan Hökerberg [Bamboo] Eva Karlberg [SwedCham] Kristian Odebjer [Odebjer Fohlin] Ulf Ohrling [Mannheimer Swartling] Johan Persson [C’monde Studios] Peter Thelin [Today Group] EVENTS COMMITTEE Jimmy Bjennmyr, Chairman [Handelsbanken] John Barclay [Primasia Corporate Services] Karin Brock [Daniel Wellington] Cyril Fung [Cyril Fung & Associates] Daniel Hartman [SwedCham] Ove Joraas Eva Karlberg [SwedCham] Calle Krokstäde [DORO] Jenny Myrberg Rebecca Netteryd [SwedCham] Casper Olden [Antique Scandinavia] Magdalena Ranagården [BlueWater]
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FINANCE COMMITTEE Anders Bergkvist, Treasurer [Stora Enso] Eva Karlberg [SwedCham] Anna Mackel [SwedCham] MARKETING COMMITTEE Patrik Lindvall, Chairman [Dairy FarmIKEA] Lisa Boldt-Christmas Daniel Hartman [SwedCham] Anders Hellberg [Boris Design Studio] Katarina Ivarsson [Boris Design Studio] Eva Karlberg [SwedCham] Linda Karlsson [Happy Rabbit] Johan Olausson, [Bamboo] Rebecca Netteryd [SwedCham] Johan Persson [C’Monde] Ingrid Reinli [Boris Design Studio & IMIX] Sophie Sophaon [Kreab] MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE Karin Brock, Chairman [Daniel Wellington] Anders Bragee [Handelsbanken] Caroline Ergetie [House Hunters] Daniel Hartman [SwedCham] Katarina Ivarsson,[Boris Design] Eva Karlberg [SwedCham] Fredrik Nyberg [MIQ Logistics] Ulf Sundberg [SEB] SUSTAINABILITY COMMITTEE Alexander Mastrovito, Chairman [Scania] Anders Bergkvist [Stora Enso] Lisa Boldt-Christmas Sherman Chong Cheryl Hall [Nilorn] Hanna Hallin [H&M] Daniel Hartman [SwedCham HK] Jens Helmersson [QuizRR] Karine Hirn [East Capital] Stefan Holmqvist [Norman Global Logistics] Erik Moberg [Stadium] Kristian Odebjer [Odebjer Fohlin] Magdalena Ranagården [Blue Water] Jeffrey Siu [Envac] Björn Wahlström [Current Consulting] YOUNG PROFESSIONALS COMMITTEE Daniel Hartman, Chairman Claus Björkgren Josefin Cheung Rebecca Netteryd Sofia Wigholm Jenny Zeng
Swedish Chamber of Commerce in China DIRECTORS OF THE MAIN BOARD Lars-Åke Severin, Chairman [PSU] Joakim Hedhill, Vice Chairman [Handelsbanken] Lucas Jonsson, Vice Chairman [Mannheimer Swartling] Peter Ling-Vannerus, Treasurer [SEB] Curt Bergström [Sino Matters] David Hallgren [Business Sweden] Anders Henningsson [Mastec] Maisoun Jabali [Embassy of Sweden] Daniel Karlsson [Asia Perspective] Per Lindén [Scandic Foods Asia] Felicia Lindoff [North of North] Anna Löfstedt [Volvo Cars] Niklas Ruud [Konecranes] Martin Vercouter, General Manager [SwedCham China] Mikael Westerback [Handelsbanken] BEIJING CHAPTER Joakim Hedhill, Chairman [Handelsbanken] Curt Bergström, Vice Chairman [Sino Matters] Per Hoffman [Ericsson] Sören Lundin [Delaval] Kevin Rogers [Elanders] Claes Svedberg [AB Volvo] ZZ Zhang [Sandvik] Emma Berisha [Young Professionals] Martin Vercouter, General Manager [SwedCham China] SHANGHAI CHAPTER Lucas Jonsson, Chairman [Mannheimer Swartling] Anna Löfstedt, Vice Chairman [Volvo Cars] Mette Leger [Grow HR] Lisette Lindahl [Consulate General of Sweden] Claes Lindgren [IKEA] Daniel Melin [New Wave] Niina Äikäs [SEB] Andrea Staxberg [Business Sweden] Martin Vercouter, General Manager [SwedCham China] Marianne Westerback, Office Manager [SwedCham China]
Anders Anders Bragée Bragée Anders Bragée Corporate Corporate Account Account Corporate Account Manager Manager Manager
Shui Shui Yim Yim Chin Chin Shui Yim Chin Senior Senior Trade Trade Finance Finance Senior Trade Finance Manager Manager Manager
Johan Johan Andrén Andrén Johan Andrén General General Manager Manager General Manager Hong Hong Kong Kong branch branch Hong Kong branch
Florence Florence Chan Chan Florence Chan Senior Senior Account Account Senior Account Manager Manager Manager
Jimmy Jimmy Bjennmyr Bjennmyr Jimmy Bjennmyr Head Head of of Corporate Corporate Head of Corporate Banking Banking Banking
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Published on Dec 1, 2017
Dragon News is a member magazine, published by the Editorial Committees of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and the Swedish Cham...