search

The Chinese Entrepreneur Speaks: "We Are a Part of Belgium"

Conclusions of the Business Seminar

3 Chinese businesspeople spoke about their European strategy, their business style, and life in Belgium at the business seminar The Chinese Entrepreneurs Speaks on May 19, 2011. They all represented Chinese companies who already have branches in Belgium. The speakers answered questions such as "What are Chinese entrepreneurs thinking?" and "What are Chinese companies doing?"

Friends first and business second

Mr Simon Guo, Country Manager of Huawei Technologies Belgium, admitted that globalization coupled with cultural unfamiliarity can make the international market a cruel place. The Chinese business philosophy—friends first and business second—seems to be very relevant in such a context.

How do Belgium businesses come across?

Ms Chai Hui, Deputy General manager of ICBC Brussels Branch, used metaphors to explain how she experiences the Belgium business world. The Belgian market is like a diamond, small but exquisite. The Atomium represents the reason for the ICBC’s Belgian launch: to come to the heart of Europe. Chocolate reminds her of the warm welcome they received in Belgiumwarm-welcome and the great expectations. Beer, though, stands for the bitterness they sometimes felt when doing business with local companies.

Belgian example

Mr Jiang Yan, Deputy Director of the Europe Bureau of Xinhua News Agency, explores ways to soften culture clashes. He mentioned the example of Dr. Prigogine, a Belgian Nobel Prize laureate, who turned to ancient Chinese philosophy for inspiration.


    Wim Polet (Director of the Confucius Institute at Group T - Belgian side),     Mr Simon Guo (Country Manager of Huawei Technologies Belgium),     Ms. Chai Hui (Deputy General Manager of ICBC Brussels Branch),     Assistant to Mr Jiang Yan,     Mr Louis Delcart (Director Internationalisation and Innovation Voka Chamber of Commerce Halle-Vilvoorde),     Dr Jiang Yan (Deputy Director of the Europe Bureau of Xinhua News Agency), Bai Yanlei (Director of the Confucius Institute at Group T - Chinese side)
  • Wim Polet (Director of the Confucius Institute at Group T - Belgian side),
  • Mr Simon Guo (Country Manager of Huawei Technologies Belgium),
  • Ms. Chai Hui (Deputy General Manager of ICBC Brussels Branch),
  • Assistant to Mr Jiang Yan,
  • Mr Louis Delcart (Director Internationalisation and Innovation Voka Chamber of Commerce Halle-Vilvoorde),
  • Dr Jiang Yan (Deputy Director of the Europe Bureau of Xinhua News Agency), Bai Yanlei (Director of the Confucius Institute at Group T - Chinese side)

Click > enlarge picture

The speeches were followed by a networking drink.

The speeches were followed by a networking drink.
Click > enlarge picture