Unlock China

Unlock China: opportunities and business between Italy and China


Further enquiries, please contact:
Sonia Lenzi
China Europe Business Group Specialists

On 5th June 2018, Grant Thornton organised a forum in Bologna at FICO Eataly World as part of our China Europe Business group initiatives. The event was sponsored by the Italy China Chamber of Commerce.

The objective of the meeting was to provide an overview of the opportunities both for Italian companies, already present in China or wishing to look out or strengthen their presence in this market, and for Chinese companies already present in Italy.

During the forum over 100 among entrepreneurs, managers, professionals of Italian and Chinese companies had the opportunity to learn about the most recent initiatives implemented by Italian institutions to facilitate and support investments abroad and in particular in China, attend the presentation of best practices by companies that have been successfully operating in the Chinese market for years, explore and deepen the possibility of partnerships with specialized investment funds or opening their capitals to Chinese companies. Participants had also the chance to interact with Chinese, Italian and international advisors in strategic, auditing, legal, corporate and tax consulting.

Luca Goldoni (Equity Relationship Management – SIMEST) illustrated all the initiatives put in place by Simest-Sace that over the last few years supported the international development of Italian businesses in their growth over the entire internationalisation lifecycle, from the initial assessment of new markets to the expansion through direct investments including provides Soft Loans for internationalization, Export Credit Support and Equity Investments.

Panos Vodinas (Head of China Europe Business Group) communicated to our guests about the limitless opportunities of investing in China considering the steady growth of the size of its middle class which is expected to reach 400 million by 2020. In addition, he informed them about the several advantages of investing in China's 2nd and 3rd tier cities which represent some of the fastest growing areas in the country and the world. Panos explained the benefits of the Free Trade Zones and the State-level new areas of China. His advice to our guests was: "China is huge; Do the right market segmentation before entering and find trusted experts to guide you during the entry process".

Sara Liparesi (Fico Eataly World – Management Director) talked about their recent agreements with Totfree of GlobeTech Plus Limited, platform for services to Chinese tourists specialized in the "Made in Italy" market and their commitment to a fully "Chinese Welcome" services, illustrating the importance to provide new and innovative standard of services specifically designed for Chinese travellers.

Enrico Perlo (General Manager of Beijing Guala Closures and Far-East Co-ordinator of Guala Closures Group) told the guests how Guala Closure has been successful with their business in Asia. He also shared his experiences about doing business in China and the difficulties/opportunities involved including poor trademark protection. Guala Closures now employs 4,200 people worldwide serving over 100 Countries and is constantly focused on quality and innovation resulting in being a pioneer in the production of safety closures.

Hans Halskov Founder and Managing Partner of Across Partners investment bank boutique who illustrated the common Chinese company challenges as well as the European SME challenges in China, the world's biggest market and the benefit of a strategic partnership model thru "pull" and equity model. One advice from Hans: "To succeed in the Chinese market remember "PACT - Patience – Adaptation – Courage – Tolerance". PACT is a promise, a contract or an agreement.

Carlo Diego D'Andrea, Founder of D'Andrea & Partners law firm and national Vice President of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China (Shanghai) talked about the Made in China 2025 and industries that are considered "strategic" by the Chinese Government stressing the importance to properly decide the purpose of the investment and check the most current list of the "permitted/restricted" published by the Government, the "first to file" regulation related to trademark protection. According to Carlo Diego D'Andrea "Investing in China is not for all companies, but all must evaluate with rationality and preparation SE, WHERE and HOW to invest. It requires means finding a balance among long-term strategies, deep competence in their own industry and knowledge of China and its culture".

Wilfred Chiu, Tax Partner of GT China – Beijing talked about doing business in China. As an expert in this field, he told the guests how Grant Thornton China helps entrepreneurs undertake business in the Far East in terms of both inbound and outbound investments. His lesson to the guests was: "There are great opportunities in China. Set your own goals & strategy. Learn with open mind and seek proper advice''.

Jack Wei, National Head of Business Risk Services GT China – Shanghai illustrated China's Business and Compliance Environment related to the different culture, the bureaucracy and regulation but also describing the opportunities and recent changes in the compliance environment following the 19th Party Congress and relevant initiatives put in place by the Government to fight corruption and expedite the pace of reforms.

Barry Tong, National Head of Transaction Advisory Services GT China – Hong Kong explained to guests M&A Policies and their impacts focusing on the "One Belt, One Road" initiative, The Greater Bay Area (GBA) initiative to build a world-class city cluster/economic hub across the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau region expecting to play a leading role in advanced manufacturing, innovation, shipping, trade and finance by 2030. Barry illustrated several examples of how Grant Thornton can help companies investing and growing in the market.

Notes to editors:
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