For China, strong government relations are often seen as an essential underpinning of strong business relations. Yet Canada-China relations have seemingly entered into a cool-down phase with the proposed free-trade agreement on indefinite hold.
How can Canadian businesses power ahead and grow bilateral trade despite this period of uncertainty? How can Canadian businesses use this uncertainty to their advantage in capturing a larger share of the burgeoning Chinese market?
Both experts and industry veterans offered their concerns and solutions these timely questions at the “Eastern Promises and Pitfalls” forum, co-hosted by Tri-Sector Ventures, Canada-China Institute for Business & Development, DFW Excellerator and Alibaba Group last weekend at Ted Rogers School of Management.
A panel aimed at addressing the medium-term challenges and opportunities was led by Dr. Howard Lin and Dr. Gil Lan, the leading academics and thinkers in Canada-China trade relations.
The second panel featured Eric Li, Business Development Manager at Alibaba.com, Dr. Andrew Lui, President & CEO Tri-Sector Ventures Ltd; Jason Liu, Founder & CEO of DFW Excellerator; Sherry Zhang, Co-founder of WeWorkingWomen; Alex Peng Gao, Account Manager for Business Development Canada, and Bobby Wang, Counsel at McCarthy Tetrault LLP. These Canadian entrepreneurs and account managers discussed practical business solutions, case studies and best practices for breaking in to the Chinese market.
In the second half of the forum, 7 Canadian entrepreneurs from diverse industries shared their unique growth stories, ideas and challenges of establishing a strong presence in China.