Seminars 2017


What is a Country Outlook?
Outlooks are summaries of current business opportunities and challenges, as well as the economic, political and social situation of the country. The Outlooks are conducted by the Senior Commercial Officers (SCOs) of the U.S. Commercial Service.

What is a Country Workshop?
Country Workshops are conducted by the SCOs, along with their business partner(s). The format of the Country Workshops is an interactive roundtable Q&A session designed to answer specific questions from the participants.

What is a Country Seminar?
Seminars are conducted by business, government and university experts on various topical issues relating to doing business effectively in the Asia/Pacific region.

Art of Negotiation – Negotiating with the Chinese Effectively

Mu Dan Ping – Executive Director, World Heritage Foundation, Los Angeles, CA

One of the most important, and anxiety-producing aspects of Chinese-American business relationships is the negotiation process. Regardless of one’s role in any project, there will come to a time when it will involve some negotiation – business structure, profit sharing plan, who will do what by when, and assignment of responsibility is all part of this process. This is a process of communicating back and forth for the purpose of reaching a joint decision. An overview of key skills and mindsets when preparing for and engaging in negotiations with the Chinese will be discussed. Key sets of “do’s and don’ts” will be introduced.

China’s Currency: Reality and Fantasy

William Overholt – Senior Fellow, Harvard Asia Center, Cambridge, MA

China’s ambition to make the RMB a major international currency has begun to re-shape the global monetary system, but the changes due to U.S. defensiveness are greater than the changes due to Chinese monetary strength. The RMB and the new institutions associated with it are becoming important, but the US$ remains preeminent and China’s financial weakness is creating at least a temporary setback for RMB ambitions.

Meanwhile the RMB has played an outsize role in the American political imagination, with U.S. politicians of both parties denouncing China for predatory undervaluation at a time when the RMB is overvalued, not undervalued, and has not been undervalued for six years. The Trump campaign and administration, like the comments of Democratic Senators Schumer and Levin, have mooted a confrontation with China based on a completely false premise. Job declines due to improved productivity are the great crisis of U.S. society, and the China currency myth has become the tool for both parties to avoid difficult decisions about the real problem.

Dateline China: A Roundtable Conversation about Strategic U.S.-China Business Issues

Ira Kasoff – Advisor, APCO Worldwide, Los Angeles

Alan Turley – Deputy Assistant Secretary for China, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, D.C.

William Zarit – Chairman of the Board, American Chamber of Commerce in China, Beijing

Moderator: Jonathan Karp – Executive Director, Asia Society of Southern California, Los Angeles

Gain insights from three distinguished experts who have decades of on-the-ground private and public sector experience working in China. Hear the sentiments of US companies doing business in China. Hear about how the U.S. Government might change its China trade and investment policies—and how these changes might impact your business. Some questions to be explored: Will the U.S. take actions to effectively counter China’s mercantilist policies? Is a trade war with China likely? What will be the effectiveness of China’s industrial policy (i.e. Made in China 2025)? Will the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US expand its scope to include economic national security and possibly limit or halt investments from Chinese SOEs? Will China’s promised reforms finally go forward after Xi Jinping consolidates power?

Doing Business in Myanmar: A New Government, U.S. Sanctions Lifted, and One of the Fastest Growing Economies in the World

Paul Wilson – Managing Director, Myanmar Capital Advisors Pte., Ltd., Yangon

Myanmar is one of the last of the truly “emerging” markets. With a population of 50 million, abundant natural resources, a democratically elected government and US investments no longer restricted by sanctions, 2017 is expected to be a year of unprecedented foreign investment. The ADB has marked Myanmar as “one of the fastest growing economies in the world” and major investments are already underway. Paul Wilson returned to Myanmar 5 years ago to lead Microsoft’s business in the country, and create an investment company focused on commercial real estate in Myanmar. Join this session to learn about the investment and regulatory climate, sector-specific opportunities and updates on the political and economic reforms.

Entering Foreign Markets: Critical Considerations To Think About

Tracy Skousen – Senior Partner & President International, Partners In Leadership, Temecula, CA

Ken Silverman – Head of North America, Sannam S4 Group & U.S. Business Centers, Pasadena, CA & Washington, D.C.

The speakers will discuss what companies need to consider in order to succeed when entering international markets. Learn about some of the legal, financial and logistical essentials that companies need to think about. And after setting up shop–what may be the deeper and ultimately more challenging and critical component and that which must be seriously addressed after the nuts and bolts of foreign market entry are dealt with–and that is working people and their cultures.

Exporting to India under President Trump

Gunjan Bagla – Managing Director, Amritt, Inc., Malibu, CA

With the anti-Mexico and anti-China rhetoric of the White House, does India become a more interesting market for American exporters? What American products and services are India’s consumers, companies and government demanding? How do you overcome the hurdles of selling into India? What should my company do in 2017 and beyond. The India Expert, Gunjan Bagla will answer your questions in this interactive discussion.

Financing and Risk Mitigation: Perspectives from the Public and Private Sectors

Derek Fried – Senior Vice President, Structured Finance, Wells Fargo Global Banking, Minneapolis, MN

David Ross – Country Manager, Southeast Asia, U.S. Trade and Development Agency, Arlington, VA

Richard Pearson – Business Development Officer, Asia-Pacific Export-Import Bank of the United States, Washington, D.C.

Moderator: Diane Farrell – Deputy Assistant Secretary, Global Markets-Asia, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, D.C.

The success of a commercial transaction ultimately comes down to accessing the funds to move forward. The U.S. government and private lenders offer a range of financial tools to promote U.S. exports and help U.S. companies win business overseas. This panel will bring together representatives of the Export-Import Bank, the Trade and Development Agency, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and Wells Fargo and will allow attendees to learn more about those programs available to small, medium and large-sized companies.

India’s Reform Scorecard: A Referendum on Prime Minister Modi’s Leadership

Ron Somers – Founder & CEO, First India Group, LLC., Washington, D.C.

When Prime Minister Modi swept India’s polls in May 2014, expectations amongst business leaders were sky high. In early 2015, political setbacks in Assembly polls braced the Modi Government for headwinds that could impede reforms. In February/March 2017 (by the time of this printing), India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh (pop. 210 million), will have gone to the polls – effectively serving as a referendum on Prime Minister Modi’s leadership. Nearing 1000 days into its Administration, the Modi government has made considerable strides which have pleased business, but which have ruffled the electorate. India First Group’s Founder and CEO, Ron Somers, who presided for 10 years as the immediate past-President of the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC), will present a Scorecard on the Modi government’s performance so far, and a look ahead as to what India’s reform future may hold.

Indonesia: Opportunities and Challenges in a Value Added State

Wayne Forrest – President, American Indonesian Chamber of Commerce, New York

To be successful in doing business in Indonesia a knowledge of its underlying development paradigm is necessary. After years of success as an exporter of agriculture and extractive commodities Indonesia’s leaders are determined to raise the percentage of GDP from manufacturing which has dropped considerably from the high rates it achieved prior to 1998. How they are going about this presents significant opportunities as well as challenges to foreign companies.

Managing the Power of Perceptions/Expectations: How to Work with the Chinese Effectively

Mu Dan Ping – Executive Director, World Heritage Foundation, Los Angeles, CA

International business deals do not usually fail due to external factors such as money, technology, market environment, product, politics, economics or technical considerations. Most often failures are caused by a lack of understanding of cultural differences based on personal values, expectations and perceptions held by people from different cultures. Successful business relationships between the U.S. and Chinese firms require cross-cultural exchange and mutual understandings. The inability to interact effectively can lead to misunderstandings and negatively affect the peoples and business between the two countries.

Materialism, Middle Class Aspirations, New Youth Lifestyles and Behavior and a Growing Self-Confidence: The Implications of a Rising China for American Business

Stanley Rosen  – Professor of Political Science, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

China’s growth has already led to the rise of a new middle class, as well as a stratum of the rich and even super-rich. Current trends and surveys strongly suggest that this phenomenon will continue, and Chinese citizens are optimistic about their future entry to middle class status. These developments in turn have created new role models and new patterns of consumption. For example, whereas price and Chinese brand name had always been the key factors in purchases, more recent surveys have shown that, depending on the consumer item, such things as quality, style and foreign brand name have become far more important. Despite these clear changes, the attitudes and behavior of China’s younger generation have been contradictory, ranging from conspicuous consumption of American products such as Hollywood films to anger at the perceived lack of respect China has received in the America media and from certain U.S. government policies. On the one hand, you see the kind of idealism that contributed to the volunteerism after the Sichuan earthquake in May 2008. On the other hand, virulent cyber nationalism has distinguished at least some of the behavior of “angry youth”.

Navigating China Today: Unlocking Opportunities and Understanding Risks in China’s New Economy

Perry Moreth – Senior Vice President, Global Banking Consultant, International Group, Wells Fargo & Company, Los Angeles

Kenneth Petrilla – Managing Director, ChinaVest, San Francisco

China is not one country with one economy but many countries with many different economies and a complex mixture of unequal development. The changing landscape includes a changing economy and a different relationship between Beijing and provincial and municipal governments. Adding to the complexity is the likelihood of U.S. and China trade policy changes that may substantially increase business uncertainties. This presentation will examine the challenges and opportunities when doing business with China today. Topics covered will include China’s the new economy; nationalism versus globalization; potential for and consequences of a trade war; compromise or confrontation with Taiwan and the prospects of military conflict in the South China Sea.

Open for Business- Building and Growing a Business in Japan

Kevin McAuliffe – President, Newport Ltd., Tokyo

A recent Foreign Chamber of Commerce survey of foreign capitalized companies in Japan clearly showed that most were growing and more importantly confident about future growth. Japan has its challenges but it is the world’s third largest economy and a welcoming market for foreign products and services.

Principles and Strategies of Investing in High Growth Emerging Markets in South East Asia

George Drysdale – Chairman and CEO, Marsman-Drysdale Group, Manila

What are the core principles and strategies of investing in the dynamic, high growth, but often unpredictable emerging markets of the Asia/Pacific? Investor George M. Drysdale shares his perspective gained from a life and career in Southeast Asia developing and managing a widely-diversified portfolio.

Worrying About and Betting on Millennials in China

Clayton Dube – Executive Director, USC US-China Institute, Los Angeles

China’s Millennial constitute the third largest nation in the world. China’s leaders are worried about what they want and how patient they’ll be, but those leaders are also counting on millennials to be innovators, entrepreneurs and consumers that China needs in order to cope with enormous challenges and to power China’s continued advance. In this session, we’ll look at what surveys and behaviors suggest about millennials expectations and we’ll discuss the challenges and opportunities they pose for business.

Protecting Trademarks/Profiting from Trade

Evan Kent – Partner, Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp, Los Angeles

Susan Ross – Partner, Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp, Los Angeles

Protecting your trademarks is critical to successful international trade. However, the trademark registration process elsewhere is very different than in the U.S.. This session will explore these differences and discuss trademark protection strategy for expanding your product line overseas, including best practices, whether you are seeking to protect your own trademarks or trade in legitimate goods with the trademarks of others on them.

Sectoral Focus: Opportunities and Challenges

Lee Broadhurst – International Marketing Manager, UPS, Riverside, CA

Stella Poon – Director, Hong Kong Trade Development Center, Los Angeles

Lawrence Tang – Head, Investment Promotion, Hong Kong Economic Trade Office, San Francisco

Speakers will share their perspectives on their individual sectors. Learn about how Hong Kong could help your business capitalize in the arising opportunities in China & Asia. Also, benefit from UPS’s experience with Global E-commerce, focusing on the opportunities and challenges from a transportation/logistics perspective.

Supply Chain -2025: How Globalization, Technology, and Omni Channel Will Define the Future

Nick Vyas – Executive Director, Global Supply Chain Management, USC Marshall School of Business, Los Angeles

How will the current market condition impact Supply Chain practices in Asia? How will companies react both short-term and long-term on end-to-end supply chain practices? Global markets are reacting as this could be an inflection point. This session will outline what this means for companies from end-to-end supply chain from both traditional retailing as well as omni-channel.

Tracking China: What Planet Are We Observing -Jupiter, Mars Or … Could It Be? … Earth

Tom Plate – Distinguished Scholar of Asia and Pacific Studies, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles and Columnist, South China Morning Post, Hong Kong

What you see depends on where you stand, right? So what do you see if you view China from Los Angeles?  Or from Hong Kong?  Or from inside China itself? Or from Washington?  South China Morning China Columnist (and Loyola Marymount University professor and Distinguished Scholar of Asian and Pacific Studies) Tom Plate reflects on the problem of perception and evaluation in real time, based on his work since 1 June 2015 as China columnist for one of Asia’s most prestigious newspapers.

U.S. – Asia Update 2017: Tracking Emerging Trends & Opportunities

David Stepp – Managing Partner, Bryan Cave LLP, Los Angeles & Singapore

Nicole Simonian – Partner, Bryan Cave LLP, Los Angeles & Singapore

Recent events and new regulations across Asia have generated risks and opportunities for global companies. Join Bryan Cave LLP’s Asia practice coordinator and Singapore office managing partner to gain invaluable insight into currency restrictions, data privacy laws, e-commerce considerations, and the potential impact of the Trump administration’s trade agenda.

Using the U.S. Commercial Service to Expand Your Export Sales to Asia/Pacific

Maryavis Bokal – Senior International Trade Specialist, U.S. Export Assistance Center, Irvine, CA

Jason Evans – Regional Manager, Asia-Pacific Advocacy Center, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, D.C.

James Golsen – Executive Director for Asia, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, D.C.

This is a great session to enhance your understanding of how to access and wisely use the U.S. Commercial Service capabilities working with U.S. domestic offices as well as with their overseas locations. This session helps prepare for one-on-one meetings with the Senior Commercial Officers during the conference. Join this dialog on how to make the most of this useful government resource to increase your exports.

Why Would a $6B Revenue Company Buy a Small Independent WOFIE in China?

Christopher Goode – Business Development Director, Danfoss Power Solutions-Work Function Division, Hopkinsville, KY and Zhenjiang, China

Given the economic slowdown that is occurring in China (with no apparent end in sight) worsening international relationships, what is it that attracts a large global company to make such an investment at this time? This seminar will examine the prevailing issues and the factors that convinced Danfoss that this acquisition was a good bet.

Xi Jinping and China’s “New Normal”: What to Expect?

Sidney Rittenberg – President, Rittenberg & Associates, Inc., Seattle, WA

Some of the issues that will be discussed are:  U.S.-China relations in the era of Trump, China’s economic outlook, collectivist ideology vs. self-interest, strengthening state ownership at semi-privatized State-Owned Enterprise (SOE).