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Tue 06 Jun 2017

International Law Update: JPC Law in China

 

 

 

Change is inevitable. Whether you voted to remain in the EU or agreed with the vote to leave what we have to accept is that a significant period of transition is ahead of us all. But with change comes great opportunity too.

 

Over the next 10 – 15 years, 90% of global economic growth is expected to be generated outside Europe and therefore, emerging markets must be a priority for the UK post-Brexit.  Recognising the importance of the need to therefore focus on building stronger relations globally, JPC Law’s international partner, Niten Chauhan was invited to China last month to meet with local businesses, Government officials and law firms in what is still described today as the world’s fastest growing economy.

 

Part of a delegation from the firm’s international network, The League of Lawyers, Niten visited China with associate lawyers from firms in Denmark, Germany and India to meet with leading figures in various industries within Tianjin; the fifth largest city in China which also boasts one of the world’s leading shipping ports.

 

Having met with Mr Jin Song Mao, the Deputy Director of the Tianjin Commission of Commerce, he explained that strong economic growth was transforming the city into China’s largest industrial hub for modern manufacturing, research and development as well as international shipping and logistics given it boasted the country’s largest northern sea port. 

 

Whilst this had meant that in recent years the city had attracted world-famous names such as Toyota, Samsung and Motorola, there was still a distinct lack of presence from businesses from Europe and particularly the UK. When asked why he thought this might be the case Mr Mao was very candid about the difficulties faced by overseas companies wishing to do business in China which could vary from simple cultural differences to lengthy procedures considered by many Europeans to be bureaucratic.

 

However, Mr Mao put it best when he said “First comes friendship, then comes trust and then the work will follow” thus highlighting the need to meet and learn from one another before any business could be done. In that simple statement, he certainly captured the essence of what the delegation hoped to achieve by taking the time to travel to the Far East and speak with him and others in person. As a result, Mr Mao certainly welcomed the meeting with Niten and his associates and described it as a great opportunity to build a better understanding between China and the outside world.  

 

In the coming days the delegation also went on to meet with Mr Meng Xiao, the director of Skyland Sport Tech Co. Limited; a local bicycle company. It was here that they truly saw a gleaming example of the growth enjoyed by local Chinese companies as result of international collaborations whilst Mr Xiao spoke passionately about the changing face of his own bicycle business. 

 

In just 10 years Skyland had grown from a local manufacturer to a global supplier now designing, building and supplying all shapes and sizes of bicycle to countries around the world. Niten even got the chance to test-drive their latest creation; an electric powered bicycle that people could hire and recharge at docking stations across the city. This led to an interesting discussion between them given Niten saw this as a competitor to London’s own ‘Boris Bike’ but Mr Xiao was excited by the opportunity to learn more and both men agreed to meet again later in the year in London when Skyland would be part of a Chinese trade fair in the capital.

 

Whilst the delegation’s visit continued with several other meetings, the trip culminated with a meeting hosted by Allbright Law Offices, a leading full-service Chinese law firm with over 1,500 lawyers providing legal services to both domestic and international clients from 18 offices across China and Hong Kong.

 

During this meeting, Niten and his fellow associates certainly enjoyed a frank discussion with senior partners at Allbright about the challenges faced by lawyers and their clients as a result of the uncertainty that lay ahead for them post Brexit. However, Allbright were quick to dispel cause for concern and reminded them that their focus should not be on the fall-out as a result of the UK leaving the EU, but existing development strategies such a the ‘One Belt, one Road’ initiative which was unveiled by Chinese President, Xi Jinping  in late 2013.  

 

Ms Juanjuan Yu, a senior partner at Allbright explained that the initiative focused on connectivity and cooperation between Europe and China, with the development of  the land-based ‘Silk Road Economic Belt’ and the ocean-going ‘Maritime Silk Road’ through building infrastructure and broadening trade across 60 different countries. However, she went onto say that vision could only be achieved if alongside such development there continued to be increasing cultural exchanges between individuals, government officials and professionals such as lawyers so that both sides could learn from one another. 

 

This only served to crystallise Niten’s views over the course of the trip that in times of change people will always be faced with the daunting possibility of the unknown however, by supporting professionals in other countries, overcoming cultural differences and sharing knowledge instead we could all build a brighter future together.

 

Certainly, the delegation had taken an active and welcome step in helping to achieve this goal by visiting Tianjin and seeing for themselves what China had to offer to them, their clients and the world as a whole.  

 

In turn, JPC Law see this an important platform for its clients doing business abroad or considering the same, particularly in China, to use the firm’s network, its global contacts and international reach in this time of economic change but even greater opportunity. 

 

 

Niten Chauhan is a Partner at JPC Law.

For more information on Commercial Litigation and all forms of International Dispute Resolution please contact him:

E: nchauhan@jpclaw.co.uk

T: 020 7644 7263

General Enquiries

E: Enquiries@jpclaw.co.uk

T: 020 7625 4424

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