Editor: Mr. Wang, would you tell us something about your background?
Wang: I am a graduate of Tianjin Foreign Study University. Most of my career has been concerned with consulting about investment in China and supporting Chinese enterprises in their attempts to obtain financing and develop markets overseas.
Editor: What is the World Chinese Business Promotion Association?
Wang: The WCBPA is a worldwide organization of Chinese business people. It was founded in Hong Kong in 1992 under the principle of "Keep the peace and benefit the country, the people and ourselves," with a basic mission of promoting the development and prosperity of China by encouraging the cooperation of Chinese all over the world.
The members of the WCBPA are corporations and individuals who ascribe to the general proposition that cooperation among Chinese businesses, wherever they may be located in the world, promotes Chinese prosperity. Accordingly, the individual membership includes Chinese and overseas Chinese.
Editor: What are the services that the WCBPA provides its members?
Wang: The WCBPA is engaged in a number of activities designed to benefit its members. First, we try to provide a forum for businesspeople, economists and other scholars to study and discuss the issues of business administration and development of the economy in China today. In addition, we follow the current trends in trade and the economy and consult with our membership on the impact of those trends on foreign investment. We attempt to connect the organization's members so that they may share their experience and knowledge. As the country's economy continues to grow, the network we have established among the membership becomes increasingly important.
In addition, the WCBPA encourages its members to access the media, both within and outside China, to publicize themselves and their undertakings. Along the same lines, we promote communication between domestic and overseas Chinese businesses and business organizations, such as chambers of commerce and professional associations. This includes organizing and sponsoring conferences, expositions and programs designed to enhance a two-way communication.
The WCBPA also publicizes the activities of its members and of the various industries to which they belong. This information is disseminated to interested parties throughout the world.
Editor: Please tell us about some of the WCBPA's recent initiatives.
Wang: During the 1993-1995 period the WCBPA contacted several hundred thousand overseas Chinese in an effort to build support for Beijing's bid for the Olympics. Petitions were circulated, and we believe that our efforts contributed to Beijing being awarded the event in 2008.
Our organization's sponsorship of recent China Hi-Tech Fairs entails organizing groups from among our membership to attend what is, in effect, an exposition of Chinese technical prowess before the world. At the third such fair, held in 2002, the WCBPA was involved in the execution of contracts by Chinese businessmen amounting to approximately $2 billion.
The WCBPA recently established the World Chinese Research Academy of Renmin University. The Academy is engaged in research for Chinese enterprises, chambers of commerce, professional associations and economic development organizations, both domestic and overseas, concerning the development, focus and direction of Chinese business. The Academy's mission is to develop and then disseminate such research to Chinese business communities throughout the world.
Editor: Has China's accession to the World Trade Organization had an impact on the work of the WCBPA?
Wang: Since China joined the WTO, international communication in a variety of fields has become much easier. To the extent that the Chinese government has made it easier for overseas corporations to enter the Chinese market, the WCBPA's role as a bridge between China and the overseas Chinese business community has been enhanced. Our organization has been energized by China's accession to the WTO.
Editor: How does the WCBPA go about seeking to attract overseas investment in China?
Wang: We attempt to attract overseas investment to China in a number of ways. We deputize for a variety of governmental agencies and enterprises in sponsoring promotion seminars for potential investors. We attempt to establish, through our overseas connections, relationships between Chinese organizations, corporations, municipalities and a variety of instrumentalities of government and their counterparts abroad. We also work to establish connections between enterprises from abroad and potential Chinese partners from among our membership.
The WCBPA covers the entirety of China, and we work to provide a flow of investment to a variety of regions in the country, not merely those which have benefited from overseas investment from the earliest days of the opening of the Chinese economy. We have worked to found hi-tech zones throughout the country, and we have held investment and trade negotiation conferences in conjunction with the governments of Heze, Penglai and Jining in Shandong Province; of Nanjing; of Suqian in Jiangsu Province; of Yungcheng in Shanxi Province; of Xi'an in Shaanxi Province; of Yanling County in Hunan Province; of Zhengzhou and Xinzheng in Henan Province; and of Lanzhou in Gansu Province. The government of Lanzhou in Gansu Province has invested several billion RMB in the development of projects connected with these conferences.
Editor: Is the WCBPA engaged in promoting the interests of Chinese investment abroad? Say, through its connections with overseas Chinese communities?
Wang: Yes, increasingly so. We aim to serve and unify Chinese businesspeople across the world, and our network, which involves individuals, corporations and governmental agencies, is increasingly bound together by communication moving in both directions, from and toward China. As we move into the future, we see the WCBPA engaged not only in attracting investment to China, but also in guiding Chinese companies investing overseas. We wish to be part of the prosperity promised by the global economy.
Published December 1, 2005.