On 5 July 2018, the Chinese Enterprises Going ASEAN Symposium was held in Shanghai. Dignitaries attending the event include Chairman Dong Yunhu of the 13th CPPCC Shanghai Committee, Vice Chairman Zhou Hanmin of the 13th CPPCC Shanghai Committee, Deputy Secretary-General Gu Jinshan of Shanghai Municipal Government, former Minister of the State Council Information Office Zhao Qizheng, former Chinese Ambassador to Thailand and Myanmar Guan Mu, Vice President Gong Jianzhong of China Public Diplomacy Association, Vice Chairman Yang Chonghui of China Economic and Social Council, Tean Samnang, Consul-General of Cambodia in Shanghai, Siti Nugraha Mauludiah, Consul-General of Indonesia in Shanghai, Loh Tuck Wai, Consul-General of Singapore in Shanghai, and former Singaporean Ambassador to the United Nations Kishore Mahbubani. In total, there were more than 300 guests present, including government officials from ASEAN countries and China, representatives of international organizations, business communities, think tanks and media. An official from ASEAN-China Centre (ACC) attended the event upon invitation.
The theme of the symposium is “create a new era of China-ASEAN cooperation”. Participants had in-depth discussions on opportunities and challenges faced by Chinese enterprises going into ASEAN countries under the Belt and Road Initiative. Dong Yunhu said in his remarks that the Belt and Road Initiative has made great progress, transforming from notion into action and from vision into reality. The symposium witnessed lively discussion on new opportunities and impetus for Chinese enterprises going ASEAN, fully reflecting the new situation and requirements for the development of China-ASEAN relations, and the common aspiration for cooperation and development between ASEAN countries and China. Zhao Qizheng noted that public diplomacy is fundamental for Chinese enterprises going global as they encounter not only business partners but also the whole society of that country. Each ASEAN country is different in politics, economy, and cultural environments, therefore, Chinese enterprises need to learn and adapt to local conditions accordingly. Kishore Mahbubani expressed the view that Southeast Asia is the most dynamic and diversified region in the world. With ASEAN’s support, the Belt and Road Initiative will take a huge leap forward, because ASEAN possesses unique advantages of being trusted by all parties and having achieved rapid economic development, which is reflected in political, economic and cultural aspects. Officials from Consulates General of Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam gave briefings on trade and investment policies and the business environment of their own countries.