Political and Economic Insight into China

Food industry executives need to constantly be looking ahead, and regularly assessing risks and opportunities; nowhere is such constant vigilance more important than it is in China, according to Mr Bill McCahill, Advisory Board Member of Veracity Worldwide.

Mr McCahill, who is also Veracity's Regional Advisor for China and Hong Kong, is a former United States diplomat with nearly 40 years’ experience in Chinese politics and government, made this observation as he addressed Food Industry Asia (FIA) members and guests at the latest FIA Lunch Series session, titled China: Political and Economic Insight, held in Singapore.

 

Mr Bill McCahill, Advisory Board Member and Regional Advisor for China and Hong Kong at Veracity Worldwide, provides insight into China's political and economic landscape during an FIA Lunch Series session on 8 June.

“Government policies on food safety and food security; government favouring ‘national champions’ at the expense of foreign competitors; consumer concerns about food safety, security and nutrition; fickle consumer tastes; the movement of perishable foods around a vast country; and a whole range of other matters require food companies to be constantly vigilant as they navigate the regulatory landscape in China,” Mr McCahill said.

Mr McCahill then went on to give the participants insights into how the political economic landscape of China will look following Mr Xi Jinping’s second term as General Secretary. In his speech, Mr McCahill provided details of the Chinese Communist Party’s leadership and advised the audience that what happens within the Party’s top leadership directly affects the terms of doing business in China.

“We observers – including food industry executives – should keep a very close eye on how Xi Jinping and his leadership navigate the next few years of development. If the Party leadership remain coherent and stable, steady and sensible policies should ensue, which could benefit doing business in China,” Mr McCahill said.

 

Mr Steven Fox, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Veracity Worldwide, addresses participants at the start of the FIA Lunch Series session.

In his presentation, Mr McCahill outlined details of the upcoming “elections”, China’s goal of doubling GDP by 2020 and the Communist Party’s 19th National Congress. He also touched on how the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative is Mr Xi's signature foreign policy initiative, which the Chinese leader hopes will extend China's influence into Central and Southeast Asia and beyond, as well as contribute to China's economic growth in the coming decades.

Bill McCahill served for 25 years in the U.S. Foreign Service, which culminated in the role of Chargé d’Affaires of the American Embassy in Beijing, where he played a key role in concluding the Sino-American Bilateral WTO Agreement. He has also directed political, commercial, and economic efforts in Hong Kong and Beijing for the Foreign Service. He currently sits on the Advisory Board of Veracity Worldwide, a strategic advisory firm with offices in Singapore, New York, and London. Veracity’s Singapore contact is Troy Shortell, Managing Director for Veracity Asia; he is contactable at tshortell@veracityworldwide.com.


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