AmCham Shanghai held the first session of the Government Relations Workshop Series on Creating an Effective Government Relations Program on July 13. Jim McGregor, Chairman of Greater China for APCO Worldwide, provided an overview of how companies structured their GA teams and shared strategies and best practices for creating an effective GA program. The workshop also included a panel discussion which was moderated by Mr. McGregor and included Nina Wang, Vice President of Government Relations at Johnson Controls Inc, Sarah Crawshaw, Managing Director of Taylor Bennett Heyman, and Jimmy Chen, the Regional Vice President at FedEx Express.
The speakers agreed that the GA function plays an increasing important role in China’s New Normal. While there are different GA structures within companies, the speakers agreed that it was important for the GA function to have access to decision makers within the company and not to be limited to the legal department. To succeed, GA practitioners need to have a good understanding of Chinese policies such as Manufacturing 2025, Internet Plus, and One Belt, One Road and be able to explain these policies to company leaders.
The speakers also emphasized the importance of building good relationships with both local and central government officials through maintaining regular contact and providing these officials with information and assistance on meeting their goals. For example, companies can provide officials with industry best practices or strategies on difficult issues. They recommended against raising problems or complaints during the first meeting with an official as this would not be effective in resolving the problem and not lead to a strong long-term relationship. Please click here for a copy of the Workshop PPT.
The next Government Relations Workshop will be on Thursday, August 25 and will focus on Successful Chinese Government Engagement. Click “Read More” below for more details.