”China isn’t for wimps”, Frank Lavin used to say when he was the Undersecretary of Commerce in the U.S. administration. Despite fast market growth and a demand for foreign goods, it was never easy doing business in China. Now it is getting harder still – at least in sectors where Beijing is increasing regulatory barriers – and some suggest there is already an economic decoupling between China and the West. However, many Western companies are increasing their sales in China and have a larger share of their profits coming from there. In a new book, The Smart Business Guide to China E-Commerce (Penguin Business), Frank Lavin takes a fresh look at business and politics in China, and shares his experience from doing business in China over several decades. Is China closing itself? How are new trade and business restrictions causing friction? What are the secrets for success in China?
In this episode, Fredrik Erixon and Frank Lavin have a conversation about business and politics in China.
Frank Lavin was the Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade, and the lead trade negotiator for China. In his government career, he has been Political Director at the White House and U.S. Ambassador to Singapore. Lavin has also had senior leadership positions in banking and marketing, and in his business career he has helped many companies to succeed in China. He is the founder and chairman of Export Now and regularly writes about U.S. foreign and economic policy for newspapers and journals.