Over the course of just a few decades, China has emerged as one of the world's most important economic powers and top exporting nations. Many American companies are eager to do business with, and in, this nation on the rise, but are looking for expert assistance and advice. The U.S.-China Link, a new initiative at WPI, is aimed at leveraging the university's renowned undergraduate project program to give small- and medium-sized manufacturers in Central Massachusetts an effective and low-cost way to explore business opportunities, learn about best practices, and establish collaborative partnerships.
The initiative will be the subject of a conference from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, May 7, 2010, in the WPI Campus Center. Visit the conference website for more information and a complete program.
WPI student teams have completed or will soon complete projects in a number of cities in China, including Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Tianjin, and Wuhan. Students participating in WPI's China program work on actual business and engineering problems of manufacturers, in such areas as manufacturing problems, green operations, robotics, and supply chain issues. In addition, they gain a greater understanding of both Chinese cultural and business practices, experience that will greatly benefit their future U.S. employers.
At the conference, which is co-sponsored by the Manufacturing Advancement Center (MAC) and supported by a grant from the Business and International Education Program of the U.S. Department of Education, executives from such local companies as AmphenolTCS, Darmann, Nypro, and Stanlok will discuss the successful experiences they have had working with WPI student project teams to facilitate existing Chinese business operations or to conduct feasibility and market studies for entry into China. WPI faculty members who advise China student projects and a student project team that worked in China will also participate, as will Julia Dvorko, Central Massachusetts regional director for the Massachusetts Export Center.
The conference will also feature experts from the Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment (MOITI), the Massachusetts Export Center, and the Chinese government, as well as experienced consultants, who will offer perspectives from both the Chinese and U.S. sides on current and future opportunities available in China and offer timely and practical knowledge and tools for doing business in the Chinese market. There will be four plenary talks:
- "Navigating the Land of Opportunity: China 2010 and Beyond," Kris Knutsen, senior manager, U.S. Chinese Services Group, Deloitte Services LP
- "China Outlook for the Next Decade," Xylina Wu, director of business development, Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment
- "The China Challenge: Top Five Mistakes Companies Make," Kenneth McGuire, director, MAC and Management Excellence Action Coalition
- "How SMEs Can Do Business Successfully in China," Wei Cheng, chief managing researcher, Research Center of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council (SASAC) in China