Shanghai, Hangzhou, Yiwu, Wuhan
May 15-19, 2006

Since 1994 The International Forum has been leading programs in China.  Over 250 leaders of global business have participated in our Forums all over China.

In 2006 we will lead a group of 20 business leaders on a traveling Forum through four cities in China: Shanghai, Hangzhou, Yiwu and Wuhan. 

Beginning in Shanghai, one of the worlds leading business cities participants meet with leaders of global companies operating in China as well as leaders of organizations who are solving some of China's social issues.  This is a chance to share questions and concerns with other leaders and to learn from each others experiences in China and the region.  From the vantage point of Shanghai, the door to the international community, we also discuss the changing political and geopolitical environment and the implications of this with experts. 

In Shanghai we addressed the challenges that cities face in China such as rapid growth, large migration of workers from rural areas, the increasing demands on education, infrastructure and healthcare - and how government and the private sector are dealing with this in their own unique way in China. 

From Shanghai, we travel by train to Hangzhou in neighboring Zhejiang province. Once the capital of the Southern Song Dynasty, today it is the location of one of China's top universities as well as home to many of China's technology companies.  In contrast to Shanghai which is heavily guided by the state, Zhejiang has a distinctly private entrepreneurial culture.  We meet with individuals who have transformed old state owned enterprises into competitive retailers and manufacturing companies.  Here is also a city rich in art and culture and participants may choose to explore this further while visiting a famous painter and potter. 

The city also provides an opportunity to explore the practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine, particularly in combination with western medicine.  A visit to Hangzhou's largest hospital and discussions with doctors and administrators helps participants to understand some of the challenges facing the healthcare system in China.  There are also opportunities to meet with high school and university students and their teachers.  This is the next generation of China's educated elite.  What are their aspirations, values and beliefs?  In small groups, participants and students exchange frank questions and share learning.

From Hangzhou we travel south to the city of Yiwu, the marketplace for those who come from all over the world to  buy goods from China at its source. Manufacturers of low cost, small commodities including socks and handbags, appliances and toys sell directly to traders and wholesalers from small shops and stalls in one of the enormous enclosed markets built by the local government.  In this city we meet with leaders of private companies that did not exist 20 years ago and which today are changing consumer markets around the world with aggressive cost structures and choice of products.

From Hangzhou we fly to Wuhan, capital of Hubei province and in the heart of China.  Here we meet with managers from Chinese and foreign companies in automotives, textiles, consumer products, food, plastics, packaging and technology.   The villages surrounding Wuhan provide insight into China's changing rural landscape and the social challenges brought about by China's economic reform.

The International Forum in China is an in-depth look at a country going through tremendous change and what this means for its institutions, people, government and for the rest of the world.  With special attention to the subtleties of Chinese culture and also our own cultures, the Forum experience is for leaders who recognize that being effective in business also requires a deep understanding of the culture and context in which business operates.  The Forum is also a journey of personal discovery and adventure as participants see China not only through their own eyes, but also from the perspective of the others with whom they are travelling.


For more information on this program including the experts who travels with us and the people whom we meet with along the way, please download a copy of our brochure or contact us at

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