Opening: Area Manager (Beijing) to SwedCham China

The Swedish Chamber of Commerce in China (SwedCham China) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization with 270 Swedish and Sweden-related member companies, officially recognized as foreign chamber by the PRC. Our mission is to advance our members’ business interests through Networking, Information and Advocacy.

To that end, our activities include events, seminars, closed-door dialogues, surveys, reports as well as top-level meetings. Furthermore, we aim to improve Sino-Swedish business ties and promote the Swedish brand through the Team Sweden collaboration with among others the Swedish Embassy and Consulate General, Business Sweden, etc.

In recent years, the Chamber has undergone a thorough modernization process to level up its offering, brand image and internal structure. The successful candidate will work hands on with the continued implementation of this process at a regional level.

The Role

To our Beijing office, we are looking for an Area Manager to take responsibility for the Chamber’s activities and operational development – in line with the Chamber’s modernization efforts and in close collaboration with the General Manager.

The position includes relationship building, regional business development, member recruitment and retention, as well as administrative and managerial duties. The ideal candidate should also display strong leadership skills in implementing organizational change, and feel comfortable shifting between strategic-level thinking and hands-on tasks.

Examples of responsibilities:

  • Manage the Beijing office’s day to day operations, budget planning and financial result according to quarterly targets.
  • Representing the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in meetings with members and partners.
  • Regional member recruiting and account managing responsibilities.
  • Coordinate high quality events (open-door seminars, closed-door dialogues, training programs, after-work events, gala evenings, etc.) together with the rest of SwedCham’s team.
  • Coordinate the coverage of Swedish, Chinese and international business trends.
  • Team management responsibilities for 1-2 staff, including development and performance review.
  • Preparing material for Chapter board meetings approximately 6 times per year.

Your Profile

To be successful in the position, we believe that you:

  • Hold a Bachelor’s degree or above within the fields of marketing, communications, or other relevant fields.
  • Have experience of multi-stakeholder partnerships, ideally including public, private, and non-profit actors.
  • Are Swedish and/or have strong ties to Sweden with a passion for Swedish brands and innovation.
  • Have experience from managing small teams, including recruitment and employee development.
  • Have experience from organizing events, from small business seminars to large social dinners.
  • Feel at ease with people at all levels and from all backgrounds. You are a natural networker.
  • Have experience of working in or with China. Being currently based in China is meritorious.
  • Speak and write impeccable business English. Swedish and Mandarin are highly meritorious.

Practical Details

This is a full time position.

It is highly preferred if candidates already possess a working (Z) visa.

Possible costs for visa issuance/transfer to be supported by the Chamber.

Remuneration based on local standards and experience.

For questions regarding the position, feel free to contact Martin Vercouter, General Manager (see below).

Apply by August 15, 2019 with letter and link to LinkedIn profile to martin@swedcham.cn

Starting date on September 2.

BJ: The video from the 2nd Annual Nordic Dragon Boat Tournament is out

In June SwedCham, together with DCCC – Danish Chamber of Commerce in China, Norwegian Business Association China and Finnish Business Council Beijing, organized the 2nd Annual Nordic Dragon Boat Tournament in Tongzhou.

300 people making up 14 teams and supporters competed to become the champion of 2019, eventually brought home by the Norwegian Business Association China.

🐲🐉🚣 Click here if you want to check out the full video (1,5 min) on Youtube or QQ.

BJ/SH: Team Sweden’s Business Climate Survey 2019 launched

Beijing, 17 Jun. 2019 | The 2019 edition of the Business Climate Survey, conducted every second year by Team Sweden in China, was presented in Beijing and Shanghai on June 10 and 13 respectively.

Attending in Beijing was Ambassador Helena Sångeland and in Shanghai, Consul General Lisette Lindahl. Also in attendance were close to 30 company representatives in each city as well as representatives of Business Sweden and SwedCham.

Ambassador Helena Sångeland (m)

Introducing this year's report, Business Sweden's David Hallgren and Joakim Abeleen, as well as SwedCham's Martin Vercouter, focused on some of the key trends from the survey:

  • Respondents were 102 Swedish companies in China, represented by one top-level representative each. They were divided according to main sector of activities in Consumer (17), Professional Services (31) and Industry (54). Size-distribution is even across sizes (employee count worldwide).
  • Revenue and profit for responding companies were both growing in 2018, although in general top line is increasing faster than bottom line, and the picture is getting different across sectors. The mode of 2018 y-o-y revenue growth distribution is at +15-20%, in line with annual reports published so far (+16%). Overall 66% report revenue increase 2017-18 (compare to EU average 59%).
  • Generally speaking, professional services come out on top in terms of reported (2017-18), forecasted (2018-19) growth in revenue and profit, while Industry is showing signs of divergence between sub-sectors.
  • The Chinese market is growing in importance for group revenue: two-thirds of respondents have China in top 3, and number share of China as number 1 market increased 7pp over 2017 to 2019 (24 to 31% of respondents).
  • In line with above, 89% cite access to China market as main reason for presence in the country (In 2013: 42%) and 71% of companies doing sales do so inside China.
  • At the same time, China is rising in importance as a hub to serve APAC region (only 40% serve only China, 21% serve whole APAC). But beware of challenges with difficulties of data & capital flow across borders (see below).
  • The business climate is overall positive, up slightly from 2017, and expectations on future climate are that it will remain unchanged or improve (with less than 20% predicting a less favourable climate over coming three years), although again more nuanced when zooming in on sectors.
  • Legal and regulatory framework is #1 concern, replacing Discrimination against foreign companies, indicating that there is cautious optimism about policy promises but also continued concern about their implementation and unchanged limitations of the legal system such as uneven enforcement, overriding interests, and specific laws such as cybersecurity law, etc.
  • Swedish firm boast high quality as main competitive advantage, and focus on innovation and digitalisation (also increasingly in B2B) to compete, but have a disadvantage in cost structure and lack of access to government.
  • At the time of the survey, 50% of the respondents did not perceive any impact of the US-China trade conflict, and among impacted companies the largest group (23%) say uncertainty is delaying investment. But the picture might have changed during Q2.
  • Swedish firms, irrespective of size, see Chinese SMEs as their biggest competitors in China, while State-Owned Enterprises are only seen as a main competitor by 16% of the respondents, mostly in Industry.
  • With regard to sustainable business, responding companies are very active, 76% have CSR as part of company strategy with Environmental Issues as #1 priority.

Please see here for the full report.

 

China Business Climate Survey Joakim Abeleen Martin Vercouter
Martin Vercouter

China Business Climate Survey Joakim Abeleen Martin Vercouter
Martin Vercouter, Joakim Abeleen

China Business Climate Survey Joakim Abeleen Martin Vercouter
Martin Vercouter, Joakim Abeleen

China Business Climate Survey David Hallgren Martin Vercouter
David Hallgren, Martin Vercouter, Fredrike Tamas Hermelin

BJ: Swedish for beginners in Beijing

F.t.l. Erika Staffas, Michael Hämäläinen, Joel Peng, Yawei Du, Edward Xie, Mingli Zhi.
Min Odenbro, Juanjuan Yao, Fang Ji, Renmin Li, Sophie Wei, Heyi Hang, Jaycee Yang

Through out the spring, 12 students from China and Finland have participated in our 12 weeks long beginners course to the Swedish language. Last week we concluded the course with a grand graduation ceremony where the students showed off their newly accuired skills.

The course was specially designed by Beijing Foreign Studies University’s school of European Languages and Cultures, who today is the only University program in China where one can do graduate with a bachelor in the Swedish language.

A big thank you to our teacher Joel, and Gina from BFSU and all of the students who entrusted us with their learning. And to Yuchen and Qun who joined the class and told the students personal stories about what it is like to learn Swedish and live in Sweden as a Chinese citizen.

We would also like to send a special thanks to SWEA who contributed with their cook book “Med kniv och gaffel i Kina” as graduation gifts to the students.

Are you interested in learning Swedish with us this fall? This autumn we will start a beginner course in Shanghai starting in August that you can sign up to already now, and in Beijing you will have another chance to join a course later this fall.

The Swedish Chamber of Commerce in China has appointed a new general manager

The chamber’s current General Manager, Martin Vercouter, has decided to leave his position by the end of August 2019. The board of directors has therefore carried out an extensive recruitment process during the spring, with a large number of qualified applicants.

Our final candidate, Daniela Ling-Vannerus Cassmer, will join the chamber on August 1, 2019, and formally take over the position as General Manager on September 1, 2019. Daniela will have to continue the strong development and improvement of the chamber that Martin Vercouter has built during his two years as General Manager.

Daniela has a background within marketing and economics and holds a Master’s Degree in International Business from the Schiller International University of Paris. Daniela also has a strong background within international media and sales with multiple positions internationally. Daniela is a Swedish citizen, she lives in Beijing with her husband and three children and speaks Swedish, Chinese, English and French.

Martin Vercouter will work in parallel with Daniela during August and leave his position by end of August.

Any questions will be answered by the Chairman of the board, Mr. Lars-Åke Severin

+86 186-1152-1166, larsake@psuchina.com

BJ: The 5th Swedish Career Fair held in Beijing

April 20th the 5th Swedish Career Fair was held in Beijing. The Swedish Career Fair is arranged annually both in Beijing and in Shanghai and it is a platform where talented young professionals can meet with company representatives to exchange ideas and opportunities. 

This year the fair was held at Renmin University in Beijing and attracted 350 guests and 16 exhibiting companies. The guests also had the opportunity to attend seminars and learn about White Peak’s new sustainable co-living concept Stey, what it is like to work and live in Sweden through a panel discussion with the Swedish Chinese Alumni Association and how to implement a sustainable leadership from Scania as well as the possibility to take professional CV photos. 

Click here to learn more about the Swedish Career Fair

 

Are you our next Young Professionals Board Member?

Who are we?
The Swedish Young Professionals in China (YP) is the youth committee of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in China. We focus on connecting young talented individuals with companies in Shanghai and Beijing through a range of activities such as company visits, midsummer parties and inspiring seminars.

What responsibilities will you have as a Board Director?
Joining the YP family means you’ll have the role as a Board Director together with four to five other young professionals in Shanghai
Engaging as a Board Director is an unpaid commitment, however we respect that your work or studies are priority
You will drive projects that you voluntarily have committed to
You will participate in as many of our events as possible

Who are you?
Knowledge in the Chinese and Swedish market
Experienced in project management, social media and WeChat
Looking to expand your network in China
Driven and excited to lead projects
Able to be creative and work well in teams
Spoken Mandarin is meritorious

How to apply?
Send an email (brief introduction and CV) to: Linn@swedcham.cn no later than April 30. Interviews will start in May.

Hope to see you! 🇸🇪🇨🇳

China-Sweden Seminar on Sustainable Business and Coordinated Development of Yangtze River Economic Belt

The CSR Centre of the Embassy of Sweden in Beijing and the Department of European Affairs of the Ministry of Commerce of China will organize a Seminar on Sustainable business and Coordinated Development of Yangtze River Economic Belt together with Hubei authority in Wuhan, Hubei on 20-21 May 2019. The purpose of the seminar is to increase mutual understanding about sustainable business and encourage more exchange among companies in Hubei and Sweden.

Your company is sincerely invited to join in the seminar to share your work on sustainable business in China or present your business or products to potential partners from Hubei Province.

The Sino-Nordic Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum was held during the first CIIE in Shang in November 2018 participated by high-level officials and corporate executives from Nordic countries, including Sweden, and Hubei Province. With the wish of supporting cooperation, the upcoming bilateral Seminar will bring together companies from Sweden and Hubei again to further explore common interest. Additionally, a field visit will be arranged on 21 May to get deeper understanding about local business environment.

If you are interested in attending the event, please save the date and register by sending Email to hua.yang@gov.se. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. The contact person is Yang Hua with telephone number 010 8531 1894.