International Trade

For more than three years, I’ve written the international trade pages of the Midlands’ leading business magazine, Insider.

Such publications can be dry and inaccessible, but Insider welcomes the personal touch, as with these words from a feature on China.

One of the most experienced observers of all things Chinese - particularly from the commercial perspective - is No5 Chambers’ Carole Murray.

She studied Chinese at Cambridge University, at a time when the People’s Republic was barely on the map in terms of business links with the West.

Fluent in Mandarin, and with first-hand knowledge of China‘s economy, Carole has recently written about the country for both the FT, and the International Investment Report.

Intriguingly though, despite the raft of advice and data now available, she believes many Western firms still approach China with a naïve mindset.

"Many foreign entities just don’t understand the difference between the old China and the new, and assume that all commercial relationships will work as they might in the most sophisticated cities, such as Beijing or Shanghai," says Carole.

"I have worked on deals where both sides have gone ahead with proposals, and it has later been realised that neither genuinely knew what the others wanted."

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