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How western companies are dealing with the new economic superpower

As the clock ticks away towards the next millenium, all eyes are on China. For this once most isolated and backward of countries is well on its way to becoming the world's number one economy.

Events of recent months only serve to emphasise this nigh-on miraculous transformation. Following a party to end all parties, Hong Kong has finally returned to the fold with its new rulers emphasising one clear message: business as usual.

With one fifth of the world's population within its borders, China represents a huge and largely untapped market. Small wonder that so many international business leaders have been rushing to grasp the opportunities that this economic phenomenon presents; nor, for that matter, that some have had their fingers burnt through too much haste.

In this extensive section, World Statesman has spoken to some of the most experienced and successful business leaders involved in China. Each of them has commented on the key issues facing their operations, on the prospects for further business-friendly reform and, perhaps most important of all, on the major problems a company faces in trying to enter the Chinese market.

China is opening the gateway to further foreign intervention. But as these experts make clear, only companies with an understanding of the pitfalls will find a way to reap the riches.

Jumping Pitfalls - John Beyer of the China-Britain Trading Group
The Legal Challenge - Clifford Chance's Edward Epstein warns against the risks
Investing in the Future - David Lowes of Flemings comments on the Chinese way of business
Out from Isolation - Kleinwort Benson's Robin Fox on the country's need for foreign finance

AT&T; - William Warwick on an international company's role in a rapidly developing market
Telstra - Charlie Zoi explains his company's strategy in China

Why I oppose MFN - Dick Gephardt, Democratic Leader of the House of Representatives, explains his opposition to America's current trade policy with China

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©Kensington Publications 1997