About 500 corporate executives, legal counsel and business elites attended the first CBLJ Forum, hosted by Vantage Asia, the publisher of China Business Law Journal and Asia Business Law Journal, at the JW Marriott Hotel in Beijing on 3 April.

The forum, which carried the theme “Seizing business opportunities and managing legal risks”, also attracted about 100,000 people who watched the event live on a special SINA webpage.

The event was supported by Beijing Arbitration Commission (BAC) and strategically partnered by SINA Finance and SINA Fawen.

A panel discussion in progress at the CBLJ Forum 2019 in Beijing
A panel discussion in progress at the CBLJ Forum 2019 in Beijing

Keynote speaker and observer in the field of humanities and finance, Qin Shuo, headed a list of nearly 30 speakers from different companies and academic circles.

Chen Fuyong, deputy secretary-general of the BAC, extended warm congratulations to China Business Law Journal for hosting the forum. In his speech Chen said arbitration was the cutting edge in dispute resolution, as it was not subject to geographical areas and different levels of jurisdiction.

Deng Qingxu, senior vice president of SINA.com, stated in his speech that SINA Finance had witnessed the rise of China’s commercial society in the past 20 years, during which time legal awareness had greatly improved. “Legal risks are the challenges which deserve the attention of every market player,” said Deng.

After the opening speeches, Qin Shuo, who is also founder of Chin@Moments and the Commercial Civilization Research Centre of China, gave his keynote address on “In-depth globalization and compliance issues”.

Qin stressed the growing importance of law in China’s economic “new normal”, and pointed out that Chinese companies needed to enhance their understanding of compliance on their path to becoming global companies. “The other side of risk for Chinese companies is global opportunity. [Chinese companies] should think in global terms to create global enterprises,” he concluded.

Panel discussions followed and in the morning Zhong Lun Law Firm moderated a discussion on “Corporate compliance management”, touching upon issues such as executive’s responsibility, securities compliance, criminal law compliance, anti-corruption in private enterprises, and how to cope with government supervision; AllBright Law Offices took on “Financial Markets, opportunities in investment and financing, and legal risks prevention”; East & Concord Partners spoke on “The impact of GDPR on the business model of China’s internet companies and its future trend”; and Dentons China moderated a discussion on “Legal challenges for companies in cross-border investment and financing”.

Seven sessions were split between two halls in the afternoon. Tian Yuan Law Firm moderated a discussion on “Hot issues in mergers and restructuring in 2019”; Guantao Law Firm took on “Market trend analysis of PE funds and equity investment”; Commerce & Finance Law Offices discussed “IPO strategies and risk management for companies in the new economic industries”; Wintell & Co spoke on “Financial dispute resolution”; Zhong Lun Law Firm took on “Energy projects going global against the background of the Belt and Road Initiative”; Dentons China discussed “Corporate bankruptcy: how to deal with non-performing assets and disputes”; and Zhong Lun Law Firm explored “Corporate compliance management: data and export control”.

Response from counsel to the packed programme was positive. “I would say that the issues discussed on the forum are also issues we paid great attention to in the past six or 12 months. These issues have a direct impact on our work,” said Bi Liyan, deputy general manager of legal division at China Minmetals Corporation.

“The profiles of the guest speakers are excellent, and all fit the theme very well. They are professionals with credibility,” said Yen Chen, legal director and securities affairs representative at Meten International
Education Group.

“I want to say that, thanks to China Business Law Journal’s wide networking, [the forum] involves a very diversified workforce, not only including leading local law firms, but also the leading arbitration institutions, and some top in-house legal counsel,” said Victor Shen, the chief legal counsel at Henkel Greater China and Korea. “By such diversification, I am quite sure that it will bring attendees a lot of takeaways.”

Kelley Fong, publisher of China Business Law Journal, described the event as “a grand gathering of key business law stakeholders, which would not have been so successful without the full support of all our readers and friends.

“The continual positive feedback we have had from in-house counsel and other participants at the forum has been most encouraging, and has given us the impetus to continue to arrange other events in future,” he said.

For more information about the forum plus interviews of throught leaders, please visit: vantageasia.com/forum