In search of El Dorado


Chinese investors are beating a path to Latin America. Meanwhile, back on the Bund, Shanghai is installing its own Wall Street bull

“Welcome to issue four of China Business Law Journal. This month we again offer a new perspective on China’s emergence at the forefront of global business – an in-depth analysis of the opportunities and difficulties of trade and investment between China and the 20 nations that together are known as Latin America.

CBLJ-201004That name derives from the rich historical and cultural legacy Latin Americans share. As our coverage illustrates, strategies for building successful business relationships in each country also share common features. Alongside abundant natural resources – Latin America is a major source of minerals vital to modern electronics, as well as other sought-after commodities – the region boasts complex, sophisticated economies in which business lawyers have a crucial role to play.

Of course, outbound investment from the PRC is not confined to raw materials, whether in Latin America or elsewhere. China Business Law Journal has spoken to lawyers involved in Geely Automobile’s landmark agreement to purchase Volvo from Ford (please see Stockholm syndrome? on page 5). We are pleased to give voice to some of the practitioners who worked behind the scenes to shape this deal, which has drawn attention around the world.

This issue’s cover story (Bull market sparks IPO revival, page 19) investigates IPOs in China – with a difference. How can in-house counsel best prepare for the daunting process they face when their company goes public? A common event for capital markets practitioners, an IPO is often a once-in-a-career challenge for their in-house colleagues. The views that each group holds about the other make interesting reading.

China’s capital markets have rebounded strongly since the global financial crisis and IPOs are now firmly back on the agenda. Indeed, Shanghai is erecting its own bronze statue of a bull on the Bund. The bull has been created by Arturo DiModica, the same sculptor who shaped the iconic Wall Street bull in New York. Shanghai clearly feels that every global financial centre needs a bull. But as the repercussions of the global financial crisis continue to be felt in the US, is it really the best time to be aping the bull of Wall Street?