Office of Communications
470C Wohlers Hall
College of Business
June 7, 2002 -- News Brief
China and India are among the fastest growing economies in the world. Rich in natural resources and with large market potential, both countries offer exciting business opportunities for US firms seeking to expand their operations abroad. Both, however, have continuously evolving economic and political institutions that make doing business high risk, but with the potential for high return.
To assist midwestern firms interested in exploring opportunities in China and India, the Illinois CIBER (Center for International Business Education and Research) program hosted two internationally focused seminars at the end of May. The two day-long sessions featured morning and afternoon panel discussions as well as informal receptions for networking. In addition to the registered business representatives, ten students from the Illinois MBA Program and College of Commerce and Business Administration PhD candidates attended the seminars. These seminars are part of CIBER's mission to offer teaching, research, and outreach programs that help advance the global knowledge and cross-cultural skills of business professionals as well as students and faculty.
Doing Business in China: Opportunities and Challenges under WTO attracted more than 50 participants from Illinois and Indiana to the University Club in Chicago. The morning panel discussion on business opportunities under the WTO (World Trade Organization) and the afternoon session addresses management challenges. The luncheon speaker was Earl Kellogg, Associate Provost, International Programs and Studies, University of Illinois, who also hosted the closing reception.
Presenters covered a range of topics, including the experiences of a smaller company (Littelfuse Corporation, LF) that considers China a key part of their growth strategy. Bill Barron, vice president and general manager of LF, recounted the company's growth from no sales in China eight years ago to their current sales level of $20 million annually. The company began construction of their China factory in 1995 to service their local customers but now also exports from China. Bill Royer, project administrator for Caterpillar, specifically addressed the impact of China's recent entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO), the only global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations. Royer noted that all business segments -- from agriculture to telecommunications to professional service -- are impacted by the change.
Doing Business in India
More than 30 participants attended the May 31 India seminar. The morning panel discussed the impact of economic reform and privitization in India. The afternoon session focused on management challenges in India under economic reform. The keynote speaker was former Illinois Govenor and current University of Illinois faculty member Jim Edgar (shown far left with Joseph Cheng). Anju Seth, professor of business administration at the University of Ilinois who was representing the UI Program in South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, hosted the closing reception.
Among the presenters at the India seminar was Rupesh Santoshi, a manager and economist with Deloitte & Touche LLP. In his presentation summary, Santoshi indicated that he would focus his talk on "best practices and war stories" rather than specifics of the tax code, which can be daunting. He noted that while the Indian government is making efforts to attract direct foreign investment by offering tax incentives, the effective corporate tax rate for non-Indian corporations is almost 48%. Careful planning and management by US-based multinational corporations of their Indian operations can result in significantly lower taxes according to Santoshi.
vice-president and general manager, Littelfuse Inc., Electronics Division
former govenor of Illinois and faculty member in the Institute of Government
and Public Affairs
Established in 1993, Illinois CIBER was recently funded by the US Department of Education for an additional four years. The new CIBER agenda includes projects that are explicitly designed to serve national audiences and over half involve partnering with campus departments and units outside the College of Commerce and Business Administration. The CIBER team will promote interdisciplinary research, expand and enrich courses and curricula, develop study abroad programs, expand business outreach, and organize a global consortium of universities to further enhance Illinois CIBER's capability as a national resource center. Joseph Cheng, professor of business administration, directs Illinois CIBER.
On the CIBER education agenda is the coordination of internationally focused courses and overseas study tours. This summer, two classes traveled to very different parts of the globe.
Upcoming educational opportunities include the following conferences:
For more information, contact Lynnea Johnson, associate director of Illinois CIBER, at 217-333-8335.