On Tuesday June 19th 2012, The Finnish Business Council together with the Danish Chamber of Commerce Shanghai hosted a breakfast seminar on the 5th Plenary of the 11th National People’s Congress provided by Kenneth Jarrett, Chairman of APCO Worldwide’s Greater China Region. Around 30 participants attended the seminar.
The NPC is billed as state’s most powerful political body with 3000 delegates representing all provinces, autonomous regions, self-administrating municipalities, Hong Kong and Macau, PLA and Taiwan. In reality, the annual meeting is tightly scripted and follows Party directions. Nevertheless, NPC provides an important snapshot of political environment, Mr. Jarrett continued.
This year, social media has given NPC meeting a new prominence. The users of social media, such as Weibo, posted comments about most interesting things said by delegates that the state official media ignored. The attendees of NPC have also acknowledged this phenomenon. According to Mr. Jarrett, 141 NPC delegates and 183 CPPCC members are active on Weibo.
Regarding the implications for foreign businesses, Mr. Jarrett expects policy continuity, the rising importance of MNCs’ technological expertise and broad-based government outreach with a strong social media strategy.
At the end of the seminar, Mr. Jarrett shared his scenario on the upcoming leadership transition. From the new leadership, he anticipates continuity in pursuing economic rebalancing, social welfare and consumption initiatives, and investments in security sectors.