Susana de la Puente, an investment banking expert, has headed some of the most important financial transactions in Latin America, especially the privatisations of the 1990s and 2000s, which transformed and modernised the region’s economies. In recent years, Susana de la Puente has ventured into the tech start-up universe with a special interest in EdTech and Fintech.
In this interview, Susana de la Puente talks about China’s success, identifying the key factors that have catapulted the Asian giant to the top of the global economy. From government policies to a thriving workforce, as well as a strong focus on technology and innovation.
With China’s growing economic power, what are the main opportunities for global companies and especially for European start-ups?
China’s economic rise has opened up a range of possibilities for global corporations, both to use China as a supplier of human capital and technological resources and because of its immense market. European start-ups have a fertile field in which to sow. China has a massive potential market due to its vigorous technological progress and expanding middle class. These conditions offer ample potential for demand for goods and services. However, to successfully enter this market a thorough understanding of Chinese culture and legislation is required to effectively navigate and take advantage of the opportunities available.
Susana de la Puente, “Once considered an emerging market, the Asian nation is now recognised as one of the global economic powerhouses.”
- In your opinion, what has been the role of the Chinese government in driving this economic change?
Government strategies have played a key role in China’s economic metamorphosis. A path of aggressive promotion of public and private investment, trade opening, infrastructure investment, and welcoming foreign capital has been the foundation on which China’s extraordinary rise has been built.
In particular, it has taken strategic steps to promote innovation and technology as key drivers of economic growth. It has devoted significant resources to research and development, and actively supported technology companies and start-ups. Its strategic focus on these aspects, as well as its cost-competitive entrepreneurial workforce, have been crucial to China’s accelerated economic development in recent decades.
- In your experience, how have investors’ attitudes towards China and its economy changed over the last few years?
There has been a significant change. Once considered an emerging market, the Asian nation is now recognised as one of the global economic powerhouses.
- Given China’s rapid growth, how do you see the balance of global economic power changing in the coming years?
It is expected that, with China’s continued growth, there will be a realignment in the balance of global economic power. This restructuring will not only be a matter of size but will also influence the shaping of global norms in trade, finance, and technology. We may be on the verge of a more multipolar world, where economic decisions are not made within the framework of a single superpower.
Susana de la Puente, “European start-ups wanting to enter this vast market need to understand both cultural and regulatory differences.”
- How can European start-ups take better advantage of the Chinese market, taking into account cultural and regulatory differences?
European start-ups wanting to enter this vast market need to understand both cultural and regulatory differences. This means adapting marketing and sales strategies to meet Chinese consumer preferences. Familiarity with specific laws and regulations requires working with local consultants, law firms, and experts. In addition, establishing strategic alliances with local partners can help overcome ethnographic barriers and access established distribution networks.
- What is your perspective on the impact of China’s significant investments in technology and education on its economy in the short term?
They will have a substantial impact because they will allow for a greater boost in technological innovation, which will strengthen the country’s competitiveness in global markets. Moreover, the ongoing improvement in the quality of education will contribute to building a highly skilled workforce adapted to the demands of an ever-changing economic environment. In short, they will lay the foundation for China’s sustainable economic growth and further development in the years to come.