Report on 11th Sino-German Controlling Forum in Suzhou on June 14, 2024

On June 14, 2024, the 11th Sino-German Controlling Forum-“Winning in Markets” was held successfully in Suzhou. More than 90 participants attended the event. This year, the event was organized by DUSA European Association Suzhou and Corporate Performance One, supported by International Association of Controllers (ICV), CA Controller Akademie, Taicang Roundtable, China-Italy chamber of Commerce, Wuxi Chamber of Commerce, Swiss Chamber of Commerce, Changzhou International Managers Forum, International Business School Suzhou at XJTLU (IBSS) and University of North Alabama.

The Sino-German business community recently celebrated a significant milestone with the 11th installment of its annual conference. This forum, which has been running since 2013, has once again brought together experts and professionals to exchange best practices and delve into cutting-edge topics in corporate financial management.

As businesses worldwide emerge from a challenging three-year period marked by pandemic-induced restrictions and increasingly competitive geopolitical landscapes, China’s market is entering a new phase of development. This transition poses unique challenges and opportunities for German and other multinational enterprises operating in the region. Companies are grappling with moderate market development, persistent supply chain issues, heightened sustainability requirements, and fierce competition from technologically advanced, cost-efficient domestic players.

To address these challenges, finance and controlling teams are leveraging innovative solutions in digitalization, artificial intelligence, and process efficiency. These advancements are crucial in mobilizing enterprise resources and accelerating the transformation processes necessary to remain competitive in this evolving market landscape.

Themed “Winning in Markets” the 11th annual Sino-German Controlling Forum 2024 served as an ideal platform for sharing and learning. German and multinational enterprises, along with their finance and controlling professionals, gathered to discuss market challenges, financial efficiency, and procedural best practices in China.

The forum featured presentations and workshops from leading companies such as Infineon, Kostal, Henkel Asia-Pacific, Schaeffler, BARC, Modula and Group. These sessions provided valuable insights into their journeys in digital transformation, HR management, KPI design, ESG reporting, supply chain controlling, and the application of generative AI.

Alexander Prautzsch, Director of PwC China, moderated the 11th Controlling Forum, Suzhou.

The forum began with welcome remarks by Mr. Julien Boussu, Board of Director of DUSA European Association Suzhou & CFO of Knorr- Bremse China. He expressed his gratitude to all the attendees, speakers and the organizers to the event.

Mr. Thomas Zimmerle, Senior Vice President & CFO of Greater China at Infineon Technologies China Co., Ltd gave the keynote speech: “Winning in Market through Digital Transformation – Experience from OneSAP@Infineon”.

Mr. Matthias Mross, Deputy Managing Director and CFO of KOSTAL Asia shared the topic with participants: “Lean Administration as Key Success Factor”.

The forum featured three workshops breakout sessions. At the 1st session: Mr. Bin HuangManager Sustainability Region Greater China at Schaeffler (China) Co., Ltd shared his topic: “European ESG rules and its implications for Chinese Companies”Mr. Tomas Kuccera, China General Manager at J.M. Gemini Personnel brought the topic “Talent Management & Retention in a Challenging Time”Dr. Jean-Yves Le Corre,Associate Professor of Practice, Educational Developer at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University shared his topic “Roadmap and Learning Solution for successful KPI design in organizations”.

The 2nd workshop breakout session also included 3 workshops.” Supply and Supply Chain Controlling in Henkel” shared by Vicky Yang & Amy Dan,Senior Manager Business Controlling for Adhesive Industry Business Unit at HenkelMs. Paula Yu,Finance Director & Vice General Manager of MODULA (China) Automation Equipment Co., Ltd. shared the topic “Financial Management Practice in Times of Digital Transformation”Mr. Stephane Monsallier,CEO & Founder of System in Motion shared the topic “How to Use AI Tools to Empower Controlling Functions”. We also delighted to invite Mr. Christian Kalkbrenner, the Finance and Administration Director at Zapp Precision Metals (Taicang). He was the moderator of the workshop.

Mr. Francesco Ingarsia, Chief Financial Officer of Schaeffler Greater China, Leader of ICV Work Group East China shared the result of 2024 SGCF Controlling Survey.

Mr. Stefan Sexl from BARC Fellow shared online the research insight from German-Speaking Countries “Boost Finance Productivity with Unified Performance Management – Current state and trends in German-speaking countries according to recent BARC market studies”.

In a special VIP presentation, Schubert Lou, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Group brought the topic “Evolution & Growth at Group: Striving in an Uncertain World”, and shared insights on the company’s evolution and growth amidst global uncertainties.

The 2024 Sino-German Controlling Forum proved to be a resounding success, with attendees lauding the insightful and engaging discussions and presentations.

Overall, the 11th annual Sino-German Controlling Forum successfully fostered an environment of collaboration and knowledge sharing, equipping participants with the tools and strategies needed to navigate the complexities of the Chinese market. As companies continue to innovate and adapt, forums like this remain essential for fostering a resilient, forward-thinking business community.

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