Successful Sino-German Controlling Forum

By Maggie Chen,  DUSA (Suzhou European Business Assocation) in Suzhou / China

On June 16, 2023, the 2023 Sino-German Controlling Forum took place in Suzhou which is organized by DUSA European Association Suzhou and Corporate Performance One and supported by German Chamber of Commerce China, Taicang Roundtable, CA Controller Academie, Wuxi Chamber of Commerce and International Association of Controllers (ICV). This highly anticipated event brought together over 80 financial professionals to discuss and exchange ideas on financial management.

The theme of the forum was “Controlling for Transformation,” with a particular emphasis on the role of financial controllers in driving financial transformation in organizations. At the forum, speakers exchange amongst Finance as well as non-financial professionals in Sino-German business community on some of the topics. What are the business models for future success and which industries have the potentials for future growth: The analysis of current state and future outlook of German business in China will be necessary for both large multi-national companies and small-to-medium sized enterprises which are adapting to an increasingly complex business environment.

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

Dr. Sigrid Winkler, Deputy Executive Director of German Chamber of Commerce China · Shanghai gave the keynote speech: “The World Has Changed – Status and Outlook of German Business in China” which exploreed how German companies in China are adapting to an increasingly complex global and local environment. How to address and cope with instabilities, what are business models for future success and which industries have a potential for future growth?

Mr. Xavier Alarcón, Chief Financial Officer at SAIC-Volkswagen Shanghai Sales company shared with participants his experience in Automotive Sector: “Controlling in the Automotive Sector – Challenges and People”. He focused on How does the Controlling function contribute to the sustainable navigation of the company in these demanding times maintaining a human touch to bridge the different cultures?

The forum featured two workshop breakout sessions. At the 1st session, Ms. Airu Gong, Chief Financial Officer at Poclain Hydraulic (Shanghai) Co. Ltd., Mr. Richard Jiang, Associate Director of PwC Shanghai and Mr. Julien Boussu, Regional Financial Controller at Knorr-Bremse Rail China addressed the controlling for value chain location, Leveraging government grants and tax incentives in the B2B sector after COVID and Digital upskilling – framework for implementation.

The 2nd workshop breakout session also included 3 workshops. Ms. Lily Wu, Chief Finance Officer at ruhlamat Asia Group and Mr. Ronnie Chen, Operation Controlling Manager at ruhlamat Suzhou introduced their experiences and lessons on digital transformation for business growth. Mr. Matthias Tschermak von Seysenegg, Vice President Finance & IT of NOK-Freudenberg China explicated his understanding on Finance as Business Partner. Mr. Haiguang Li, Chief Information Officer from Schaeffler Holding (China) Co. Ltd. presented the modern work flow system from an IT perspective.

Following the 2 workshop sessions, Mr. Andrei Li, who is leading S/4 Finance development team in accounting area in SAP Labs China displayed more features of SAP from Controllers’ Perspective.

Mr. Francesco Ingarsia, Chief Financial Officer of Schaeffler Greater China, Leader of ICV Work Group East China presented the result of the ICV Controlling China Survey 2023 Results.

Last but not least, speakers discussed the survey result at the panel session.

At the forum, attendees also had the opportunity to participate in interactive workshops and networking sessions, which provided invaluable opportunities for knowledge-sharing and collaboration.

The 2023 Sino-German Controlling Forum proved to be a resounding success, with attendees lauding the insightful and engaging discussions and presentations. This event served as a testament to the increasingly important role of financial management in driving business growth and innovation. Overall, the forum was a valuable opportunity for financial professionals to come together, learn from one another, and set the stage for collaborative efforts toward achieving financial transformation. It is gratitude to every speaker, moderator, participant and partner. We look forward to meeting everyone of you at the next Sino-German Controlling Forum.

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