Our information session at HSBC was one of my favorite parts of the trip thus far. First off, I knew they were a dominating corporation in the space, but I did not realize how HUGE of an international presence they had (all around the globe.) Obviously Shanghai and Honk Kong are extremely large markets for them, so I was interested to hear about their operations in those cities more specifically. For the purpose of this class, I was even more specifically interested in learning about the extent of government control in the banking space and how it effects their operations. By far, the biggest control issue that stuck out to me is the HSBC’s ability to work with client’s assets in other countries. Every single lending transaction is checked and regulated for government records. Generally speaking too, the banks also all abide by specified government rates as well, which is different than in the US.
Tala asked the speakers if they believed that the government intentionally lowers the value of the Chinese Yuan. The woman had a very generic and, almost political answer. China has been accused of keeping the yuan undervalued and buying up various other foreign currencies. Doing so is a huge boost for manufacturers and for various other businesses in China as well. Doing this increases economic development in China. However, she was not able to really discuss that at all with us it seemed. Overall, I really enjoyed the various insights at this metting. It really gave me even more motivation to add an international business emphasis.
As for the consulate, I had a great time there as well. The two speakers were extremely nice and open to all of our questions. However, many were asking questions that they were not truly able to answer. This meeting is really when I began understanding the importance of the relationship between China and the US and how many countries rely on it in order to grow. Shlomi reminded me of an old African proverb that was said during the trip about their relationship: “When two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers most”.
Both the US and the Chinese realize that each of their economies could not live without each other. For that reason, the relationship is continuing to grow. The Chinese are beginning to respect and adhere to copyright issues that have been a problem in the relationship in the past, and the Americans are making improvements as well. Cultural relativism plays a huge role in this relationship, as it does with most. Both sides understand the importance of that when developing and creating new policies (and in doing business.)