Speakers and Moderators

Joachim von AMSBERG

Vice President, Policy and Srategy, AIIB, Beijing


Member of the Board of Directors, American Chamber of Commerce in China, Beijing

Michael Barbalas is a Beijing, China based speaker, board member and consultant. He served as a member of the board of the American Chamber of Commerce in China for 2014 and 2015.

Until December 2012 he served as Vice President, China programs for UTC Aerospace Systems overseeing Aerospace Customers & Business Development for China and the integration of Goodrich China after Goodrich was acquired by UTC.

Michael joined Goodrich in 2010 as President for China business to provide operational support for existing China facilities and for the development and implementation of an enterprise-wide China strategy.  He provided an overall Goodrich executive interface within China at vital government and industry organizations; supported China related business unit initiatives; and coordinated overall supply chain strategies and other manufacturing and aftermarket infrastructure with the broader regional and enterprise goals. 

Prior to Goodrich he served as the President of the American Chamber of Commerce in China from November 2006 to March 2010 where he led the programs and services to support over 1,200 member companies and 2,600 individual members.  He previously served on the board of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and was Vice Chairman in 2005.  He also chaired the Shanghai Manufacturers Business Council.

From 1997 to 2006, he was Managing Director, Andrew Telecommunications (China) Co. Ltd.  He led Lean Six Sigma efforts that generated annual savings exceeding $1 million per year.  He previously worked in management positions in Tianjin, China for Management Technologies International, and in Hong Kong for Friends of China Foundation. He holds a B.S degree in Chemistry from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Cornell University. Michael reads and speaks Chinese.

He is a frequent speaker in both the USA and China on US-China investment and business.

Michael was one of the first foreigners to be granted China permanent residence status. He is a member of the National Committee on US-China Relations.

Ulrich BIRCH
Ulrich BIRCH

Former Chairman of the Board, Southwest China, European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, former Senior Manager Consenec Ltd. (ABB), Chongqing; Interim Manager, Coach & Executive Advisor for China & Asia

Mr. Ulrich O. Birch, a Swiss citizen of 65 years, holds a master degree in Electrical Engineering from ETH in Zurich, as well as a diploma in Business Administration. He has been in senior executive positions at various multinational companies, including ABB, Colfax Pump Group, Wartsila, New Sulzer Diesel, and Ascom, covering the industries of turbochargers, pumps, diesel engines, telecommunications, and service automation.

As from 2005 Mr. Birch was based for more than ten years in Chongqing, Southwest China. First, He built up and was heading the ABB business unit “Turbocharging” in China that includes a joint venture company with a state-owned partner, a factory in Chongqing, as well as a service and sales network along the coast.

In 2012 still based in Chongqing, Mr. Birch joined Consenec Ltd (ABB Group), providing management consultancy to European companies and sharing his more than 20 years of China experience.

Between 2013 and 2016, Mr. Birch was Chairman of the Board, Southwest Chapter of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China and developed a comprehensive network with European companies as well as the government.

In 2016, Mr. Birch returned to Switzerland and offers his services now as independent executive consultant and interim manager. His clients are primarily European SMEs with interests in China, Chinese companies with interests in Europe, as well as government organizations.

Mr. Birch is married to a Chinese wife from Chongqing and regularly travels between Switzerland and China.

David CHEN

CEO, Strikingly, Chengdu

Strikingly is a modern, mobile-optimized website builder that's extremly easy to use. We focus on beautiful one-page sites and extend it with blogs, forms, and e-commerce. Our mission is to give everyone the power to unleash their individuality.


Founder, Wanle Group, Chengdu

Wanle is a group of young people who are interested in creating funny videos. We started to publish our videos on YouTube since 2013, and rank Top 3 of YouTube subscription in Hong Kong. Our content mainly focus on gaming and our daily life, such as food, travel, pets. Last year we came to Chengdu, China and started to create videos for mainland Chinese here.


General Manager SCC, Chengdu

Holds a Master’s Degree from the University of St.Gallen, Switzerland and studied in the MBA program at CEIBS, Shanghai;

Co-President of Shanghai HSG (University of St.Gallen) Alumni Club;

Co-Initiator of Swiss Business Circle Southwest China;

Gregor is a keen skier and holds ski instructor certification. His family has a ski retail company Ski Service Corvatsch and hotel in St.Moritz. He also loves golf, surfing and mountaineering; 

Gregor has a happy family with Chinese wife and one mixed daughter;

Fluent in the English, German, French, Italian and Mandarin. 


Editor in Chief, Finanz und Wirtschaft, Zurich

Mark Dittli is the editor in chief of Finanz und Wirtschaft, Switzerland’s leading financial newspaper (www.fuw.ch). Before assuming his current position in 2012, he headed the international desk of Finanz und Wirtschaft, responsible for the coverage of all markets outside Switzerland. From 2003 to 2008, he was the U.S. correspondent of the paper, based in New York. He specializes in international economics and financial markets and has a passion for new media journalism, authoring, among others, the popular economics blog Never Mind the Markets. Mark studied business economics at Zurich University of Applied Sciences and Journalism at New York University. He is a CFA charterholder (Chartered Financial Analyst). He lives in Zurich.

GAO Haihong
GAO Haihong

Professor and Director, Research Center for International Finance, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing

GAO Haihong, professor and director of Research Center for International Finance, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. She is the lead fellow of CASS project “China’s Role in Reconstructing International Financial System”, guest professor at China Foreign Affairs University, and standing director of the council, China Society of World Economy. She was appointed as chief economist of the Network of East Asian Think-Tanks, China Working Group. She is a frequent speaker at academic conferences worldwide. She has published books and papers regarding reform of international monetary system, the RMB internationalization and regional financial integration and cooperation, etc. She also has led numerous research projects sponsored by China Ministry of Finance, People’s Bank of China, and China’s National Social Science Fund. She holds BA and MA degrees in Economics from Peking University, and MSc in International Money, Finance and Investment from Durham University, UK., was visiting scholar at University of California at Davis, USA, and visiting fellow at Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore.

Vice President, Public Affairs and Communications Department Huawei, Shenzhen

As Vice-President for Global Public Affairs, Dave is based in Huawei’s headquarters in Shenzhen in China from where he co-ordinates the firm's digital agenda strategies with governments around the world.

Between 2010 – 2014, David was a member of the cabinet of the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science where he had responsibility for advising on the international aspects connected to these policies. During this period he was also the sherpa for the European Union for G8 summits covering research, innovation and science matters. He was formerly a political advisor in the European Parliament covering industry, trade, foreign affairs and communications issues. Dave is a qualified solicitor and he holds a masters in law degree from University College Dublin.


Lee Foundation Professor on US-China Relations; Director, Centre on Asia and Globalisation, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, NUS, Singapore

Dr Huang Jing is a Professor and Director of Centre on Asia and Globalization (CAG) at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP). As an internationally recognized expert on Chinese politics, China’s foreign relations and security issues in Asia-Pacific, he has written numerous books, journal articles, book chapters, policy papers, and op-eds on Chinese politics, China’s development strategy, China’s foreign policy, the military, US-China relations, and security issues in Asia-Pacific. His book, Factionalism in Chinese Communist Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2000), won the prestigious Masayoshi Ohira Memorial Prize in 2002.

Huang serves as a Senior Overseas Economic Analyst for China’s Xinhua News Agency. He is on the Board of Director at the Fujitsu-JAIMS Foundation in Japan. Before joining the LKYSPP, Huang was a Senior Fellow at the John Thornton China Center at the Brookings Institution (2004-2008). He also taught at Harvard University (1993-94), Utah State University (1994-2004) and Stanford University (2002-2003). Huang received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard University, and his MA in History from Fudan University.

Huang was also a Residential Fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center in 2012.


Associate Managing Editor, Editorial Board Member, Caixin Media, Beijing, China, stars alumnus

Mr. Huang Shan served as international editor of Caijing Magazine from 2005 to 2009. In November 2009, he followed Ms. Hu Shuli, then editor-in-chief of Caijing Magazine, to found Caixin Media and now is Deputy Managing Editor and editorial board member. 

Since joining Caixin, Mr. Huang has been involved in a wide range of reporting and management activities. He has been active in the foreign community and has a good relationship with foreign embassies and commerce chambers. The name list he interviewed includes U.S. former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Governor of Florida Jeb Bush, Russian First Vice Premier Igor Shuvalov, and Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, among others. 

He also served as Caijing’s U.S. correspondent in 2008. Prior to joining the Beijing office of Caijing, Mr. Huang Shan was Caijing’s Hong Kong correspondent in 2005 and editor of the Singtao Daily in New York City in 2004. 

Mr. Huang holds an M.A. degree in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame in the U.S. in 2004. He was recipient of Presidential Fellowship of ND, the highest honor granted by ND. He served on the ND Greater China Scholarship Selection Committee in both 2011 and 2012 and serves as President of ND Beijing Alumni Club. He is fellow of Switzerland-based Stars Symposium. Mr. Huang graduated from Peking University in 2001 majoring in International Politics and received his B.A.


Curator and Urbanist, China 

Research-architect, archive-editor and writer, has been working on urban research and experimental study, exploring the interrelationship between design phenomenon and urban dynamic.  He was the founding editor-in-chief of Urban China Magazine (2005-2009), the curator of “Street Belongs to … All of Us!” exhibition in China (2008) and “Informal China” exhibition in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago (2009-2010), the project director at the Strelka School in Moscow (2010-2011) and visiting fellow at the ESRC Centre of Oxford University (2011-2012). He was also the chief curator of the China Pavilion of Venice Architecture Biennale (2014), and “Shekou Roundtable: 2025” of UABB in Shenzhen (2015). He is now working as the chief curator of the 1st Wuzhen Architecture (2017-2018).

Alice KONG

Managing Director, Wanda Cultural Industry Group, Beijing


Consul General, Consulate General of Israel, Chengdu

Aaron LIAO
Aaron LIAO

Founder and CFO, XGIMI, Chengdu

Aaron is a Chinese Certified Public Accountant (CPA), with more than 5 years of experience with KPMG. He was in charge of many annual audit and IPO audit for large enterprises. And he has deep understanding of manufacturing, property, consumer product, mineral and steel industries.  Now, Aaron is the head of finance and overseas marketing departments in XGIMI.

XGIMI designs and manufactures high-performance multifunctional projectors. A pioneer in the home projector market, XGIMI is ranked number one in China. The company’s mission is to create and build the most advanced projectors at an affordable price, so that every family can enjoy the home cinema experience. XGIMI founded the avant-garde idea of the “screenless TV” and is determined to improve viewers’ visual experience.

LIM Siong Guan
LIM Siong Guan

Group President, GIC, Singapore

Author of The Leader, The Teacher & You – Leadership Through the Third Generation Siong Guan Lim was appointed Group President of the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) in September 2007. The GIC manages the financial reserves of the Singapore government.

He was Chairman of the Singapore Economic Development Board from October 2006 to June 2009. The Board is the Singapore government’s lead agency for planning and executing strategies to enhance Singapore’s position as a global business centre. Much of it’s work is attracting international corporations to set up manufacturing and services activities in Singapore as critical links in the global supply chain.

He has been an Adjunct Professor in the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore since 2005, instructing on leadership and change management, as well as a Senior Fellow of the Civil Service College since 2006.

Siong Guan Lim was the Head of the Singapore Civil Service from September 1999 to March 2005. He was the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defense (1981–1994), the Prime Minister’s Office (1994–1998), the Ministry of Education (1997–1999) and the Ministry of Finance (1999–2006). In every appointment he introduced innovative policies and practices which enhanced the drive, capacity, capability and performance of the organization.

Mr. Lim has chaired the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (2004–2006), the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (2004–2006) and, the Central Provident Fund Board (1986–1994) and was a board member of many companies including Temasek, the other sovereign wealth fund manager of Singapore.


Executive Director China Competence Center, University of St. Gallen, President and CEO, TAO China Center, Switzerland

1985 - 1986: Taiwan Representative, at VOEST Alpine Intertrading, in Taipeh / Taiwan

1986 - 1990: Marketing Officer & Interpreter, at Austrian Embassy Commercial Section, in Beijing / China

1990 - 1993: Commercial Attache, at Austrian Embassy Commercial Section, in Lagos / Nigeria

1993 - 1999: Commercial Attache, at Austrian Embassy Commercial Section, in Beijing / China

2001 - 2003: Manager Asia Transfers, at Huber+Suhner AG, in Herisau / Switzerland

2003 - today: Director China Competence Center, at University of St. Gallen, in St. Gallen / Switzerland

2007 - today: Senior Advisor, at TAO China Center Switzerland, in St. Gallen / Switzerland

2015 - today: Senior Associate China and ASEAN relations, at Globethics Leadership Center, in Geneva / Switzerland

Alan NI

Airfreight Manager, Kuehne & Nagel Ltd., Shanghai

Eugene QIAN

President APAC, China Country Head, UBS AG, Shanghai

Dr Eugene Qian joined UBS in 2015 as a Managing Director and Group Country Head & President, China. Based in Shanghai, he is responsible for developing and executing strategy for UBS in China covering investment banking, wealth management and asset management and is a member of UBS's Asia Pacific Executive Committee.

Dr. Qian has worked in the banking industry for more than 20 years. He joined UBS from Citi where, most recently, he was President and a board director of Citi China overseeing the corporate and investment banking strategy, as well as the consumer banking businesses. After joining Citi in 2007, he held a number of senior roles including Head of China Corporate & Investment Banking, and Co-Head of China Investment Banking.

Between 1997 and 2003, Dr. Qian worked at UBS's investment bank in Hong Kong specializing in the origination and execution of cross-border M&A, corporate advisory, and capital market transactions for Asian and Chinese power/energy companies. Between 2003 and 2007, he worked for Deutsche Bank as Head of Natural Resources, Asia ex-Japan, and was a member of the APAC global banking executive committee. Eugene began his investment banking career in the City of London with N M Rothschild Investment Banking Group.

Eugene holds a bachelor of law degree from Fudan University, Shanghai and a doctorate degree from Oxford University, UK.


VP of Top Range/Public Transportation, Schindler Elevator Co.,Ltd., Shanghai

Dr. Qiu Hai graduated from Xi'an Jiaotong University with a Ph.D and earned his MBA from the State University of New York. 

He joined Schindler in 2014 as the Head of R&D Asia Pacific for the Escalator division. He is now the VP of Schindler China responsible for operation of top range and public transportation businesses. As a member of the Schindler China management team, he has abundant experiences in research and product development. Before joining Schindler, he had worked for GE Global Research and multiple university institutes and research centers. He has won several prestigious national awards in recognizing his research achievement, including National Nature and Science Award (2013), National Technological Invention Award (2003), National Technological and Science Innovation Award (2003).


Associate Professor of Global Business and Strategy, School of Economics and Management, Tongji University, Shanghai


Author, Film Director, Lugano, Switzerland; London, UK

Michael Schindhelm (1960) lives in Ticino (Switzerland) and in London. He is a writer (German), filmmaker, performing arts expert and cultural advisor for international organizations. He served as director general of Theater Basel and founding director general of Berlin’s Opera Foundation and worked also as playwright (librettist), TV presenter (Der Salon, Swiss TV) and translator.

In 1979 he studied at the International University of Voronezh (USSR) and graduated 1984 with a Master of Science in Quantum Chemistry. From 1984 – 1986 he was Research Assistant at the Academy of Science in East Berlin.


Executive Chairman, stars Foundation, Stein am Rhein, Switzerland

1998 - 2016 Member of the Board of UBS Wolfsberg and Congress Hotel Seepark AG
1998 - 2014 CEO, UBS Wolfsberg. Emphasis on Business Development, i.e. initiating, supervising, and conducting UBS Briefings, UBS Health Forum, UBS Arts Forum, UBS Study Trips, UBS Think Tanks, Wolfsberg Podium (www.wolfsberg.com)
1981 - 1998 Various responsibilities for UBS Management and Executive Development, Member and Chairman of the Board of UBS Art Collection
Concurrently Member of the Board of various companies and foundations in Switzerland


Consultant on Asian Affairs, former Far-East Correspondent, Neue Zurcher Zeitung, Tokyo/Mumbai

In 1978, Urs Schoettli was appointed Secretary General of the Liberal International, a world-wide federation of liberal and democratic parties, of which Urs Schoettli acted as Executive Vice President from 1983 until 1993. Also in 1983, he joined the Neue Zurcher Zeitung and became its South Asia Correspondent in New Delhi.

Between 1986 and 1990, Urs Schoettli served as Representative of the German Friedrich Naumann Foundation in India.

In 1990, he left the Neue Zurcher Zeitung and became Head of project of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation in Spain.

Between 1993 and 1994, he served as Director of the political academy of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation in Portugal and as Honorary Director of the Commission for the Greater Europe in Vienna and Moscow.

Urs Schoettli returned to the Neue Zurcher Zeitung as its Correspondent in Hong Kong in 1996. Three years later, he moved from Hong Kong to Tokyo and worked as the East Asia Correspondent of the Neue Zurcher Zeitung until 2002. During the following five years, Urs Schoettli was the China Correspondent of the Neue Zurcher Zeitung, based in Beijing. He then became the Far East Correspondent for the Neue Zurcher Zeitung based in Tokyo. Urs Schoettli was Co-Editor of the reviews Indo Asia, LibroAperto and Debate Abierto. He has published widely on topics of liberalism, development policies and international security issues in Latin American, American and European journals. Urs Schottli is also the author of numerous books on South Asia, citizenship and environmental issues.

Urs Schoettli studied philosophy at the University of Basel.


Chairman of the Board, Southwest China Chapter, European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, General Manager, Proton Products, Chengdu

Sharon SUN
Sharon SUN

Senior Vice President; Head, Direct Investments Group, Asia (Greater China); Head Beijing Office, GIC, Beijing

Senior Vice President; Head, Direct Investments Group, Asia (Greater China); Head, Beijing Office

Ms. Sun is the Co-Head of Direct Investments Group, North Asia, and the Head of Beijing Office at the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation. She oversees the GIC’s private equity direct investments in Greater China.

Ms. Sun holds a MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

Prior to joining GIC, she was at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), McKinsey & Company, and People’s Bank of China.

Ms. Sun also serves as a board director at the Board of China Pacific Insurance Group and the Board of Taikang Insurance Group. Previously she served on the Board of Far East Horizon and the Board of Intime Retail (Goup). 

Silas WU
Silas WU

CEO and Director General Envee, Chengdu

Founder of Envee, graduated from Department of Business Administration, Sichuan University, Mr. Wu has more than 10 years experience in game developing and operations. Mr.Wu is a member of CEO Club of Global Mobile Gaming Confederation (GMGC).

Envee Inflight Entertainment Co.,Ltd (stock code 835247), established in 2010, is an international leading technology enterprise for in-flight softeware and applications. We focus on providing in-flight entertainment (IFE) content, custom R&D software, operations support and solutions.  We are the Director Unit of Air China Wi-Fi Alliance.


President, European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, Chief Representative BASF China, Beijing

Joerg Wuttke is Chief Representative of BASF China, based in Beijing. Since joining BASF in 1997, Mr. Wuttke has been responsible for helping guide the company’s investment strategies for China, negotiation of large projects and government relations. (BASF Greater China’s revenues in 2007 were Euro 4.4bn).

Previous to joining BASF, Mr. Wuttke worked with ABB for 11 years; in fact his first professional encounter with China was in 1988 as the Finance and Administration Manager of ABB Beijing. In 1990 he returned to Germany as Sales Manager of ABB Power Plants Division, responsible for gas turbine sales to Africa and Russia. In 1993 he became Chief Representative ABB China in Shanghai and in 1994 moved to the President's Office of ABB China in Beijing, where he was responsible for the development and financing of large projects.

In 1999 Mr. Wuttke was founding member of the German Chamber of Commerce in China and from 2001 - 2004 was the Chairman of the Board.

Since April 2007 he is the President of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China (over 1400 member companies in 8 cities of China).

Mr. Wuttke is a Rotarian and a member of the European Bahai Business Foundation.

In June 2008 Mr Wuttke became a member of the advisory board of the Centre for International Business Ethics (CIBE) in Beijing.

In 2008 Mr Wuttke became a member of the China advisory council of the Robert Bosch Foundation, Stuttgart , Germany.

Joerg Wuttke holds a BA in Business Administration and Economics from Mannheim and studied Chinese in Shanghai 1982 and in Taipei 1984-85. A frequent speaker on business and industry issues in China, in 2005 he co-authored “The Chemical and Pharmaceutical Industry in China” by Springer Publishing Trust. In 2008 he is featured in the book “My 30 years in China” as one of 13 prominent expatriates in China. People Daily’s Special Book on “30 people reflect on 30 years China’s Reform policy” features a long interview with Mr. Wuttke.

WAN Yiting
WAN Yiting

Vice President, Tusincere Science City Investment Company, Beijing

YUAN Hongwei

Partner, Green Pine Capital Partners, Shenzhen


Co-Founder and CFO, DreamBigCareer, Chengdu

DreamBigCareer is a leading online career coaching platform in China. Our mission is to provide professional consultation to international students to help them realise their career dreams. We are defined by our professional career coaching and unparalleled customer experience. We are committed to bring professionalism, sincerity and dedicated support in our never-ending quest to serve our students in their best interest.


CEO and Founder, Light & Effects, stars alumnus, Chengdu

ZHANG Tuosheng

Chairman of the Research Committee, China Foundation of International and Strategic Studies, Beijing

Senior Fellow, Chairman of the Academic Committee,Director of the Center for Foreign Policy Studies at China Foundation for International and Strategic Studies. Senior Adviser, the Pangoal Institution. He earned his master degree in Modern Chinese History from Central Party School of the Chinese Communist Party. From late 1970s to late 1980s as a drillmaster he served in the PLA Military Collage and as a research fellow in the Institute of Strategic Studies of PLA National Defense University. In the early 1990s he was the Deputy Defense Attache at the Chinese Embassy in UK. Since 1992, he has worked in the CFISS in charge of organizing and coordinating academic and policy researches. His main research interests are Sino-US relations, Sino-Japan relations, Asia-Pacific security,security crisis management and China’s foreign policy. He has authored or co-authored lots of research publications including papers, reports and books.

ZHU Jiejin
ZHU Jiejin

International Studies, Associate Professor, International Politics at the School of International Relations and Public Affairs, Fudan University, Shanghai

Jiejin Zhu is an associate professor at the School of International Relations and Public Affairs and also a senior researcher at the Center for BRICS Studies, Fudan University. His research interest includes international organization and Global Governance, especially the BRICS, G20, Multilateral Development Banks and International Development. He has published several books and over 30 papers on these topics. Currently, He is doing the research project China’s Proposal for G20 Institutionalization which is sponsored by China National Social Science Foundation, Institution-Building of the BRICS New Development Bank which is funded by China International Development Research Network and G20 Development Agenda which is funded by Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM).