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Beyond Clichés – China’s Political and Economic Strategies

Plenary / Keynote & Discussion
english language

For many people, the image of China as an “extended workbench” of the West is paramount. However, China is passing through a differentiated development. What strategies for dealing with inequality is China deploying, both within its own borders and in the global market? How can the EU and China cooperate strategically and profitably?


Founder, the GO corporation, Hong Kong, Zurich Key Note
Senior Policy Fellow for China's Political Economy, MERICS - Mercator Institute for China Studies, Berlin Key Note
Partner, Chief Economist, Deloitte China, Bejing Key Note
Chief Executive Officer, Greiner Holding AG, Kremsmünster
Partner, Gaisberg Consulting; Member, ChinaCultureDesk - The China Information Company, Vienna Chair

Marie SO

Founder, the GO corporation, Hong Kong, Zurich

1995-2005 Merrill Lynch, Lutron Electronics , Procter and Gamble
1998-2000 BSC Economics; Engineering & Management Science, Northwestern University
2000-2002 Business Development Manager, Procter and Gamble, Hong Kong
2002-2003 MIPA, Department of Politics and Public Administration, University of Hong Kong
2002-2004 Senior Project Manager, Lutron Electronics, New York, China
2005 Advisor, Government of Dubai, Dubai Development and Investment Authority, Dubai, Hong Kong
2005 Consultant, United Nations Development Program, Suva
2004-2006 MIPA, Department of Politics and Public Administration, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government
2005-2006 Course Teaching Assistant, Advanced Microeconomics, Harvard University
2009 INSEAD, Social Entrepreneurship Executive Program
2006-2012 Co-Founder; Chief Executive Officer, Shokay Internationanl Group, Hong Kong
2012-2013 Senior Consultant, Center of Social Initiative Promotion, Ho Chi Minh City
2013 Co-Founder, the GO corporation, Zurich


Senior Policy Fellow for China's Political Economy, MERICS - Mercator Institute for China Studies, Berlin

1990-1994 Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Middlebury College, Vermont, USA
2001-2005 Vice President, Aircraft Overhaul Lufthansa Technik Philippines, Inc., Manila, Philippines
2001 Project Manager, Aircraft Overhaul & VIP Jet Services Lufthansa Technik AG, Hamburg, Germany
2005-2010 Senior Vice President, Airline Operations Solutions Lufthansa AG, Frankfurt a.M./Raunheim, Germany
2008-2009 Master of Busniess Administration (M.B.A), Duke University, USA
2010-2011 Regional Studies-East Asia, Master of Arts, Harvard University, Cambridge, USA
2011-2015 Doctor of Philosophy, Management Studies, University of Oxford, UK
since 2015 Senior Policy Fellow for China's Political Economy, MERICS - Mercator Institute for China Studies, Berlin, Germany

Sitao XU

Partner, Chief Economist, Deloitte China, Bejing

1995 Economist for Indonesia, Korea and Thailand in Singapore, Working for MMS International of Standard and Poor's Group
1996-2001 Regional Treasury Economist, Standard Chartered Bank
2001-2002 Societe Generale's Chief Economist for Asia
2003 Head of Economics, ICBC Asia
2004-2014 Various Positions, The Economist Group
since 2014 Chief Economist, Partner, Deloitte China, Beijing

Dipl.-Betriebsw. (DH) Axel KÜHNER

Chief Executive Officer, Greiner Holding AG, Kremsmünster

1994-1995 Trainee, Daimler AG, Stuttgart
1995-1998 Assistant to CFO, Daimler AG, NDL Rostock
1998-1998 Head of Controlling, Daimler AG, NDL Bielefeld
1998-2001 CFO, Daimler AG, NDL Bielefeld
2001-2005 CFO, Daimler AG, NDL Weser-Ems, Bremen
2005-2008 CFO, Daimler AG, NDL München
2008-2009 CEO, Daimler AG, NDL Regensburg
2009 Member of Executive Board, Greiner Holding AG, Kremsmünster
since 2010 CEO, Greiner Holding AG, Kremsmünster


Partner, Gaisberg Consulting; Member, ChinaCultureDesk - The China Information Company, Vienna

1988-1996 Journalist, profil, Cash Flow, News, Vienna
1996-1998 Spokesperson, Austrian Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Hannes Farnleitner, Vienna
2000-2001 Consultant for crisis management, Control Risks, Berlin
2001-2006 Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs, Austrian Federal Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel, Vienna
2007-2008 Head of the China office, Austria Wirtschaftsservice, Shanghai
2009-2010 Spokesperson for Austria's non-permanent membership, UN Security Council, New York
since 2011 Independent Strategy Consultant, Communications Expert and Partner, Gaisberg Consulting, ChinaCultureDesk-The China Information Company, Vienna

Economic Symposium

show timetable


10:00 - 12:30Charity Soccer Match - Good Game, Good PurposeSocial
14:00 - 14:50OpeningPlenary
15:30 - 16:20Understanding Inequality - an Empirical AssessmentPlenary
16:40 - 18:10Inequality of Opportunity - Causes, Impact and InterventionsPlenary
18:10 - 18:30Political CornerPlenary
18:30 - 20:30InEquality from a Female PerspectivePartner
18:30 - 19:30Rankings and Reality - Austria's Economic Competitiveness Put to the TestPartner
18:30 - 22:00ecoplus Lower-Austria EveningSocial
20:30 - 22:00The Entrepreneurial Economy - How to Become a Champion?Plenary
22:00 - 23:00Illuminating AlpbachSocial
22:30 - 23:30Young Talents - Late Night ConcertCulture


08:00 - 09:0015th management club Business BreakfastPartner
08:00 - 09:00Digital Technology: From Inequality to Inclusion - Peter Drucker Breakfast ClubPlenary
09:00 - 10:10Growing Disparities in Wealth and Income - Is (More) Redistribution Necessary?Plenary
09:30 - 10:30The Throwaway SocietyPartner
10:10 - 10:30Political Corner2Plenary
11:00 - 13:30Breakout Session 01: The Welfare of Nations in the 21st CenturyBreakout
11:00 - 13:30Breakout Session 02: Being Family Friendly - Cosmetic PR or a Successful Route to Equality of Opportunity?Breakout
11:00 - 13:30Breakout Session 03: Intergenerational Justice and Economic OutcomesBreakout
11:00 - 13:30Breakout Session 04: Peripheral Business Locations - Disadvantage or (Underestimated) Potential?Breakout
11:00 - 13:30Breakout Session 05: Win-Win?! The Symbiosis of Big Business and StartupsBreakout
11:00 - 13:30Breakout Session 06: How Can Europe Overcome Disparity due to the Digital Revolution?Breakout
11:00 - 13:30Breakout Session 07: Economic and Financial Education - What Has to be Done?Breakout
11:00 - 13:30Breakout Session 08: Value Networks as a Key to a Successful Business LocationBreakout
11:00 - 13:30Breakout Session 09: Leading Organisations - What Next?Breakout
11:00 - 13:30Breakout Session 10: Tackling Social Injustice in EuropeBreakout
13:30 - 14:30Lunch ReceptionSocial
14:30 - 17:00Breakout Session 11: All the Same - All Different?Breakout
14:30 - 17:00Breakout Session 12: The Pension System - Unfair Rather than Equitable?Breakout
14:30 - 17:00Breakout Session 13: Better Decisions through ParticipationBreakout
14:30 - 17:00Breakout Session 14: Care as a Gender Political and Economic ChallengeBreakout
14:30 - 17:00Breakout Session 15: New Technologies - Old InequalitiesBreakout
14:30 - 17:00Breakout Session 16: Energy Supply in Transformation - Inequality in Access to Markets and Political PowerBreakout
14:30 - 17:00Breakout Session 17: Equality - Location Dependent?Breakout
14:30 - 17:00Breakout Session 18: Disabled Employees - Opportunities for Growth & InnovationBreakout
14:30 - 17:00Breakout Session 19: More Equal than Others? Modern Management between Leadership and ParticipationBreakout
14:30 - 17:00Breakout Session 20: The Investment Gap in Europe - How to Kick-start Growth?Breakout
18:00 - 19:30Shifting the Perception - Solutions to Combating InequalityPlenary
21:15 - 22:45Young Talents - Maja Osojnik BandCulture
22:00 - 00:00Magenta NightSocial


08:00 - 09:00Breakfast Club 01: In Conversation with Dan ShechtmanBreakout
08:00 - 09:00Breakfast Club 02: In Conversation with Angelika KreschBreakout
08:30 - 09:30"Kater" Breakfast - Back to NormalityPartner
09:00 - 10:30Beyond Clichés - China's Political and Economic StrategiesPlenary
11:00 - 12:20How to Grow or Not to Grow - that is the Question!Plenary
12:20 - 12:35ClosingPlenary
16:45 - 20:00Economic DialoguePartner