March 22, 2013, marked a great day in the history of both China and Russia when Xi Jinping, the new president of the People’s Republic of China, stepped off the plane in Moscow, Russia. The moment Presidents Xi and Putin shook hands in the Kremlin heralded the intensification of future cooperation between the two countries as strategic partners.
Over the last few years, I, as an entrepreneur, have been honored to join foreign delegations with state leaders. Three years ago, I was lucky enough to travel with Xi Jinping, then China’s Vice President, on a trip to Sweden. I reeled after Xi’s astute remarks at a lunch reception for local entrepreneurs. He illustrated how the economies of China and Europe were too intertwined to drift apart, and that China’s economic development could in turn benefit the EU region. He also encouraged Chinese and European entrepreneurs alike to seek out new business opportunities while striving to minimize losses.
As my most recent visit with President Xi approached, one of my friends exclaimed, “You should be proud to get such a lucky opportunity!” I rebuked him, “Beyond pride and honor lies responsibility, which is more important.” As part of the delegation, I feel responsible to act on behalf of the clout of China’s business, the pistons of a nation churning out economic progress.
Yet as our planet witnessed economic decline, many entrepreneurs endured unbearable pressure. “To be or not to be?” became less abstract. Enterprises die when they are not competitive enough. I was blessed to have heard talks between state heads and have found the insight to soak up everything I could about domestic and international economic situations, so I could optimally position and direct my own business.
Ningbo Ruyi Joint Stock Co., Ltd., my company, has supplied products including carriers, fork trucks, and forklifts to 145 countries. Nevertheless, we are still sketching improved plans for foreign trade as well as the domestic market. Our numbers show that Russia is a major market for our overseas business. Our marketing plan will be intricately linked to its economic development. My visit with President Xi bestowed me an extraordinary chance for future cooperation with Russian businesspeople.