Stephen Perry


Stephen Perry has been involved with China since his earliest days.  His father was the leader of the Icebreaker group to China in 1953 which restarted UK-China trade relations a year after starting up the business in which Stephen is today Managing Director, London Export Corporation. This year is the company’s 60th anniversary of trade with China.Stephen Perry

Stephen grew up with letters from China and stories from China and after studying law at UCL he joined the company full time.  The company traded commodities with China and distributed consumer goods in the UK.  Stephen opened up US-China trade for the company in 1971/72 and went on to establish subsidiaries there. In the early 90’s he decided to focus on strategic long term deals with China and put together some of the ground breaking deals of that period in China. More recently he has again broken new ground with a deal in Africa with China and a western company.
Stephen is chair of the legendary 48 Group who have been working with China since 1953. Their mission is to develop a positive relationship with China.
One of his main missions is to ensure that the British better understand China. His talk will be around that theme – understand China to work effectively with China.

Understanding China is Essential for Everyone

China is involved in a three stage strategy to build a modern, middle income, developed economy with socialist characteristics. Stage 1 which has seen a huge swift in population demographics from rural to urban has created fast growth with a focus on global standards and a move towards large scale agriculture.

Stephen will talk about the overall strategy and the implications for businesses and those who work with China.

Stage 1 which is almost complete has seen a huge shift in population demographics from rural to urban creating fast growth with a focus on global standards and a move towards large scale agriculture.

Stage 2 will see China focus more on development of a domestic economy based on advanced technology and deepening involvement with neighbouring countries, ASEAN, BRICS and all developing countries, who will increasingly take the majority of China's trade and investment. The move to urbanisation will continue and as China moves to becoming the world's largest economy, while trade, investment and relations with the west will continue to develop.

Stage 3 is the realisation of a medium sized developed economy with socialist characteristics. While vague in outline it will be a predominantly urban population with a large scale corporate world stretching through manufacturing, services and agriculture. China, whilst increasingly market led, will, if successful, be marked by a focused leadership whose ambitions will relate to China and not to global ambitions.

The western challenge is to present an attractive offering to China that enables mutual benefit to be at the core of the relationships, as opposed to criticisms and mistrust.