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Conducting business in China topic of seminar Oct. 3

A seminar titled “Doing Business in China: A Legal and Commercial Review” will be held Friday, Oct. 3, from 8:15 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. in The University of Toledo Law Center McQuade Law Auditorium.

A full agenda and registration can be found here. Ohio CLE registration is also available here.

The UT College of Law, Regional Growth Partnership and the UT Confucius Institute are the lead sponsors for the first part of two programs.

The Confucius Institute spearheaded this seminar to educate local business people and attorneys by bringing together a distinguished panel of academics, attorneys and business leaders to discuss the realties, the myths and the risks of doing business in China.

In 2015, the focus will be on what are the issues of concern to Chinese attorneys, business leaders and their advisers relating to doing business or investing in the United States with a focus on concerns relating to northwest Ohio.

One of the goals of this year’s program is to refute myths regarding intellectual property protection in China and to provide information to begin the risk assessment of whether China represents a good strategic investment for a small- to mid-size business.
A highlight of the program will be a presentation on cross-cultural communication and negotiation for businesses and attorneys who will work with their Chinese counterparts with a discussion on how to avoid miscues and miscommunication. The panels are composed professionals with legal or commercial experience relating to business in China or academics who have taught at Chinese law schools and have scholarship related to the country.

“China is reaching major vitality as a destination for exports from the U.S. and as a location for operations covering all of Asia. It has become the third largest market for Ohio of exported manufactured goods, and exports from Ohio to China have increased by 20 percent to a current level of $3.4 billion in 2013. For the Toledo region, China is also the third largest export market with exports just in the automotive sector of some $40 million in the past year,” Paul Zito, vice president of international development at the Regional Growth Partnership, said. “Being the largest and fastest-growing market in Asia, China is also becoming very popular as a manufacturing and regional headquarters location for U.S. companies to service the Asian markets. The importance of China as a major export destination and as the center of Asia will continue to provide opportunities for Toledo region exporters and manufacturers.”

“We are very proud to have the opportunity to bring together almost all of the major players involved in doing business in China,” said Llewellyn Joseph Gibbons, UT professor of law and chair of the Board of Directors of the Confucius Institute. “Many of the previous programs in northwest Ohio discussing doing business in China resulted in lawyers talking to lawyers or business people talking to business people; however, there was little real communication between these two stakeholders, both of whom are instrumental to the success of any commercial activity.

“This seminar was designed to bring lawyers and business people in the same room to focus on their joint concerns regarding doing business in China,” Gibbons said. “The day closes with the perspectives of experienced business people who will discuss what they know now which they wished they had known before they started commercial activities in China.”

UT students are encouraged to participate.

“The University of Toledo prides itself in experiential learning. Sometimes experiential learning is getting our students out of the classroom and into the community or the workplace. Programs like this one that bring women and men from across the United States who have years of practical experience facing the issues of doing business in China allow our students who cannot experience China firsthand to learn from the experiences of others, and we hope inspire them to provide the next generation of business and legal leadership promoting the economic development of northwest Ohio,” Dr. Sammy Spann, UT assistant provost for student engagement, said. “The Center for International Studies and Programs is proud to facilitate an interdisciplinary program that brings together the College of Business and Innovation, and its centers, the College of Law, Regional Growth Partnership, and the practicing bar.”

For more information on the seminar, contact Gibbons at 419.530.4175 or


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