Mr. Michael Macaluso
Gala, China on the World Stage
New York, September 24, 2013
Distinguished Guests. Your Excellencies. Friends. Thank you. I am honored to receive this award. Since the theme of this conference is China on the World Stage, and I am being honored for my global practice, I would like to say a few words about the meaning of doing business on the global stage today and I would like in turn to honor the entrepreneurs.
No one stands on their own and I would like to thank our first-rate team across the world at DLA Piper for their tremendous effort and dedication. I would also like to recognize the tireless efforts of The China Foundation for Global Partnership and others who made this important conference on China’s emergence on the World Stage and this fabulous Gala possible.
I am sharing my thoughts with you on this occasion based on my experience in often very large and complex capital markets and corporate finance transactions, bailouts, acquisitions and joint ventures from New York to Beijing, from Moscow to Frankfurt and from London to Abu Dhabi and points in between. I’ve had the privilege of working with some of the world’s leading institutions and with governments, central banks and regulators. Recently, I have been asked to assist companies, especially in China and Vietnam, in preparing themselves for the global stage.
So what does it mean to do business on the global stage?
Global is not easy. Global means taking your local success and transforming yourself for success on a new and larger playing field. I have assisted many in getting there and above all succeeding there, and I salute those with the vision, dedication and sheer will-power to get onto the global stage and more importantly to stay there. Going global is not unlike the ancient Chinese seafarers setting out in wooden vessels to explore the world around them, by some accounts reaching the Pacific shores of North America. Each place one ventures there are new cultures, new languages, new networks and new legal systems and one must manage all of this and logistics across time and distance.
If there is a reason I am standing before you today, it is this: my practice is global and effective precisely because I have given much attention to how to navigate these issues for and with my clients regardless of where their business needs take them.
I was asked to share some thoughts on my vision for the future.
Opportunity knocks. Can we hear it? The future I see is more global, is faster, is more connected, more interdependent and more crowded than we may be ready for and therefore will provide much opportunity for those who adjust. Sustained business success now requires corporate social responsibility. China on the World Stage is part of that future. In fact, it is not only China. I believe that we all are now on that World Stage. The speakers this evening from global companies, U.N. programs and governments underline this point with their presence.
From my perspective, business no longer lives in a two-dimensional world. Problems and opportunities now appear in three or perhaps four dimensions. Are we ready? This dimensionality will be the central challenge of the future. We are still dealing with the repercussions of the financial crisis. This is a topic I have spoken on many times across the world. While we need to continue to work through these repercussions, the financial crisis at its roots was still a two-dimensional problem. It may have been the last great two-dimensional problem. Complexity will continue to increase.
I see a bright future for China on the Global Stage and for the bridge between the United States and China in both directions.
About the China on the World Stage Event: The recently concluded meetings in New York City with the theme “China on the World Stage” focused on business concepts, corporate social responsibility and ideas showcasing responsible investing. The United Nations section, in addition, focused on public-private partnerships to advance progress on global issues. The conference honored past contributions and explored how Chinese companies can be successful on the global stage.