Non-Members: Seminar on Chinese Business Culture

11 Oct 2017
5:00pm - 8:00pm EDT

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Chinese Business Culture – What You Need to Know to Successfully Conduct Business 

China’s culture and business practices differ significantly from those in Canada. As you start or expand your business in China, an understanding of Chinese business etiquette and culture will be crucial to your success. Knowing and practicing common customs will also help you relax, avoid embarrassment, and focus on the matters at hand on critical occasions.

As China becomes increasingly prevalent in global business and Canada continues to heighten its engagement with China, it is critical for Canadian executives to pay attention to Chinese business culture. This means going beyond the Chinese national cultural rituals and effectively preparing for initial meetings, follow-up meetings, negotiations and ongoing relationships. Canadian executives must be mindful of appropriately presenting themselves and their companies, the significance of building relationships and guanxi and they must appreciate national and regional cultural characteristics, institutional culture and the personal cultural of their counterparts.

HKCBA Ottawa invites you to join us for a practical and engaging workshop to better understand the significance of business culture issues in doing business in China. The objectives of the workshop are three – fold

  • To acquaint you with key characteristics of the Chinese business culture and how the culture may differ depending on the regions and nature of your counterparties.
  • To illustrate how cultural factors may impact all aspects of doing business with China, from the 4Ps to conducting negotiations and managing human resources
  • To present you with tactics and strategies for successfully navigating cultural issues with your Chinese counterparts

You will hear of international companies who have achieved success in bridging cultural issues, you will also hear of others who have committed major faux pas. Above all, you will gain insight into the sensitivity of cultural factors in concluding business in China. 

Presented by the Hong Kong Canada Business Association (HKCBA) Ottawa Chapter in conjunction with Capital Confucius Institute at Carleton University   




5:00 – 5:30: Registration and Networking                                   

5:30 – 5:40: Welcome and the Role of Hong Kong in understanding  

                     Chinese Business Culture                     

       -- Marvin Hough, HKCBA Ottawa President


5:40 – 6:00: An overview of Chinese Business Culture and Key Takeaways

                    for Canadian Executives   

           -- Justin Li, Director Capital Confucius Institute, Carleton University


6:00 – 6:20:  How Chinese Business Culture issues can affect your

                     business in China and with Chinese Counterparts

       -- Sarah Kutulakos, Executive Director, Canada China Business Council


6:20 – 6:30: Negotiating with the Chinese – What You Need to Know

       --Marvin Hough, HKCBA Ottawa President


6:30 – 7:15:  Panels – Bridging the Business Culture Issues – What are the

                             tactics and strategies for Canadian Executives

    Moderator: Sophia Leong, Executive Director, Telfer EMBA Program

  • Chinese Perspective Panel:

          -- Justin Li, Director Capital Confucius Institute, Carleton University

          -- Baoling Wang, Executive Coordinator, HKCBA Ottawa

             -- Sandra Wu, Program Manager, Accreditation Canada and Health  

                                Standards Organization


  • Western Perspective Panel:

         -- Sarah Kutulakos, Executive Director, CCBC

         -- Michael Miles, Visiting Professor, Telfer School of Management  

         -- Paul Quinney, Director HKCBA Ottawa 


7:15 – 7:30:  Q & A Session  

7:30 - 7:35: Wrap-up and Thanks - Marvin Hough, HKCBA Ottawa


7:35 - 8:00: Reception and Networking  


Venue Sponsor:










 Sarah Kutulakos 

Executive Director, CCBC 


Sarah joined the CCBC in 2007 and has since revitalized CCBC’s role as Canada’s premier bilateral trade and investment organization. Sarah has re-centered the Council’s activities around providing business services, catalyzing business growth and activity, and advocating for stronger Sino-Canadian bilateral trade and investment. This has resulted in extensive public outreach activities, internal infrastructure improvements, the launch of new programs such as the Business Incubation Centre, and thriving member relations.

Prior to joining CCBC, Sarah worked for 11 years in marketing, product development, and management with a major multinational corporation, where she had multiple assignments involving China. Sarah managed worldwide product businesses that marketed to China and used China-based sources of supply. She was also involved in several projects requiring cooperation with the Chinese government. Sarah has led both established and start-up businesses within the context of a global corporation and has broad emerging market business experience, and has been involved in the Greater China region since the late 1980’s when she lived and worked in Taiwan. There, she was the first non-Chinese employee of a local high-tech start-up firm, where she gained a deep understanding of Chinese business practices.

A fluent Mandarin speaker, Sarah’s interest in China began at the University of Wisconsin, where she studied Chinese, marketing, and international business. She holds an MBA in finance and operations from the Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester. She frequently speaks on China issues, including marketing, trade, investment, and Canada-China relations.




Justin Li

Director, National Capital Confucius Institute 


  • Over 30 years combined experiences in public, private and higher education sectors in China and Canada; Justin is specialized in International government relations and communication, Canada-China culture exchanges as well as international marketing and project management. Since 2012, Justin is the Director of the National Capital Confucius Institute at Carleton University providing Chinese culture and language programs.
  • 10 years working in the Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry, on Middle East and UN affairs, including policy coordination and the inter-departmental communications with various Chinese Ministries at the federal and provincial level.
  • 20 years in private sector on international marketing, government relations and communication, as well as international project management for various Canadian and Chinese businesses, including Managing Director of JetForm China form 1998-2001.




Marvin Hough 

President, HKCBA Ottawa 

Marvin Hough is President of the HKCBA, Ottawa Chapter and is a member of the Board of the HKCBA National Committee. He is a regular visitor to Hong Kong and is passionate about facilitating closer business ties between Canada and Hong Kong and promoting the concept of “ Think Asia – Think Hong Kong “.

Mr. Hough draws on 30 years of experience with Export Development Canada (EDC), Canada’s official export credit agency. He retired from EDC in 2008 as Regional Vice-President, Asia and joined the Telfer School of Management shortly thereafter. Mr. Hough’s tenure with EDC included positions in both EDC financing and insurance operations. On the Asian front, he managed EDC’s financing operations in both the South Asia and Pacific North Asia regions. He was instrumental as well in assisting EDC to establish its first representation in China and his experience also includes a four-year interchange assignment with the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade where he served as a Senior Trade Commissioner in New Delhi, India.

Mr. Hough is currently a Part Time Professor at the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa. He is actively involved in the international business area at Telfer and teaches and supervises projects in the EMBA and MBA programs. He is also on the Advisory Board for International Business at Centennial College.

MIRA Limited provides international research and analysis services to Canadian companies and government departments focused on key strategic markets including India, China and Mexico.



11 Oct 2017
5:00pm - 8:00pm EDT

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