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China Advisory Council


The China Advisory Council is an advisory body to the European Commission on European economic policy vis-à-vis China.



The CAC’s main role is to:

- act as a sounding board for the EC on China and SME related policy issues;

- give advice and make recommendations on economic questions regarding China;

- provide a forum of relevant stakeholders to discuss current developments in China;

- make suggestions on the development of the programme;

- provide input and/or initiate discussions on the website;

- provide suggestions for the conference themes;

- suggest speakers for events.


The China Advisory Council is part of the Policy Dialogue of the Understanding China programme.



The China Advisory Council consists of 17 members representing a wide geographical spectrum, and each has extensive experience on Chinese and European issues. The majority of CAC members bring along practical business experience, but a number also have a more political and/or academic profile.


Joachim Bitterlich (German) is the Executive Vice President for International Affairs at Veolia Environnement Paris and Chairman of Veolia Environnement Germany. He is also Vice-President of the Comité France-Chine. Bitterlich was Foreign and Security Policy  Adviser to German Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl and also served as German Ambassador to NATO and then to Spain. He was also the first European to be invited to take part in the annual Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) in 2001.


Jan Buiter (Dutch) has spent the largest part of his career in the development of sea-transport connections between The Netherlands and China. Buiter has been the Managing Director of Cross-Ocean B.V. and COSCO Container Lines (The Netherlands) B.V. from 1985 till 2008. He currently is the Director of BuiterConsult; Head of the ports and infrastructure commission of the Chamber of Commerce of Rotterdam and Head of the Union of Rotterdam Shipping agents. He is also a Member of the Board of AMPEK, the largest privately-run networking organisation, encouraging business activities between The Netherlands and China. Buiter travelled extensively in China since 1979 and has been awarded the Van de Veeken award in recognition of the large role he played in representing the Port of Rotterdam and in promoting Rotterdam in China.


Simon Cheetham (British) is a China IPR Enforcement expert with over 25 years of experience in commercial investigations, due diligence and IPR enforcement in China and internationally. This experience was gained firstly with the Hong Kong police force, then with a global security firm and latterly running his own international firm. Cheetham is also the Team Leader of the China IPR SME Helpdesk.



Pat Cox (Irish) is President of the European Movement International and former President of the European Parliament. He was an active campaigner for the successful enlargement of the European Union and the European Parliament senior representative on the Intergovernmental Conference on the Constitutional Treaty of the EU. As President of the European Parliament and thereafter, Cox headed various delegations to China and Asia. Having worked as an economist and broadcaster, Pat Cox was first elected to the European Parliament in 1989, leading the Liberal Democrat group there from 1998 to 2002. He is Advisory Council member of Microsoft and Pfizer Europe and also member of the International Advisory Council of APCO Worldwide.


Davide Cucino (Italian), fluent in Mandarin, is President of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China (EUCCC), Chief of China Operations of the Finmeccanica Group and the Supervisor of Ansaldo Railways System Technical Service (Beijing) Ltd., a Chinese WFOE solely owned by Finmeccanica Group since 2008. Cucino is also a Member of the Board of the Beijing Foreign Invested Enterprises Association and a Member of the Board of Assocamerestero, the Association of the Italian Chambers of Commerce abroad, responsible for the Asia and southern Africa. Previously, he was a consultant for a number of companies operating in the Chinese market. In 1997 he was appointed China Operation Manager of Finmeccanica solely owned FATA SpA - Representative Office in Beijing. At the beginning of 2004 he was appointed member of the International Consultancy Commission of China Council for Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) for the Revitalization of China Northeastern Industrial Bases.


Annick de Bentzmann-Kermadec (French), fluent in Mandarin, born in Beijing General Manager of BNP Paribas’ Shanghai Branch since 2000, President of the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in China. Before her career in the China branches of the Banque National the Paris, Bentzmann-Kermadec held Export Manager functions in different French companies manufacturing and trading with China.


Jacques Gravereau (French), Expert on Pacific-Asia & on Europe-Asia relations; Currently chairs the HEC Eurasia Institute, a think tank which he founded in 1989 on the campus of the HEC School of Management in Paris. Previously Gravereau has been the National Advisor for French Foreign Trade, Head of the French delegation at the Asia Europe Business Forum (ASEM) and Chairman of France National Committee of the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council. He has Ph.D. in Economics, MBA (HEC), published many articles, and several reference books on Asia, four of which having been awarded international prizes.


Karel Havlicek (Czech) the General Manager for Sindat Group, an industrial group of European small- and medium-sized enterprises in the chemicals, construction and textiles manufacturing sectors which are exporting to the 90 countries in the world. He also sits on several supervisory boards, as well as boards of directors in a number of companies member of the Sindat Group. Mr. Havlicek is the Vice-President of UEAPME, which is the employers’ organisation representing the interests of European crafts, trades and SMEs at EU level and represents more than 12 million enterprises. His company has recently opened a representation office in Shanghai for marketing and business support of their products in China. Mr Havlicek speaks Czech, English, German, Russian, Spanish and has a basic knowledge of French and Chinese.

Patrick HORGAN

Patrick Horgan (British), fluent in Mandarin, is Regional Director for North-East Asia at Rolls Royce in Beijing since 2011. Prior to that he was Counsellor for Education at the British Embassy and Director of Programmes for the British Council, Beijing. Horgan was also Managing Director of EMEA-Asia business for APCO Worldwide in Brussels and managing director of APCO Worldwide in China; he lived and worked primarily in China from 1989 to 2008. Horgan managed investment and policy related projects for multinationals, governments and industry associations, and has special expertise in the telecommunications and information technology sectors. Prior to that, he gained wide-ranging experience in various locations in the greater China region, for international, local and joint venture companies. Patrick serves as chairman of the British Chamber of Commerce in China, and also chairs the European Chamber’s IT/Telecom Working Group.

Diederik KERSTEN

Diederik Kersten (Dutch) has been doing business with China for 22 years now, yearly spending 12 weeks in China. Kersten is Managing Director of Kersten B.V. Nieuwegein, a typical example of a family company dealing in all kinds of trendy consumer goods all produced in and coming from China. His interest in the CAC is motivated by the discrepancy between his daily encounters with changes underway in China and the lack, in his eyes, of an adequate EU answer on those developments.


Jutta Ludwig (German), fluent in Mandarin, is the Chief Executive Officer of the HWF Hamburg Business Development Corporation. Beforehand she was the Delegate and Chief Representative of the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce, Beijing and the Executive Director and Member of the Board of the German Chamber of Commerce in China, Beijing. In 1993 she was the head of the China-Coordination Department with Karstadt AG, and in 1997, she became Project Director at the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy. She has published various articles on Chinese economy and environment.



Richard MOHR

Richard Mohr (Hungarian), the owner and Managing Director of Eastinfo Ltd. is a China-expert holding the official interpreter certification for Chinese – Hungarian – English. His professional field is the development of the Chinese business life. He graduated at the Chinese faculty of ELTE University Budapest. He taught Business Chinese at the Foreign Trade Faculty of the Budapest Business School. Since 2005, he is supervising the development of Eastinfo’s Chinese network from our Beijing office. Since 2006, he has represented the Hungarian partner in several Chinese-Hungarian joint venture companies. Since 2007, he has been the Country Representative of Hungary at the EU China Chamber of Commerce.

Alfredo PASTOR

Alfredo Pastor (Spanish), Professor of Economics, holder of the Spanish Chair, and former Dean and Vice President at CEIBS; also Professor of Economics at Instituto de Estudios Superiores de la Empresa (IESE) in Barcelona, Spain. From 1993-1995, Dr. Pastor served as the Secretary of State for Economic Affairs in the Spanish Ministry of Finance. He has also served as Director of Instituto de la Empresa Familiar, Board Member of Banco de Espana and Economist for the World Bank.


Marek Pleciński (Polish), is the Trade Counsellor of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland to Finland and former Director of the Chinese Market in POL-MOT HOLDING S.A., a Polish company working in the automotive sector. He is also the former Counsellor and the Head of the Commercial and Economic Division in the Consulate General of Poland in Shanghai (2001 to 2006). During that period of time he published several economic and investment guides connected with the Chinese economy and its environment, and he organised many business forums, investment seminars and promotion events in Chinese cities with assistance of the provincial Chambers of International Commerce and SME associations. He has daily personal contacts with Chinese business partners and the above-mentioned institutions.


Cyril Sayag (French) is Vice President of Public and Legal Affairs for Pernod-Ricard Asia and General Counsel of Pernod Ricard China. Prior to joining Pernod Ricard he worked as Administrator at the European Commission Directorates General Trade and External Relations for over 12 years, working in particular on issues related to China. He also held the position of First Secretary for the Delegation of the European Commission in China. Before joining the European Commission he had experience of working in law firms and private sector companies. Cyril Sayag is a graduate from ESSEC and holds a Masters degree in Business and Tax Law from the University of Paris II Assas.


Christina Söderström-Nilsson (Swedish) is Managing Director of the Enterprise Europe Network in Västerås, hosted by the Stiftelsen Europa Institutet. She is a mentor for the Chinese Network partner and is an active member of the Network. She has been working within the Network since 1995 and one of the main tasks has been cross border activities for SMEs both within the European Union as well as with Third countries, e.g India, South Africa and China. She has been responsible for several projects within ASIA-Invest programme.


Herman Vandaele (Belgian), is former Corporate Vice-President, Bekaert Group and the past President of Bekaert Asia (until March 2009). He was also Chairman of the Board the Benelux Chamber of Commerce in China (BenCham) and was Board Member of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China (EUCCC). Vandaele is a member of the Advisory Board of the China European International Business School, Shanghai (CEIBS) and he was General Manager Corporate Projects at Bekaert and also Director of Construction of the Belgian-EU pavilion for the World Expo at Shanghai, China.

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