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Exclusive | Asian Companies Should Focus More on the Chinese Market - Star Alliance Founder

By TRUMAN PENGICHONGQING|May 26,2021

iChongqing – As a major project of the now concluded 3rd Western China International Fair for Investment and Trade, or WCIFIT, the Asia-Enterprise of Tomorrow (AEOT) Chongqing Summit was held at the Chongqing International Expo Center on May 21st. Some 200 guest speakers, government officials, industry leaders, and representatives of Fortune Global 500 Companies from 15 countries attended the event.

As one of the organizers of AEOT, iChongqing scheduled a series of interviews with some of the keynote speakers to discuss their participation in the  AEOT Chongqing Summit, as well as the business environment of Chongqing and other Asian cities.

Shelly Seah (L), founder and managing director of Star Alliance Education & Services, receives an exclusive interview with iChongqing. (iChongqing/Truman PENG)

In this exclusive interview, Ms. Shelly Seah, founder and managing director of the Singapore-headquartered international education company, Star Alliance Education & Services, talked about her company’s presence in China and Asia, her expectations for the AEOT Chongqing Summit, and Chongqing’s strategic roles in the Belt and Road Initiative, Chongqing Connectivity Initiative, and the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor.

“We bring the Singapore high-standard education programs to Asian countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and basically the greater China market,” Ms. Seah said. “Star Alliance’s two major business focuses are 1) K-12 education programs for primary, secondary school students and degree students; and 2) corporate training programs for the senior management of such professional industries as logistics, hospitality, financial management, and artificial intelligence.”

A combo photo shows the Consulate General of the Republic of Singapore in Chengdu visits Star Alliance’s office.

Since China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) and opened its mainland market to overseas companies, most foreign capitals have been swarming to the first-tier megacities like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen. “So I think the AEOT is actually a very important platform for international organizations to get to know the political and cultural landscape, business environment, and investment opportunities in Chongqing and West China,” Ms. Seah said.

Facing the global pandemic situation, Ms. Seah recommends Asian companies like hers stay more focused on the Chinese market, especially with the huge untapped market potential of China’s western cities like Chongqing and Chengdu. She also cited Chongqing’s increasingly important strategic roles in the Yangtze River Economic Belt, the China-Europe Railway Express, and the Chongqing Connectivity Initiative as signs for international investments to rachet up their bet on the western region.

Ms. Seah poses for a photo standing in front of a billboard of the AEOT Chongqing Summit. photo  provided to iChongqing

Near the end of the interview, Ms. Seah expressed great expectations for the construction of the Chengdu-Chongqing Economic Circle, saying it’s a great opportunity for Star Alliance to expand its market presence, but also recommended the local governments to step up the efforts to provide a more friendly business environment and living experience for international talents. 

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