International Friendship Award: Chinese Business Leaders receive awards in Spain
Spain's Queen Letizia presented four Chinese business leaders with an "International Friendship Award" on Monday at the business school IESE, part of the University of Navarra. The ceremony in Madrid recognized these Chinese executives for their global business careers in venture capital, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, and paints. They also discussed the growing trade tension between the United States and China. Al Goodman reports from Madrid.
Spain's Queen Letizia, arriving on the Madrid campus of a leading Spanish business school, IESE, of the University of Navarra. Greeted by university professors, she's here to present the International Friendship Awards to four Chinese business executives for their contribution to strengthening business ties and creating employment in China and the rest of the world. Inside, the awards recipients await their turn to be called by the Queen. Executives in the fields of paint supplies, venture capital, pharmaceuticals and telecommunications. One by one they come up in front of the crowd to receive their award from the Spanish queen.
AI GOODMAN MADRID, SPAIN "It's an awards ceremony for these Chinese executives. But the backdrop is the rising tension between the United States and China over a potential trade war, with each side considering slapping huge tariffs on the other."
It's not a pleasing prospect for this executive, who manages China's operations for a Dutch paint manufacturer.
LIN LIANGQI PRESIDENT OF AKZO NOBEL, CHINA "Because there's no winner in such a kind of conflict or confrontations. Nowadays in the global economy nobody can live without each other."
This executive says her firm, Bayer, would be affected by a trade war, just like all the others.
CELINA CHEW PRESIDENT OF BAYER IN GREATER CHINA "Based on what we see so far I don't think we are directly impacted by the current indications of what the tariffs would be, but of course it would create an atmosphere of uncertainty and unpredictability which is not what is great for investments."
This founder of a venture capital firm says China's market is growing and attractive for investors, and he hopes the trade war can be averted.
ERIC LI PRESIDENT OF CHENGWEI CAPITAL "So I think it's a very promising market for American and European companies. So it would be unfortunate if they walk away from those market opportunities. I don't think they will."
The IESE business school awards ceremony was scheduled long before the current talk of a trade war between Washington and Beijing. About 5 percent of the school's students are Chinese. University officials say the whole point of the awards, and the presence of the Queen, is to build deeper business ties between Spain and China, and Europe and China. Not to build walls. Al Goodman, CGTN, Madrid.