In rapidly evolving economies such as China,the regulatory and policy environment can often be difficult to read. Understanding political trends and government objectives is essential to formulating effective business strategy.To achieve that, companies need to monitor, understand and analyze policy and regulatory developments.
North Head enhances our clients’ abilities to foresee, understand and assess strategic responses to complex public policy, regulatory and reputational challenges by providing timely and insightful reporting. This enables our clients to confidently assess and successfully manage political and regulatory risk, and to recognize opportunities in the political and regulatory arena.
Case 1: Regulation Monitoring and Policy Analysis for a Manufacturing Company
North Head helped this Fortune 100 U.S. headquartered advanced manufacturing company meet the needs of senior executives and business units for high quality briefs of public policy, regulatory and market trends in China. Also we provided strategic counsel for its government outreach efforts.
Company operations span across a wide range of sectors from transportation to construction too electronics, covering numerous geographical areas. Many of these sectors are heavily regulated and developing quickly, creating a large degree of regulatory and market churn. Due to a demanding meeting and travel schedule, the in-house Government Relations team had little time to monitor and prepare briefing documents of market developments.
After two years of ongoing cooperation, the company’s China Government Relations team has been able to ensure that senior executives and business unit heads are kept abreast of important political developments potentially impacting business. This has empowered executives to make better business decisions, and optimize interactions with government stakeholders. The expanded, high-quality offerings have enhanced the China Government Relations team’s reputation within the company, both in China and globally.
Case 2: Educating Stakeholders on the Changing Environment of Forestry Certification
On behalf of a variety of industry stakeholders, North Head initiated in 2011 a series of workshops / forums on forestry certification and responsible procurement of forestry products. By 2013, the series has reached several hundred stakeholders in 5 countries across Asia, and a plan to take the workshop to Europe, North America, and Australia is in development for 2014.
Forestry certification in terms of the legality and sustainability of forestry products is an important area for companies processing and selling such products and for the public at large consuming them. While sustainability, as a concept, is well-known and sought after when selecting forest products, the criteria for and systems of sustainability and legality certification are less understood. This situation prompted North Head to create the workshop series in order to share relevant information with stakeholders – not the least because several clients and partners of North Head have been negatively affected by the lack of knowledge.
The workshop series is still an ongoing project, but in the past 3 years, North Head has managed to provide updated information on new forestry certifications schemes in Asia and on the global schemes to several hundred interested stakeholders in 5 Asian countries. We were able to kick-start larger in-market discussions in Singapore and Malaysia about the usefulness of sustainability certifications, while in the Philippines, the national government has started collaboration with one of the global certification schemes in order to develop their own national standards, after our workshop organized in Manila. Industry stakeholders, such as Asian pulp and paper manufacturers and pulp and paper industry associations have reacted positively to the progress we achieved in terms of sharing information with forestry product users and consumers. Several requests for additional events are a good indication of the interest in the topic. North Head will continue to broaden the geographic area where these workshops are available in the next 2 years.
Case 3: Other Public Affairs Cases
A New Zealand governmental body
To help this client understand China’s policy outlook, North Head provided the following services and projects:
- Detailed analysis of the 12th Five Year Plan, including the plan’s impact and opportunities for companies investing in China, especially those in key sectors such as agritech, food and beverages, biotechnology, healthcare and energy.
- Research and analysis of provincial and key municipal development plans for south west China to help New Zealand enterprises understand the overall investment and business environment. The research also maps out potential outreach opportunities to a range of Chinese governmental agencies.
A leading power and automation technology company
Client is a leading power and automation technology company that is headquartered in Switzerland. The company’s business performance in China is tied strongly to China’s political and economic dynamics. To help it better understand this rapidly changing market, North Head provided several key services, including:
- Monitoring and analysis of China’s political and economic development through reports submitted to the company’s China and global management, which provided an in-depth view of the market and suggestions for its business strategy in accordance with policy changes.
- Drafting consultation papers directed to central and provincial governments to promote the company’s image as an industry leader from the standpoint of the government.
A Canadian trading company
North Head provided the company with services designed to improve internal communications, including:
- Based on an audit on operational procedures, help the company to understand weaknesses in its China office’s organizational structure, reporting lines, job descriptions and internal communications.
- Map out ways that the Canadian headquarters and China office could enhance communication, reduce cultural barriers, build up mutual trust and improve employee morale.