Matching capabilities and short and long-term interests is the key to success. 

Strong state support

Research conducted by Synocus and Tsinghua University has shown that national champions in China and Finland share surprisingly similar development paths. However, the difference is that leading Finnish companies such as Nokia and Metso were formed over a hundred years ago, whereas Chinese champions such as ZTE and Suntech were established in 1985 and 2001 respectively. In spite of this, all these companies have benefited from strong governmental support in their early development phases, after which they have gradually become international corporations and among the global leaders in their fields. However, the difference is that in Finland the close ties between the companies and the government existed prior to the 1990s, whereas in China this is still very much the norm.

Forming valuable partnerships

The success of companies such as ZTE and Suntech shows that the Chinese business culture has strongly integrated public and private interests. This is, of course, plain to see and is often even used as a political argument against China in debates about globalization and outsourcing. What is discussed less is that Chinese support of foreign companies operating in China is also of considerable importance to the success of these companies in China. One example of an industry where Western companies, through their joint ventures, have built very significant businesses and revenue streams for their parent companies is the car industry. Even though Chinese companies have vigorously tried to increase their market share in the car market, the leading Western brands such as VW, GM, Hyundai, Toyota, and Nissan represented more than half of Chinese passenger car sales in 2010. Therefore, the key issue is not whether one needs to develop public private partnerships in China, but what forms of partnerships to strive for.

New challenges bring new opportunities

With green technologies dominating the political agenda there will be further need to form partnerships involving governmental agencies, universities, companies and other stakeholders. For such undertakings, China is actively seeking new innovative solutions. This search opens up the possibility for creative proposals to be put forward from different parties. In Finland there are a number of large companies which are now evaluating what forms of collaboration to build up in China and how to make sure that the parties involved would also be those that offer the best possibility for longer-term cooperation. 

New priorities

GDP growth has traditionally been one of the key concerns of Chinese local government officers. They are open-minded and keen on various ideas to boost their economy. Leveraging the increasing awareness of environmental impact, Chinese city managers are developing a favoring policy to support eco-conscious investment activities. The governments of several cities have turned to Synocus in search of innovative and sustainable Western public and private partners for further cooperation. Synocus has also assisted Chinese private companies to expand their business territory with Finnish private and public organizations.