Australian legal business development professional Richard Smith (RWS_01) shared a fascinating article in Asia Law Portal LInkedIn Group this week – highlighting the immediate opportunity German law firms have to develop new business emanating from China. The article, entitled Chinese investing big in Berlin, ran in Asia News Network on July 7th, authored by Yao Jing.

2,300 Chinese companies are investing in German industries

As the article explained: “Chinese companies are making big investments in Germany, eyeing the country’s advanced technology and management, a senior Chinese commerce official said.

“The value and the amount of Chinese investment in Germany are both rising quickly,” said Meng Fanzhuang, minister counselor for commerce at the Chinese embassy in Germany.

Embassy figures show that about 2,300 Chinese companies are investing in German industries – such as finance, aviation, telecommunication and machinery – with a total investment of more than US$4 billion.” [emphasis added]

Chinese Embassy advises Chines companies to hire local [German] legal advisors

“However, for newcomers to the country,” the article outlines: “Meng cautioned that there are always difficulties. He suggested companies fully assess the risks and integrate the investment operation with the company’s overall overseas strategy.  I also suggest Chinese companies hire local consultants or law firms because German laws and the taxation system are very complicated and can be a major challenge,” Meng said.'”

What German law firms can do now

What is so striking about this article is how explicitly the opportunity has been articulated.  In the world of legal business development, it’s rare to see such an opportunity so clearly spelled out.  Armed with this information, German law firms should be focused on researching each one of the Chinese companies  who are identified as entering or investing in the German market – then  endeavoring to prepare specific (albeit not too extensive) briefs composed of tangible opportunities for those companies – and seeking to secure face-to-face meetings with that information.

Beyond that – this story ought also to be a lesson to not only German law firms but law firms worldwide – to be ever-prepared as a gateway to your market – as a means by which to rapidly react to an opportunity this explicit – as well as a means by which to properly package a comprehensive service offer aimed at inbound foreign direct investment wherever it may be emanating from.

Posted by John Grimley

John Grimley edits and publishes Asia Law Portal and is the author of A Comprehensive Guide to the Asia-Pacific Legal Markets. He specializes in providing writing, editing, research and strategy services to the corporate and professional services sectors. Between 2002 and 2008, he established and directed the European representative business development office of US AmLaw 100 law and public policy firm Patton Boggs LLP. At the inception of his career, he served as a writer to the President of the United States in the White House. A licensed American lawyer, he holds a Juris Doctor from the University of San Diego School of Law.

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