Making it Rain: Challenges and Opportunities with SME Financing in China

  • Date
    02 November 2020 - 02 November 2020
  • Beijing Time
    4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
  • Venue
    Beijing Lufthansa Center, Office C405, No. 50 Liangmaqiao Road, Beijing
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If there was ever a year where existing SME financing policies were put into test and where a substantial step-up was demanded from governments all over the world, that has been 2020. Looking at China in particular, its leadership has been working for years to support SME financing through a variety of policies, from the development of multiple funds to measures to encourage financing from private entities and financial institutions. Although these efforts have had a degree of success, in many cases SME financing remains a challenge, especially for foreign small businesses operating in China.

What are the financing avenues for European SMEs in China? How can SMEs take advantage of funding opportunities by the Chinese government? How do European financial institutions approach providing financial support to SMEs? What are the roadblocks encountered by these institutions when it comes to supporting their smaller customers?

The EU SME Centre and the European Chamber are pleased to invite you to our first Working Group meeting of Phase III of the Centre, where three expert panelists will discuss SME financing from the perspectives of banking, innovation funding and consumer finance. The meeting will take place on Monday, 2nd November from 16:00-17:30 both online and offline.


  • Zoom
  • Beijing: Beijing Lufthansa Center, Office C405, No. 50 Liangmaqiao Road, Beijing



Registration and networking (offline)


Opening remarks


Panel discussion

17:00-17:30: Q&A session

If you would like to join this meeting, please feel free to reach out to Mr Muyang Zhang at indicating whether you would like to join online or offline before Friday, 30th October COB.

About the speakers

Susan Gao

Susan joined Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg Beijing Repräsentative Office on 2007 Feburary. She is in Charge of local financial Institutions and Government relationship. Since 2011, she took the position of Chief representative of Beijing office and she is in charge of the General operation of LBBW Beijing office. Start from 2016, she took the position of China Head and she is in Charge of General operation of LBBW China.

Olivier Rambert

Mr. Olivier Rambert is a leasing business professional with more than 25 years of related experience around the world, graduated from Essec Business School with a Master in Business Administration. Olivier joined Societe Generale Equipment Finance Greater China since Sept. 2016 as Chief Executive Officer. Before moving to Shanghai, he has been involved in various senior management positions where he has developed a versatile understanding of the leasing industry, dealing with topics such as innovation, risk, international vendor programs management, and international project management. He has also been engaged in aviation leasing, structured finance and office equipment finance. This extensive experience gives him a unique view on this particular industry.

Alessio Petino

Alessio has worked for 5 years on various EU-funded projects in China, including as junior key expert, mainly conducting policy and market analysis for European companies looking to enter or already in the Chinese market. His key areas of expertise are China’s sci-tech, research and innovation policy, high-tech zones, EU-China co-funding mechanisms, as well as government incentives, grants and subsidies for innovation.

Alessio has formulated many studies, especially for DG RTD, including guides and market entry handbooks for SMEs. He has also written several bids for FPI- or DEVCO-funded projects (strategy and logframe), attended EU-China S&T dialogues, and has organised numerous business missions including under the EU Gateway to China project and Enjoy! It’s from Europe project (in China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Japan, and S. Korea). Alessio has been based in Beijing since 2011.

Renzo Isler (Moderator)

Before taking up the post of Director of the EU SME Centre, Mr. Isler was for eleven years CEO of Generali China Life (中意人寿), one of the top foreign insurers in China. Mr. Isler has worked for the Generali Group for 44 years with long-term assignments in three continents, gaining wide knowledge and understanding of the world of insurance.

With economics background developed in Italy and USA, he held different management positions and has been sitting on numerous Boards of Insurance and Financial Companies in USA and Europe. In 2012 he received the award for Best Italian Manager in China. He retired in 2016 but remained with the Generali Group as Senior Consultant for China till July 2020.

Part-time trainer and motivator at international development programs for Generali Group’s young talents, has been invited for lectures on Life Insurance and leadership in and outside of China. He contributes occasionally with articles on Italian media about China.

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