Sino-UK Tackle Financial Crisis Together

Nigel Clark
[Editor's Note]Financial Crisis have swept through the whole world, In the background, how should China and Britain do to cope with the negative impacts of Financial Crisis? Chinavalue had interviewed
Chinavalue: Can you introduce your background and some of your interesting experince?

Nigel Clark: I worked for 30 years in the mining industry for Billiton (now BHP Billiton) in Brazil, Portugal, Holland, Indonesia, Singapore and China from 1971 to 2001. During that time he worked in exploration, mining and business development for both non-ferrous and precious metals and was on- site General Manager for two gold mines in Indonesia.

I worked as the Managing Director of the British Chamber of Commerce in China from 2002 to 2006, and was Vice Chairman from 2006-2008 and is now Chairman. I have been Chairman of the non-profit association China International Mining Group (CIMG) since early 2004 and is also the Executive Chairman of Central China Goldfields Plc listed on AIM in London.

I'm a keen mountaineer and in 2005 he climbed on Everest for the British Charity ‘Care for Children’ and raised US$50,000 to help place Chinese children into foster care in China.


Chinavalue: You have another side of your personality - climbing mountains and a sense of adventure! How does that help with the various businesses that you are involved with?

Nigel Clark: I have been involved in mountaineering all my life. I grew up in the Lake District in the north of England and was a member of the Keswick Mountain Rescue Team for many years. There I learned about true value of life and how easily it can be lost. Climbing has always helped with my ability to plan meticulously for and focus completely on the matter in hand but at the same time understand all the variables that may affect one's ability to survive. My recent high-altitude experience, particularly on Denali and Everest, will remain indelibly in my memory as amazing experiences of survival and rational decision making under extreme conditions!

I am fortunate in my professional life as a geologist to have lived in many countries, learning about many cultures in the process and trying other languages as well being able to visit and work in the remotest places on earth.

Chinavalue: What's your major job now in BCCC?What's the main role of BCCC between Britain and China?

Nigel Clark: I am now the Chairman of BCCC have previously served on the Executive Committee for about eight years: as an At-large member, as the Managing Director and also as Vice-Chairman so my involvement has spanned many roles. As a non-profit membership based organization BCCC has to add value to its members by providing relevant information on investing in China for Britain business, fostering networking, information sharing, providing connectivity and a platform for dialogue on business issues related to investment in China.

Chinavalue: "2008 Britain Business Awards" held successfully on 6th , November, could you share some experience in the aspect of organization?

what's the major Judging criteria?

Nigel Clark: The 2008 BBA was conceived and planned over almost a year and involved a great deal of organization and voluntary help for which we were very grateful. The staging of an event like this requires working with our close supporters: the Britain Embassy, UK Trade and Investment, the Britain Council, the China Britain Business Council, the Confederation of Britain Industry and The 48 Group Club. Besides the supporters of course we were also deeply grateful to receive very generous sponsorship from UK Trade and Investment, BP, The Britain Council, Jardine One Solution, Standard Chartered and The 48 Group Club. There were a strict set of judging criteria for each award category and each category had an independent set of judges and a lead judge. After short-listing 5 finalists in each category a winner was decided after online voting and interviews with the finalists.“

Chinavalue: What do you think the main reason of the Financial Crisis this year? What's the influence of Financial Crisis to Britain?

Nigel Clark: The financial crisis is mainly due to excessive unsecured spending whether it is on housing cars or personal financing of one nature or another the risks of which have been passed on to third parties.I doubt that there are any countries or people that are not feeling the pinch of the Financial Crisis by now in way or another. How you feel it personally depends on how you can weather the current problems. Those with cash on hand and no debts or liabilities will be in a much better position at the moment. I think we have seen all banks suffer in this crisis – some more than others depending on how exposed they are to these financial problems. Many countries are particularly concerned to ensure the stability primarily of their banking and financial systems and to try to ease credit lines and improve confidence. It is encouraging to see much concerted effort and coordination between countries and regions in this regard. According to the UK National Statistics, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contracted by 0.5 per cent in the third quarter of 2008, compared to flat growth of 0.0 per cent in the previous quarter. For 2009 most observers seem to expect that UK economic growth will slow to its lowest level since 1992.


Chinavalue: In your opinion, What are positive and negative impact of Financial Crisis on China? What should China do to cope with the negative impact of Financial Crisis?

Nigel Clark: Having worked in the mining industry for many years I am used to the cyclic nature of the industry whereby one has to watch costs and capital expansion plans very carefully at all times. China has enjoyed unprecedented growth for so many years this may be an opportunity for belt tightening and looking at efficiencies of operation ´╝îalthough at the same time much attention needs to be paid to unemployment. The Chinese government has already announced and introduced many measures recently to stimulate the economy and tackle the problems, particularly to stimulate the domestic economy, improve investor confidence and encourage spending.

Chinavalue: What will BCCC do to boost the business association between Britain and China?

Nigel Clark: We plan to work with our close allies and partners to enhance our offer to Britain businesses who are currently investing or want to invest in China. We will offer more focused networking and be more insightful with the capture and dissemination of business information as well as offering a better range of services to our members.  

Chinavalue: Nowadays, more and more people focus on fortune, and neglect value. But fortune is not equal to value. What's your view on fortune and value?

Nigel Clark: Looking at those two words fortune and value – fortune is more aligned with luck and I think we have to be very careful that we do not rely solely on fortune because luck can go both ways. The second word – value should steer us to focus on ‘worth’ and the underlying assessment of true value of what we do and produce accordingly. A sound asset of value will be more reliable than trusting on fortune.

Some people can have good fortune and some have bad fortune. Good value however comes in many forms and should provide a better contribution to society. Contribution can come in many forms and are not necessarily linked to money itself. If we look back to our cultural roots and heritage we will find many examples of good value and rich contribution that are not linked to good luck, fortune or money and relied on good will, generosity and hard work As a result of the current problems I hope that we will learn to ensure that our contributions underpin solid value for the betterment of society.
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