Ben Simpfendorfer

Ben Simpfendorfer

Former Chief China Economist for the Royal Bank of Scotland and J.P. Morgan

Speaker Categories: Asia | Global Economy & Emerging Markets | Finance | Economic Outlook | Global Economy & Emerging Markets

Travels From: -, Hong Kong.

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Ben Simpfendorfer Bio
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Books
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Former Chief China Economist for the
Royal Bank of Scotland and J.P. Morgan

Ben Simpfendorfer is Managing Director & Founder of Silk Road Associates. He leads the firm's strategy consultancy and executive advisory, working alongside multinationals and mid-market foreign firms to develop their commercial strategies with a focus on China, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

Chief China Economist

Ben is the former Chief China Economist at the Royal Bank of Scotland and former Senior China Economist at J.P. Morgan where he advised many of the world's largest financial investors and multinationals on China's economy and investment opportunities.

Middle East and Far East Expert

Ben has lived in Hong Kong for over a decade. But he started his career in the Middle East where he lived in Amman, Beirut, and Damascus, before moving to London and finally Beijing. He speaks Arabic, Cantonese, and Mandarin, and has spent nearly 20-years immersed in the Silk Road region.

Media

He writes a regular column for FT.com's beyondbrics and is a member of CNN's Globex20. He appears regularly on CNBC and Bloomberg, while his editorials have been published in the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, and International Herald Tribune.

Books

Ben is author of The Rise of the New East, examining commercial opportunities and complexities in Asia and the Middle East. His previous book, The New Silk Road, explored China's commercial relations with the Middle East. It is available in six-languages.

Affiliations

Ben also advises a prestigious group of Chinese and foreign clients on cross-border business and investment opportunities, as part of Global Strategic Associates, an international advisory led by Ambassador Paul Speltz. He also sits on the advisory board of Dubai-based RHT Partners' Asia-GCC fund activities.

China's new Silk Road Strategy--Plans to rebuild the historic trade route have rightly captured headlines, but it is the private sector that matters

China’s President Xi Jinping has leveraged one of the world’s most powerful brands by promising to build a new Silk Road. His commitment to fund $40 billion worth of Silk Road infrastructure projects is an important first step in this plan. Nevertheless, it is China’s commercial sector that will ultimately determine the policy’s success, led by nimble private companies.

The World's Processed Food Bowl--The maturing of Asia's processed food industry is one of the region's most overlooked developments

Asia is known for its electronics exports, but foreign brand owners and modern trade retailers are also increasingly buying from the region's contract food manufacturers. Asia's own growing appetite for premium food products is meanwhile fuelling the rise of local champions.

What Next for MNCs in China?--Foreign CEOs talk of a China that is growing, but also growing in complexity

Silk Road Associates recently co-authored a report with KPMG examining the prospects for multinationals (MNCs) in China. The report includes interviews with 14 regional CEOs and other senior executives at some of the world's leading companies on China's commercial outlook.

Tapping Muslim Markets--Most MNCs have a China or India strategy. But few have a strategy to tap the Muslim world

Many companies overlook the opportunities of the Muslim world's 1.6 billion consumers. That's a pity given that scale of the opportunity. Selling to Muslim consumers is also about more than halal-compliant products. Even simple tweaks to marketing campaigns can achieve results.

China's Shop Window--How Hong Kong has helped the world's brand owners develop their China brand recognition

For smaller brand owners, it can be a challenge developing brand recognition in China's large and fragmented markets. Hong Kong has established itself as China's shop window, receiving 41 million Chinese tourists annually. But commercial strategies are changing fast as retail rents rise.

  • The Rise of the New East: Business Strategies for Success in a World of Increasing Complexity
    The Rise of the New East: Business Strategies for Success in a World of Increasing Complexity Purchase Book
  • The New Silk Road: How a Rising Arab World is Turning Away from the West and Rediscovering China
    The New Silk Road: How a Rising Arab World is Turning Away from the West and Rediscovering China Purchase Book

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Recent Books

  • The Rise of the New East: Business Strategies for Success in a World of Increasing Complexity
    The Rise of the New East: Business Strategies for Success in a World of Increasing Complexity Purchase Book
  • The New Silk Road: How a Rising Arab World is Turning Away from the West and Rediscovering China
    The New Silk Road: How a Rising Arab World is Turning Away from the West and Rediscovering China Purchase Book
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