A Young French Businessman Asks Suzhou City Mayor: "Ethically, how can we invest in your city?"
May 28th in Paris was "Suzhou City Day," an important event for investors considering doing business in China. Previously, Suzhou City has attracted the major portion of French foreign investment.
Suzhou City Day was held in one of the most prestigious and expensive places in Paris, "Espace Gabriel," and was attended by around 500 businessmen (among whom 150 were from China), by Suzhou City's mayor, by the Ambassador of China in France and by many other VIPs and government officials from France.
The heads of several big French companies that had invested in China gave speeches. As the event was organised by Suzhou City, the general tone was quite favorable to investing in China -- but it seemed as though these people were under pressure to only say positive things. However, after the end of the last speech, when Suzhou City's mayor went on stage to answer questions, a young French businessman who is also a Falun Gong practitioner raised a question:
"Your city is beautiful, and many people are thinking of investing there. However, I wonder how, ethically, we can invest in your city. From human rights organizations, we know that most of the electronic components that are manufactured there are subcontracted to forced labor camps, where especially practitioners of Falun Gong are imprisoned. What kind of guarantees can you provide to foreign investors that collaborating with your city will not mean that our products will be manufactured by people who suffer persecution?"
The diffuse noise of comments was heard in the conference room, and it seemed that everyone was shocked to hear something other than praise. One lady turned around and raised up her thumb to the young businessman.
Suzhou City's mayor did not dare to answer the question, and the organisers suddenly said that the question and answer session was finished. As he left the conference room, many people smiled at the young businessman who asked the question.
Sadly, however, some attending businessmen had applauded the Suzhou City mayor for not answering the question. It is worrying to see that for petty gains, some people abandon their conscience and only want to see the sunny side of China. They should seriously ponder over this issue: Is morality the most basic need for long term success in business, or is it just an empty expression used for publicity? Where are such people heading if they cannot have a righteous human attitude?
Category: April 25 Events