News Article

News Article

New Year Letter from James Dunn, Executive Director

10 Jan 2022

Dear Members and friends,

I hope you had a pleasant Christmas and New Year. It was another Christmas away from family back in the UK for many of us, but I hope you found some respite over the festive period and spent it with friends. It did seem that half of the ex-pat population was down in Sanya, lapping up the sun!

Before I speak about our plans for 2022, I wanted to touch upon recent news from China’s State Council and China’s Ministry of Finance. If you haven’t heard/seen the information yet, the following announcements were made:

  1. China’s State Council announced that one-time annual bonuses could continue to be taxed separately at a preferential rate. 
  2. China’s Ministry of Finance announced that foreigners’ preferential individual income tax (IIT) exemptions will be extended until 31 December 2023.

What an excellent end of year gift. The Chambers of Commerce throughout China have been intensely lobbying both local and national governments to get this extended. This goes to show the incredible strength the Chambers of Commerce have throughout the country, so if you’re not involved, then you should be! – Let’s Connect!

At our annual general meeting last year, I unveiled our new chamber branding and products-based model – a project that had been in the works for several years. The members‘ insight report findings were that the Chamber needed to communicate its purpose better, broaden its reach by tapping into new industries, appeal to younger members, and become more digitally accessible. I think we have done this in abundance, and to ditto what our Chair, Ray Chisnall said in his end of year message a few weeks ago, we have received an overwhelmingly positive response.

Since the launch, we have come along, and we are working harder than ever to serve and delight our members. This year, and with the incredible support from the secretariat, Executive Committee (ExCo) and Committees, see below a brief snippet of our activities for the year that will help bring you the latest trends, regulatory updates and what this all means for your business. In addition, you will be seeing a lot more digital content from us!

ESG and Sustainability

With the heightened attention around sustainability that the COVID-19 pandemic and Climate Crisis have fuelled, it’s now more important than ever to ensure your businesses have an ESG strategy to address the main challenges around circularity and net-zero. Companies that consider ESG aspects will have a much higher evaluation than those that don’t. Whilst large MNCs can afford to have dedicated teams to look at this; small businesses don’t; the Chamber plays a critical role to support not only SMEs but also MNCs to share best practices and highlight how we can all improve together to become more sustainable.

To assist members through this, we will have a new ESG Committee to help deliver the best activities and advice to help our members on their journey to become more sustainable. Coupled with our ESG Conference in September, we will be launching an ESG Greater China Awards for International Businesses (more details to follow next week). Furthermore, continuing our Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) seminars until June to help educate businesses on how they can make a difference.

I look forward to seeing you at the upcoming sessions:

Talent Development Programme – Oct to Dec

Our Talent Development Programme is an integrated training and networking series that provides the opportunity for participants to achieve their maximum potential by closing the employability skills gap and building relationships with like-minded cohorts. This is a two-month programme offering online and offline interactive workshops led by highly reputable company representatives across various industries to share their enriching knowledge and extensive experience.

If you’re interested in sending your staff or if you would like to contribute as a mentor/trainer, then please do let me or one of the team know.


This year, we have made a few changes, as we wanted to focus on the quality of our events rather than quantity. To ensure we achieve this target, we have addressed this in several ways:

  1. Reviewed all of our committees and reduced to ten. Focussing on key industries and job role functions for members.
  2. Submission of Committee Business Plans to help us actively plan a yearly calendar and promote activities further in advance.
  3. Secretariat Structure – We have split the committee manager role in two, which will help us have a dedicated resource with enhanced knowledge and expertise in those industries.

Whilst we have made extraordinary steps forward, there are always ways we can improve to help deliver more excellent value to our members. Ira Wang, our membership manager, will be reaching out to you all shortly to survey your thoughts, so please do give us your feedback as this will only help to drive our Chamber even further forward.

Lastly, I am delighted to inform you that Janet Jiang, Director of Marketing Communications & Events has been promoted to the Deputy Executive Director. Janet has been with the Chamber since 2011 and has played an instrumental role in its development. Janet will oversee all functions of the Chamber apart from finance, and alongside Alex Roberts, will be enhancing our work with local government and industry-related ministries. (Alex Roberts is our ExCo Member and Advocacy Lead. Check on Alex’s recent article on our advocacy efforts in 2021.)

I am excited to work alongside a team of passionate people from our team, Executive Committee and Committees to make this year even greater than last.

I look forward to seeing you at our upcoming activities.

Let’s Connect!


James Dunn

Executive Director, BritCham Shanghai

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