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The inaugural Kunming International Business Conference

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It can be difficult to navigate the requirements of setting up a business in Yunnan. Laws and stipulations change, often without adequate multi-lingual information being issued publicly. In an effort to make the process less opaque, as well as provide a platform for people interested in establishing their own companies and networking with like-minded individuals, GoKunming has organized the inaugural Kunming International Business Conference.

The conference will be held at Green Lake Hotel on the afternoon of December 14. The event's keynote speech will cover the necessary ins and outs of creating a foreign business and be delivered by industry veteran Max Peng. In addition, the event will feature a lecture by successful Kunming business owners and a presentation on design by The Creative Co-operative.

The afternoon will wrap up with a question and answer forum between the audience and speakers, followed by a networking session involving all the participants. Representatives from the United States Consulate General in Chengdu will also be in attendance.

Speakers and presentations

The challenges and rewards of running a business in Kunming

Kris Ariel, Colin Flahive and Dan Siekman will get things started with a distillation of their combined experiences — both the high-points and challenges — in building successful business ventures here in the Spring City. Ariel and Flahive co-founded Salvador's Coffee House in 2003. Eight years later they opened a branch in Lincang, which is now owned and successfully run by local employees. In 2009, the two founded Village Progress, a non-profit organization supporting health and education initiatives in rural Yunnan. Most recently, they partnered with entrepreneur Dan Siekman to start Dali Bar, China's first all-natural energy bar. With their multiple endeavors, Ariel, Flahive and Siekman are trying to prove that ethical companies can also be successful.

Brand development

Architect and interior designer Ross Duggleby will explain the importance of quality and consistency in branding a business. Such considerations filter into all aspects of a company, and include website design, visual identity and storefront or venue planning. The Creative Co-operative aims to provide a platform from which creative local and international talent can assist businesses in need of design services. Members of The Creative Co-operative have extensive experience providing many of these skills as individuals, and now strive to offer their considerable talents together in a holistic way.

Setting up a business in the Spring City

For the event's keynote speech, Max Peng will give insights into the legal processes and requirements for setting up and maintaining a successful business in Kunming as an expatriate. Peng is a Kunming-based consultant who has assisted people from more than 50 countries with establishing companies in the Spring City. After graduating from Southwest Forestry University in 2004, Peng founded Kunming Yu-Cong Enterprise Management Co Ltd, which offers comprehensive and tailor-made services to foreign nationals, including location scouting, accounting, visa and residence permit assistance as well as company and trademark registration. Peng also provides advice on how to keep up good relationships with local government as well as insights into the state of affairs concerning Chinese law.


15:00 Participant registration
15:30 Opening speech
15:45 The challenges and rewards of running a business in Kunming
16:00 Brand development
16:10 Setting up a business in the Spring City
16:30 Question and answer session
16:45 Networking

How to register

Because this is our first endeavor into the world of business conferences, we have chosen to keep the event relatively small. If you would like to attend, please send the following information to us through the GoKunming Contact Form:

• your full name
• mobile phone number
• email address
• current occupation
• business or industry interests

Space is limited, so please get in touch at your earliest convenience. We look forward to seeing you at Green Lake Hotel.


Organization and hosting of the inaugural Kunming International Business Conference would not be possible without the support of several sponsors. We would like to thank Green Lake Hotel for providing such a wonderful venue, Cantina and Sapore Italia for furnishing delicious refreshments, as well as Kunming Yu-Cong Enterprise Management Co Ltd, Salvador's Coffee House, Dali Bar and DIVA Lounge & Music for all of their help.

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Great stuff, good work for organising what I am sure will be a popular and successful event!

The event was very nice, drawing together a wide range of interesting people I had not met before. I look forward to attending again next time.

Special thanks to Green Lake Hotel for the excellent venue, Diego for donating refreshments and the speakers for their time.

Good job, GK team.

Question: would curious non-business people be welcome?

Nice inaugural meeting - quite a diverse group of expats. Would be good to pre-publish short bios and goals (buyers, sellers, finance, gov reps) of the attendees - so buyers/sellers/financiers/gov people can network in a more focused and targeted manner - sort of similar to trade shows and symposiums.

Instead of stick-on name-tags - which I abhor and detest - suggest the use of color-coded (and way cool) event pins designating attendees intentions (buyers, sellers, financiers, gov, and others).

Dali Bar Sponsorship
Been meaning to try these since their inception, so was a good thing samples were made available - they now serving as emergency breakfast bars and non-sugary snacks in my home. Missed the sparkling wine - next time. Meanwhile - it's back to sprite and wine coolers...

@alien - I don't think the organizers were particularly tyrannical with their screening - as I was permitted to attend....

@laotou: I take it you are not in business, is that right?

@Alien: Local students with a passive interest in business attended, so that's a very open Welcome mat.

This was a well organised event. Thank you to all those who were involved.

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