Xiangwei Gong on LinkedIn: Part 3 of my April journey, I’m behind! It’s not easy to live in the… (2024)

Xiangwei Gong

President Asia at AptarGroup Inc. (ATR); Non-Executive Board Director at Oterra, a portfolio company of EQT; Governor of Board of Governors at Shanghai YZL Philanthropy Fund; Advisor to sHero China

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Part 3 of my April journey, I’m behind! It’s not easy to live in the moment while also take time to reflect on the past & learn. … In Denmark I was. As soon as I arrived I got a message from US Embassy in Beijing inviting me to join a small group of business leaders to meet Secretary Blinken during his state visit to Shanghai, in same week. My Stanford experience helped me conquer Imposter Syndrome. I cancelled a pre-scheduled meeting, took a redeye flight to Shanghai & landed at sunrise Thursday. I felt immense energy inside.I read up on key topics & thought through constructive & useful messages that can benefit our business community, which Aptar & I are honored to represent. Thought geopolitical situation is sensitive, businesses are bridges connecting the world. I believe we’re more similar than we’re different. Empathy, trying to understand each other’s positions & priorities, goes a long way. I felt Secretary Blinken is one of the best listeners I met. I felt him genuine & sincere about his mission & wanting to help make the world better through bridging gaps, facilitating people connections, & building good businesses. Flags flying, crowds gathered in front of Shanghai Peace Hotel, where Secretary Blinken lodged. (Completed 95 years ago, North Building of Peace Hotel, Sassoon House, was built by Sir Victor Sassoon, a British Sephardic Jew of Iraqi origin, educated at Harrow School & Cambridge University. His family owned a trading company & managed extensive businesses in Bombay, Hong Kong, & Shanghai. Source Wikipedia)Moist-eyed, I imagined our world then through the history of Peace Hotel & its glorious past, a past where East & West converged. What’s happening to our world now?!On his way to BJ airport Secretary Blinken stopped at a record store at BJ’s famous 798 mall, bought records of Taylor Swift & Dou Wei. Heartwarming & what a gesture to connect two cultures! Music transcends words & politics. Let music play across borders & above us in the sky!In same week I also met in SH my dear friend, mentor, CBS professor, Virgin Galactic astronaut 022, fearless Ketty Maisonrouge, who encourages me to never give up my dreams & aspirations, to be a brave doer & do my part to contribute to a better world. I am immensely grateful for Ketty’s encouragement & belief in me. I had the privilege to take her class & witness her childhood dream of going to space coming true!After some real work came my trip to NYC before May Labor Day week. I needed & wanted to be with my daughter Anna, who had to undergo an ACL surgery on May 1. So my April started & ended on an intercontinental flight.People ask me how I battle jetlags. My secrets: 1. I never predispose myself thinking I’ll have a jetlag. 2. I live the new time zone already in flight; walk soon after landing, pause to appreciate flowers, breezes, sunlight, whatever the new place offers. (Blinken visits photos credit to State Department with permission.)To be cont’d.

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seema Ahluwalia

Strategies , EV sourcing expert ,love to serve society

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So inspirational! Xiangwei Gong hope Anna your daughter is good after surgery

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Steven Wong

Passionate in building strong relationship in the field of Lighting and Imaging. | Glasslovers | Connections | Technology | Strategic-Positioning | Value-Prepositions

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Keep going! 👍🏻

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  • Xiangwei Gong

    President Asia at AptarGroup Inc. (ATR); Non-Executive Board Director at Oterra, a portfolio company of EQT; Governor of Board of Governors at Shanghai YZL Philanthropy Fund; Advisor to sHero China

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    Part 2 of my April journey. I went to visit my mom for a weekend. Walking around the neighborhood where I grew up & nearby countryside where farmers grow rice always makes me nostalgic & grateful. Seeing the declining part of my hometown as most state-owned factories here were shut down in the 90s, many people like myself or our children have left town & are only back to visit the elderly, I always wonder if it’ll ever metamorphose into something new & how that’d happen. I’ve seen it possible in big cities in China, US… where industrial buildings became art galaries with trendy cafes & restaurants, but such transformation rarely happens randomly. In April rice paddies are ploughed, seeds to be sowed, seedlings will start to pop out of soil soon. The year’s hard work has been well under way & harvest is just months away, a comforting constant in our fleeting time.In recent years I go back to see my mom almost whenever I’ve a free weekend. No matter how far I go, my mom remains my most important compass for life’s purpose & a major source of inspiration & strength. Even though she’s become frail, the light in her eyes is dimming, I know she loves me & know she knows I love her with all my being. I try my best to bring love to the time she has left & I feel love back. I’ll treasure these visits till end of my life & appreciate life even more intensely as I process & accept her decline & our inevitable parting. My next week was mainly spent on visiting & receiving customers, the most favorite part of my work, for it always reminds me why I have a job, why we build plants & what we must do to make a difference. On weekend I flew to Copenhagen to join Oterra’s board meeting as independent board director. I appreciate learning from this passionate & engaging board of members from food ingredients & investment community, with rich experiences & diverse cultural backgrounds. Being part of this board helps me broaden my horizons, stay involved in a European business & connect dots between ingredients & packaging industries, both serve same customers & consumers through driving innovation, good business practices & responsible governance, all for a more sustainable future. In addition, when I talk to my European colleagues I often see through their viewpoints, like a mirror, reflecting how US & China are doing economically & politically, both independently & intertwined. It’s highly relevant & stimulating. At this time in Northern Europe I love waking up before dawn, watching the sun rise & experiencing the long day of bright daylight. My son Alan, an exchange student in London, flew in to see me. As we walked & chatted along the canals, waves shimmering in sunset light & boats sailing by, I felt elated about life’s wonders. As dusk set in we stumbled upon a statue of Søren Kierkegaard. We stood there, reminiscing about his words: “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” To be cont’d. Alan Deutsch Anna Gloor

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  • Xiangwei Gong

    President Asia at AptarGroup Inc. (ATR); Non-Executive Board Director at Oterra, a portfolio company of EQT; Governor of Board of Governors at Shanghai YZL Philanthropy Fund; Advisor to sHero China

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    Great to read this upbeat update from my colleague Pierre Leurent on his latest experiences in China together with the cohort of Aptar leaders while they continue to explore their own leadership journey as part of our signature executive development program CASA.

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  • Xiangwei Gong

    President Asia at AptarGroup Inc. (ATR); Non-Executive Board Director at Oterra, a portfolio company of EQT; Governor of Board of Governors at Shanghai YZL Philanthropy Fund; Advisor to sHero China

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    A very interesting article written by Columbia professors Gernot Wagner and Shang-jin Wei on the matter of tariffs on Chinese EVs. What’s good for the planet and consumers’ wallet may not be good for local jobs, shareholders of car companies… Hence tariffs seem to be favored by policy makers. Alternatively, government subsidies (funded by tax payers) to support local EV manufacturers?

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  • Xiangwei Gong

    President Asia at AptarGroup Inc. (ATR); Non-Executive Board Director at Oterra, a portfolio company of EQT; Governor of Board of Governors at Shanghai YZL Philanthropy Fund; Advisor to sHero China

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    This past April was one of the most memorable months in my professional life. It was intense, challenging, unexpected, rewarding. I have been reflecting a lot, and decide to share a summary of the events & some of my learnings in a series of posts.On April 1 I flew from Shanghai to San Francisco to attend Stanford’s inaugural Business, Government & Society Forum as a panelist on the China Strategic Competition panel, along with Chairman of Amcham Shanghai, Allan Gabor & distinguished scholars / China experts / former Sr. Advisors to White House (Elizabeth Economy Matthew Turpin Keith Hennessey). When I received the invitation from Dean Jon Levin, now #Stanford President-Elect, the imposter syndrome hit me and I doubted if I could make meaningful contributions to the panel. Thankfully I got strong encouragement from my boss Stephan Tanda, colleagues, friends, & especially my daughter Anna, who told me whatever I lack in academic research I make up with experiences on the ground and I shouldn’t sell myself short. I am glad I took on the challenge and brought my voice to an important conversation. Throughout our discussions & thanks to my remarkable co-panelists I felt strongly that people are more similar than they are different; even when we sometimes have contrasting views, we may be simply seeing & presenting the same coin from two different sides or through different lenses; it’s far better that people intentionally seek out opportunities to clarify & bridge understandings than to guesstimate each other & amplify differences based on which harmful decisions could be made. My 2nd April week was packed. We inaugurated Aptar’s largest site in Asia and hosted our executive committee & board in China for 1st time in 5 years. My amazing team worked tirelessly to make the week successful & impactful. We visited customers & institutions, had engaging conversations with economists & entrepreneurs about Asia’s developments and what’s expected from leaders to lead responsibly in Asia. My whole Asia leadership team joined & proudly presented to the board our major progresses made especially in India & China in the last few years. And we zoomed in to dissect the most relevant economic developments in China to understand what’s evolving, and how Aptar can continue to participate & lead in this vibrant economy by “Transforming ideas into solutions that improve everyday life” of millions of people. Our mission is more relevant than ever for our business in China as people start to see that the Chinese economy can no longer depend on cement & steel, but quality of living & a better life for more people are not just words but represent huge economic opportunities for those ready to adapt, innovate, & invest in the future. Seeing is believing. Our board saw different perspectives about the economy, great opportunities in China & Asia, & an outstanding pool of local leaders & talents who are committed to making our businesses in Asia successful.To be cont’d.

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  • Xiangwei Gong

    President Asia at AptarGroup Inc. (ATR); Non-Executive Board Director at Oterra, a portfolio company of EQT; Governor of Board of Governors at Shanghai YZL Philanthropy Fund; Advisor to sHero China

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    Aptar is a proud member of AmCham Shanghai. This unique business community, arguably the largest one bridging US-China business relationships, under the authentic and inclusive leadership of Allan Gabor and Eric Zheng continues to thrive and bring people and businesses together to benefit the greater good. It’s also my great honor to be part of the business leader delegation to meet Secretary Blinken during his recent visit to Shanghai. It was quite special though not surprising to hear directly from Secretary Blinken how much he values the engagement with the Shanghai business community, and I quote from his statement: “I wanted to make sure, being here in Shanghai – the hub of so much economic activity and also a real hub of connection between the United States and China when it comes to business, when it comes to trade – that I had a chance to hear directly from you who are engaged in this market, engaged in this relationship, because it’s so extraordinarily consequential.”

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  • Xiangwei Gong

    President Asia at AptarGroup Inc. (ATR); Non-Executive Board Director at Oterra, a portfolio company of EQT; Governor of Board of Governors at Shanghai YZL Philanthropy Fund; Advisor to sHero China

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    A very informative article written by Clas Neumann, SVP SAP and Global Head of SAP Labs. It’s interesting to read the comments as well. Recently I came to realize that a lot of my Chinese friends are more critical and negative about China’s economic and technological progress than Americans or Europeans I talked to in the past few weeks. My frequent traveling back and forth between China, Europe and U.S. has given me very interesting perspectives about the places I visit, the strengths and weaknesses of each, and why effective communication is so crucial for the powers of the world to work together responsibly. Thank you for sharing your great insights and inspire constructive reflections and conversations! Clas Neumann

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