Article from l’Expansion magazine : André Chieng, AEC Chairman, the businessman’s interpreter.

* Note : CIFAL is a shareholder and partner of AEC.


Chairman of Asiatique européenne de commerce.*

The businessman’s interpreter.

The king of Chinese-French go-betweens. His list of Chinese business contacts, developed through 30 years of “facilitation”, is enough to make anyone drool. He advises large corporations – part of the CAC 40 – wishing to set up their company in the Middle Kingdom. For this Marseilles native and Chairman of the consulting firm Asiatique européenne de commerce, the relationship between the two countries boils down to a simple matter of plumbing: “On one side, Beijing has tremendous liquid reserves. On the other, Paris needs money. You just need to lay pipes in Asia to irrigate the parched land in France.” Tighten a few seals, and you’ve got your Franco-Asian connection. A bit over-simplistic. In fact, this man, who is never at a loss for metaphors, is well aware of the complexities of Franco-Chinese trade. He describes its intricacies as early as 1987, in a book entitled Les Nouvelles Routes de la soie (the new silk roads). Today, he has added the Chinese think tanks, a new sphere of influence, to his existing connections. Half firefighter, half diplomat, he says: “The French come to me for advice to solve problems. The Chinese often ask me to explain the French reactions.”