Ep 6 The Sino-Icelandic FTA Negotiations

This episode is a recording from our annual summer course Doing Business in China. We had the great honor of booking Minister Council Ragnar Baldursson, the deputy head of mission at the Icelandic Embassy in Beijing. Mr. Baldursson was a key person in the final stages of negotiating the Free Trade Agreement between China and Iceland-- an agreement now being studied by his Norwegian counterparts, who are interested in their own bilateral FTA with China now that relations have been fully normalized. Mr Baldursson focuses his lecture on some of the sticky points in negotiations and how to get around them, where the key of course is understanding the interests and concerns of the person on the other side of the table. At the end of the lecture, Mr. Baldursson – who besides being a diplomat is a scholar of Chinese philosophy – also talked about some of the conceptual mismatches between Chinese and European cultures, and how they affect understandings and misunderstandings of government. 

Recorded in July 2017.