Owen Haacke is the Director and Chief Representative of the US-China Business Council (USCBC) Shanghai office. Since 2013 he has worked, consulted, and advocated for member US companies doing business in China. Owen coordinates provincial government engagement opportunities and oversees work on targeted research on best practices, operational issues, and policy and regulatory changes that impact operations of US companies in China.
“The best part about the job is interacting with our member company representatives across different industries and functions to learn about their business. The most rewarding part is when we can help them resolve some of the specific challenges they are facing.”
And Owen and his colleagues are good at helping members resolve thorny issues. This is facilitated by discussions about common challenges and best practices for dealing with them among members representing government affairs, legal, finance, HR and more.
According to Owen, “in one example, a USCBC member company raised questions about specific environmental enforcement policies that impacted their operations, and we were able to help connect them with peers focused on environmental compliance in a lively roundtable discussion. The platform allowed the company to directly raise questions concerning their specific business challenges, and the insights shared in the discussion helped them find a path to resolving the issue they were facing.”
Perhaps a precocious child, Owen describes how at a young age he became interested in international trade, deducing that China is the place to be to learn about international trade in practice. The next step while still in college was managing a small export consulting business with a focus on specialty packaging. “I was hooked by the exciting opportunities, and also learning about the complex challenges of doing business between the US and China,” he recalls.
Naturally, he seeks less complex challenges while off the clock. “I grew up fly fishing and enjoy the outdoors, and sometimes you can find me searching for fishing spots around China.”
Owen can tell you about the one that got away, or the ancient art of fly tying. He can also share his considerable expertise on the ins and outs of doing business in China. He’s a regular on the USCBC podcast, the China Business Minute.