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Jason Chen, the Corporate President and CEO of Acer, was named as one of the “People to Watch in Asia in 2014” by The Wall Street Journal. So when a group of people interested in East Asian business gathered at the House of Lords in London today, they were especially keen to hear what he had to say.

Mr Chen’s Taiwanese company operates in 160 countries, had revenues of $12.5 billion in 2013 and was the worldwide computing partner of the London 2012 Olympics. His personal career path has taken him through Intel, IBM and Taiwan Semiconductor. Figuring he would know a thing or two about international business, he was asked: “What is the key to success in international business?”

He said there are three things:

  • Language proficiency – you must become competent in the language of those you are engaging with
  • Local logic – you must adopt the thought patterns and logic processes of those you are dealing with
  • Appropriate communication – you must communicate within the appropriate protocols for those you are working with

All of which are personal skills rather than corporate strategies.