On April 10, 2009, Columbia Business School held its second annual China Business Conference. The Private Equity/Venture Capital panel presented a near-term industry outlook from the perspective of both general and limited partners. Industry insiders included: moderator Daniel R. Mintz, founding managing director of Olympus Capital Holdings Asia; Feng Deng, founding managing director, Northern Light Venture Capital; Rodney J. Dillman, president of MassMutal International; Gregory Mark Hill, managing director of Trenwith Securities; Ling Liu, managing director of The Cathay Capital Group; and Mike Strauss, vice president of Institutional Sales at Westminster Securities.
China has been the fastest-growing major nation for the past quarter of a century with an average annual GDP growth rate above 10%. However, the global financial crisis and the concomitant fall in global export demand have slowed China's growth to its lowest level in nearly a decade. China's economy, the third largest in the world, grew 6.1% in the first quarter of 2009, down from 6.8% last quarter and from 13% for all of 2007. Despite such recent headwinds, experts featured in the Private Equity/Venture Capital Panel at the 2009 China Business Conference are confident of a pending recovery and share an optimistic outlook of private equity in the region.