Staff report

The business ties between South Carolina and China will be the focus of a panel discussion this week in Columbia.

The third annual Sino-American Business Forum will take place from 2 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday in Lumpkin Auditorium at the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business.

The theme: “Global Communication in Business Across China and North American Markets.”

The event, which is being co-sponsored by USC’s Confucius Institute, is free and open to the public.

David Hudgens, regional director of the Asia Pacific region of the Moore School’s Office of International Activities, said panelists will share personal insights on how communication serves as a bridge between two cultures and is a key to building stronger, more reliable business ties.

“We’re bringing together many different communities within South Carolina and the U.S. Southeast — communities that are having greater and greater interaction with China as a marketplace and as a significant cultural influence shaping the contemporary global landscape,” Hudgens said in a statement.

South Carolina honorary trade ambassador Vivian Wong, founder and chairwoman of Pacific Gateway Capital, is among the scheduled speakers, Other panelists include: Luke Chan, a finance and economics professor at McMaster University in Ontario; Ke Liu, dean of the International Business School at the Beijing Language and Culture University; Michelle Wang, restaurateur and president of the M Gourmet Group in Columbia; Dirk Brown, director of the Moore School’s Faber Entrepreneurship Center; and Renee Matthews, principal of Eastpoint Academy in Columbia.

Go to to register.