Luise Schafer is a senior international executive with over 30 years' professional experience of China. A literate and fluent Chinese speaker, completing postgraduate studies in Beijing in 1983, she is a sought-after commentator on China's business environment.
Her early career included positions at American and Japanese technology firms in Beijing, followed by a Consultancy role assisting British companies break into the China market. A stint as a diplomat, (First Secretary, Commercial) at the Embassy in Beijing in the 1990′s allowed Luise to lead on a broad commercial portfolio, building UK-China partnerships across a range of key industries and ministries.
She successfully led on the visit of the British Deputy Prime Minister in 1996 in the run-up to Hong Kong's handover and brought to signature an important bilateral maritime treaty opening up major commercial opportunities to UK shipping.
Latterly head hunted into the Abacus Group, as Vice Chairman of their China operations, she grew the business and brand significantly over 15 years, in China and E. Asia, and in 2010 delivered on a new, larger greenfield facility in Shanghai, negotiating with both public and private partners.
Luise is the former Chairman of the British Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and has also held a number of other Board positions in NGOs and industry. As the Chair of the first Women in Business group in China, she has championed the woman's voice in industry and the professions, and encouraged those who wish to pursue public life and professional development. She is a staunch supporter or women and children's charities, including UN initiatives.
Luise was Vice Chairman of the 48 Group in the 2000s, and latterly appointed an Honorary Member. Since 2012 she has been an independent corporate advisor and non-executive Director, including Senior Advisor to CRCC Asia, a global consultancy providing financial training, language and internship programmes in China.
In the Queen's birthday honours list in 2012, Luise was honoured with an OBE for services to British business in China.