Speaking the local language always helps, as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg discovered when attempting Mandarin at a business conference in Beijing.
However, senior delegates at the Asian-Pacific Economic Conference in Beijing November 2014 didn't worry about perfecting their Chinese. English was the official language of attendees from 21 Pacific Rim member countries.
English is now the shared language of popular culture and global business. By 2020, two billion people will speak English as a second language — including members of ASEAN, a regional grouping of Southeast Asian nations.
Andres Martin explains the situation for Time Magazine.