In the recent years, China and Europe have grown together and tightened their economic connections. Some people say this might provoke a dangerous interdependence. I believe that a close economic co-operation will be crucial for both continents in the 21st century. The European Union as well as China both will benefit and create various synergy effects.
Therefore, the European Union and China have established strong links. One famous example is the EU-China Business Summit which was introduced in 2003 and has been held annually ever since.
High-level European and Chinese businessmen and politicians meet in Beijing today to join economic forces for a prosperous future for both continents. When important economic and political leaders meet to discuss the economic challenges and opportunities of nearly 2 billion people a high profile networking platform is created as well. Hence, this summit is a great opportunity for all participants to exchange business ideas and start important discussions for political as well as economic agendas.
Key speakers will be the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission. Their participation highlights the eagerness of China and Europe to build up tight links and establish a sustainable economic co-operation. Furthermore, European and Chinese enterprises may endeavour new land of business partnership.
All in all, I am confident that this summit will further push the inter-continental relations and will be another milestone in the creation of a sustainable and prosperous 21st century.
As part of my internship at InternChina I have had the opportunity to go on company visits and see interns at their workplace. This has been a real eye opener as it has allowed me to see for myself what placements InternChina provide and I have to say I haven’t been left disappointed.
The diverse array of internships on offer means that there should be an ideal placement for any student or graduate interested in a Chinese placement. Job roles I have seen range from contacting clients in host countries and marketing the company to very creative roles such as designing new products and editing magazines. What’s interesting to see is that internships are on offer in completely different industries and sectors. Interns have been placed in factories to co-ordinate the distribution of products to western countries, had responsibility in setting up and running events in music theatres and positions are also on offer in more corporate office jobs where negotiating with clients and drinking lots of tea is a necessity.
Before my arrival, I had a few misconceptions of how businesses operate in China. What I first imagined was very quiet offices where employees would simply complete their work with minimal interaction. Strict rules would be set and a dismissive reaction would be used as a barrier to avoid any divergence away from the shared working norm. These initial thoughts could not have been further from the truth and I was pleasantly surprised by the openness and in a lot of ways expectancy of new ideas coming from foreign interns. One main attraction to many Chinese companies taking on foreign interns are for the interns to transform the traditional Chinese workplace to give it a more western edge. Original thinking is welcomed, and it is up to you as the intern to make your mark on the company!
I have also noticed that business connections are predominantly made through making friendships. Sharing a few drinks or welcoming people into your home for dinner are ideal ways to create a long lasting business relationship in China. Chinese people very much look out for their friends- I have seen that InternChina’s service has been rewarded through relationship building. The team were invited to a wine sourcing company who welcomed us in and gave us tasters of wine they had on offer. At the end of the visit they provided us all with a free bottle of wine, which shows the perks of generating the oh so important ‘Guanxi’.
Putting the strict and uncompromising Chinese working culture stereotype to bed, it is not uncommon to have a beer after work at the end of the week,or even once a big business deal has been made.
On Saturday interns from Intern China went on a tour of a watch factory in Zhuhai. It was a 34 year old manufacturer known for high-tech original watches. Many people argue that every new product is ‘made in china’ so it was interesting to see first-hand a product provided to the western world made in China.
During the tour we were guided through the different stages of the watch making process by Company Manager Tammy. She was very friendly and was quick to encourage everyone to take a picture with her as it was a once in a lifetime experience!
At the end of the tour we were all provided with a free watch as a thank you for visiting. The day concluded with a talk from Owner Leo who gave us a brief history of the company and advised us on how to make it in the business world.
The tour was a worthwhile experience as we got to see a Chinese business operating behind closed doors 🙂