Day 8 & 9 – Hong Kong

After one week of China it was time to change the scenery and go to Hong Kong for 2 days. We arrived in Hong Kong on Saturday evening and most of the people had a bright smile on their face. No hot pots, no chicken feet – finally more western food again.

After a night out on Saturday in lan kwai fong it was time to do some sightseeing on Sunday. Most of us went up to the victoria peak and enjoyed the impressive skyline of Hong Kong.

As we are not only in Hong Kong for pleasure, we met at 0900 on Monday to visit Credit Suisse and KPMG. The Cedit Suisse offices are located in Kowloon in the ICC building. Located on the 88th floor we had the presentations with beautiful views of Hong Kong and the harbour. Mrs Bergqvist organized the event and invited guest speakers that spoke about various topics. Those included the liberalization of the chinese capital market, change in labour and domestic bond market.

Key points were that China has a huge potential and is slowly opening up the market and Credit Suisse tries to take advantage of that. Also there is a change in labour. China used to provide cheap labour where as now, cheap and educated engineers are available. In 2016 only, 1.4 million chinese people graduated. (Bsc, Msc or PHD)

After having lunch at the shopping mall we continued our day with a visit at the KPMG office in central Hong Kong. In a short time, we had 4 presentations about various topics. Most interesting presentations were the virtual banking and the insights of symon and oliver about the expat life in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong lacks behind China when it comes to digital payment. That’s one of the reasons why the HKMA (Hong Kong Monetary Authority) started an application process and will issue 4 virtual banking licenses. KPMG estimates that around 81 firms are interested in the 4 licenses. However, it is not clear if all the interested firms will apply and go through the difficult application process.

Symon and Oliver wrapped up the session at KPMG. They gave us various and interesting insights about living and working in Hong Kong. Topics discussed where the rents, way of living in Hong Kong and the working culture.

All in all it was a very interesting day with valuable information.

Now it is time to take the speed ferry which brings us to the Las Vegas of Asia – Macau 🙂

 

Here some further impressions about Hong Kong and its gold fish market. – poor fish 🙁

 

 

 

 

Day 7 – Chongqing

Dear Blog readers from all around the world 🌍

Big, Bigger, Chongqing!

Chongqing is the world’s largest municipality, with a population of about 30 million people, is surely enough to make anyone sit up and take notice.

Everything about Chongqing is hot and spicy: the weather, the people and most notably, the cuisine. The city of Chongqing is not a vast boundless plain, but rather a unique landscape set in mountains and rivers. You can see a light rail passing through a building, experiance a cable car ride across the Yangtze River, and watch a mystical mirage upon the mist and clouds. One thing is for sure, nothing is usual here.

In the morning the delegation of the students had the opportunity to visit the Swiss China Center (SCC). SCC is a non-profit organization established in 2016 in Mainland
China, Hong Kong, London, and Switzerland. It was founded by a diverse group of Swiss and Chinese entrepreneurs with the main objective of providing a dynamic platform for business and cultural exchange between the two countries. SCC can be seen as the gateway between China and Switzerland!

After highly interesting presentations from both side, SCC and Mr. Braun (ZHAW), a lively discussion started. Topics like the trade war between China and US or the free trade agreement with Switzerland were on the list.

After the mandatory photo session the time has come to say goodbye to SCC and Chongqing. Next destination ✈ Hong Kong!

Arrived in Hong Kong we noticed the difference to “real” China heavily. Finally we were able to communicate with the people in English again. Ordering food in a restaurant was not a challenge anymore.

We are looking forward to our free day in Hong Kong tomorrow!

Day 6 – Chongqing

In the morning we took the high-speed train from Chengdu to Chongqing where our shuttlebus already waited for us. The train ride itself was quite an experience itself. We passed the breathtaking landscape and the suburbs with nearly 300 km/h. After 2.5 hours we arrived in Chongqing, where it immediately became clear how huge the city must be. The train station looked more than a giant airport than an ordinary train station.

Yasmeen-YunXia Liu, our contact from ABB China, made a perfect figure as a host. With her guidance we were able to find an absolute perfect restaurant for lunch. We ate a lot of different delicious traditional dishes. Everybody was happy to have had such a great lunch before our visit at ABB.

Thankfully, Kurt Lötscher Head Group Public Affairs at ABB opened us the opportunity to visit the ABB factory Plant on the 6th July. ABB’s history dates back to 1891 when Charles E. Brown and Walter Boveri founded BBC, a swiss group of electrical companies, producing motors, generators, steam turbines and transformers.  BBC became ABB in 1988 through a merger with Swedish Allmänna Svenska Elektriska Aktiebolaget (ASEA). ABB operates in over 100 countries and decided in 1998 to open a transformer factory in Chongqing. The joint venture grew really fast and started selling its products all over the world. Nowadays ABB Chongqing Transformers Co. Ltd. delivers its transformers mainly to south east asia and its home market china. Since each transformer is a unique product and set up to the demands of the customers, the process from order and design to assembly and shipping is highly labor intensive and takes about 5 months. ABB Chongqing counts 557 employees.

After a short safety instruction, the general Manager himself, John-Hanping Zheng, held a presentation about ABB Chongqing Transformers Co. Ltd. where the USP’s, market demands and latest changes in terms of technology and competitors were discussed. Many questions were raised by the audience.

Equipped with the necessary helmets and vests, we walked through the enormous production halls and saw the before learned facts live in form of the giant transformers and generators which are capable of serving few hundred thousand and some even up to several million people.

After the breathtaking tour through the production site, we went back by bus to the city. Where each province has its specialties so does Chongqing have its famous hotpots. With some help of locals, we were able to reserve a hotpot dinner at tiny hotpot specialized restaurant. First It reminds at a classic Chinese fondue which is well known to be eaten at New Year’s Eve in Switzerland. Nevertheless, the hotpot was quite different. The additional ingredients as well as the unknown herbs made the dinner a perfect end of the official day. Chongqing itself, as above mentioned, is a city of unimaginable size and flow. The following pictures will give an impression why Chongqing is called the little Manhattan. Surely, a few of us will return to spend a few more days in Chongqing.