At this point, the organization team would like to thank everybody who contributed to this interesting, unique and great field trip to China! We are very happy and relieved that all the company visits went well, no major program changes had to be undertaken and finally, that all the students arrived safe and well in Hong Kong!
We hope that everybody, students as well as company representatives, had enjoyed the time and that everbody could take something along for their future!
As our day started on 10.00 am, many of the group members took their chance to sleep a bit longer. We began our last day of the trip with a harbour cruise. It was quiet surprising that we did not have a normal „tourist boat" for this cruise. Instead we had a private yacht for us alone which was absolutely fantastic.
On our 3-hour-trip through the harbour of Hong Kong, we could enjoy the amazing skyline, the very impressive container harbour (which is one of the biggest in the world) and the old airport.
After checking out our hotel rooms in Guangzhou, we were looking forward to our last company visit of our China field trip. A one hour coach ride took us to the suburbs of Guangzhou, where we reached the local branch of SGS. SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company.
In a detailed presentation by a manager of SGS we learnt that the aim of SGS is to help customers all over the world operate in a more sustainable manner by improving quality and productivity, reducing risk, verifying compliance and increasing speed to market. The firm with its headquarters in Geneva employs over 55’000 people and operates a network of more than 1’000 offices and laboratories around the world.
After the presentation, we had a highly interesting tour through the laboratories of SGS. We were very impressed about the variety of products which are tested and evaluated by a wide range of methods. From simple static load tests of office chairs to crash tests with bike helmets to chemical analysis of liquids we explored the wide area of operation. During the tour, several questions regarding chemical analzysis were rised by the students and were competently answered by Dr. Ivan Chan, direcor of corporate R&D
In the early afternoon, the coach drove us to the Guangzhou train station where we boarded the train. At the boarder to Hong Kong our temperature had been taken again. Some of us had been checked twice, for whatever reason… Finally, everyone reached Hong Kong the metropolis located at the Chinese south coast. The rest of the day, we could explore the fascinating city on our own.
First, the two representatives of Galanz took us to the showroom, where all their products are exhibited. Besides microwaves they also produce air conditioner, small kitchen products and white electronic goods. Then we listened to a presentation about company and its history.
This successful company was established in 1978, the same year as the Chinese reforms took place and even after a disastrous flood in 1994, it took them only 3 month to recover its production. Today, they follow the strategy of lowering cost by enlarging scale. The production works 24 hours a day (3 shifts) and has 40’000 employees. It is more than remarkable that every second microwave in the world is being produced by Galanz.
This morning at 7:30 am we met in the hotel lobby to take a bus to the Piano Factory. We arrived at the Piano Factory around 9:00 am. We were greeted with a warm welcome from Mr. Nieverget, the Swiss Consul General, and his wife Mrs. Nieverget. We were all very delighted to share this experience with them.
Visit at the Piano Factory
The Piano Factory was very fascinating for all of us. It was very interesting to gain insight on how the pianos are manufactured. We were able to see how the quality of the products are controlled as well as the working environment within the company. It was also strange to hear the pianos take quite a long-time to make, but at the same time see how efficient the factory runs. After the factory visit we had a short meeting including a session of question and answers.
After the Piano Factory, we went to an authentic Cantonese lunch! It was most of our first experience with Cantonese food and it was delicious. We had a large variety of food to try. The lunch included fresh chicken, shrimps, vegetables, tofu, noodles, fried rice, and green tea. Needless to say, the lunch was very fulfilling for all of us.
Very early in the morning, 7 am to be exact, we met each other in the lobby of the Lido hotel in Guangzhou. Topic number one was our first impression of the city and the hotel. The tenor was not very positive at first. At the arrival on the previous day at around 00:25 all the streets were empty and the city looked like a ghost town in a certain way. Our hotel did not really change the opinion.
At 9 am we arrived at Lonza and were introduced to several managers of Lonza by Mr Lim, the general manager. Lonza is one of the worlds leading suppliers to the pharmaceutical, healthcare and life science industries. Lonza is the global leader in the production and support of active pharmaceutical ingredients both chemically as well as biotechnologically. Mr Lim gave us a brief introduction of the company. Lonza was founded in 1897, as Lonza AG Electricity works in Gampel, Valais (Switzerland). The joint venture in Guangzhou was signed by Lonza in 1996 to build up a plant to satisfy the regional market needs in China. Further he gave us a short impression of China and the business of the company in China. After asking a few questions we enjoyed a coffee break with dragon eggs and litchi’s followed by a tour through the facilities. Generally the machines offer the same standard and quality as the ones in Switzerland because they used exactly the same technology. They, however, did not think of the temperature differences between Switzerland and South China. This made the management of the machines more difficult.We also gained an insight in the monitoring-system of the facilities which has the same security standards as in Switzerland.
Flood along the Li River - same scenery as on the 20 Yuan note
Sunday started the same as Saturday ended; everybody had some free time to enjoy the town Yangshuo. Even though it was still raining, most of us walked along the famous West Street through the town and bargained with the Chinese shop owners over Souvenirs, clothes and jewellery, hoping to get a good price. Others went to the market and had the saying confirmed that the Chinese eat dogs, as they saw dead dogs hanging from the ceiling.
At noon, we all went to Xingping and had the chance to look at the scenery which is on the 20 Yuan note. Unfortunately, part of the scenery was covered by trees as we could not walk to the viewing point because of the floods. Nevertheless, the passionate photographers among us waded through the water to have a perfect view on the mountains. Afterwards we headed to the Moon Hill restaurant, where we enjoyed a late lunch or an early dinner, having a great view on the Moon Hill, a mountain with a huge hole in it.
Today, we finally could sleep a little bit longer before departing to Yangshou at 10.30am. Due to heavy rainfalls which flooded the streets brought about a change in our schedule. Instead of cruising down the Li River we went by bus to Yangshou. During the busride we passed by a magnificient scenery where we got the opportunity to explore how Chinese farmers live in rural areas.
After another 1.5h hours we eventually arrived at the Imperial City Hotel in Yangshou. In the afternoon we had individual time to explore the city and its surroundings on our own. However, most of the students went on a bike ride in this simply breathtaking landscape. During this ride the students which stuck to Mr. Ruettimann were invited by Peggy, a local woman and friend of him, for a refreshing drink. After a soaking wet ride back to the hotel we enjoyed the buzzing night life of Yangshou.
Organization Team incl Chinese Students during the Tea Plantage visit
The beautiful and poetic landscape of Guilin welcomed us with its limestone hills rising out of the fog. In the Hotel a group of Chinese students from Guilin University of Tourism were already awaiting us. Each of our groups was assigned a group of two to three Chinese students. After some military exercises (Swiss army style) we went to have lunch with our group. As you might have read in the news currently heavy rainfall is challenging the southern part of China. Some of us could not get back from lunch on time due to flooding of the main road of Guilin.
In the afternoon we went to see the company Subachi with heavy delay. Subachi produces leatherwear for the luxury segment. Its main markets are leather wristbands for the Swiss and Hong Kong based luxury watch market. We were introduced to Mr Liu Yun und Mr Bernay, the CEO of Subachi. After a short introduction to Subachi we were split in two groups to see the various steps of production. The leather stock with
After staying overnight in a luxury hotel in Suzhou, we were heading to the industrial park which is located in the same city. Currently, half a million people are living in this industrial zone. Most of them are employees of one of the 3200 companies which have their facilities there.
The Suzhou Industrial Park is divided into clusters such as biotech or software technology to ensure a knowledge transfer between those companies. To improve the standard of living, the industrial park has several recreation areas, three huge lakes, two golf courts, movie theatres and several other leisure facilities.
The short history of the Suzhou Industrial Park is quiet amazing. Opened 15 years ago as a joint venture with the State Singapore Investment Fund, it is nowadays Asia’s most modern development zones. It hosts subsidiaries of 77 of fortune