At 08:00 a.m. we met at the lobby of our hotel for a sightseeing trip to the Forbidden City. We were welcomed by Suzy, our official tour guide, who accompanied us. We all experienced the real group tourist feeling, as Suzy was walking in front of our group holding a flag in her hands. This was necessary after the little problems which occurred yesterday on the subway.
After arriving at the Subway Station of the Forbidden City we got the first introduction into the history of this famous tourist attraction by Suzy.
As we seemed to be the only European looking people around there, the Chinese tourists were really fascinated by us and started standing around us, looking and starring at us and taking pictures of us.
Our tour guide explained the interesting history of the Forbidden City very well. We were told a lot about the life of the emperor and empress as well as the meanings of different symbols. With no doubt we can say that we were all very impressed with the size and beauty of this sight. At the end of our tour, we walked up the coal hill and could enjoy a great view over the city of Beijing.
Beijing on their own. The next group’s fix point was at 2:00 p.m. when the speeches started and the group changed their attire from leisure to business casual.
Afterwards the whole group split up and enjoyed some free time and discovered
The first speech was held by Kilian Widmer from the Swiss Business Hub in China. He explained to us the different services they offer to Swiss firms which want to get active in China as well as solving problems for the firms which are already doing business here and have been treated unfairly.
Afterwards we heard a very interesting speech from Baptiste Pillet from the Swiss Chamber of Commerce about the Strategy of the SwissCham. Their aim is to reorganise so that they can communicate more efficiently and therefore provide a better service.
The last speech was held by Simon Bosshart from Switzerland Tourism. He talked about the efforts they are making to promote Switzerland to the Chinese. Also, he mentioned interesting aspects, concerning the problems the Chinese face when trying to get a Visa for Switzerland.
In the evening we were invited by the Swiss Chamber of Commerce to participate in a forum at Crowne Plaza Hotel Sun Palace concerning the topic of “Top Companies’ approach to Leadership”. One of the speakers was the CEO of Oerlikon here in China, Mr. Wang and the other one was the CEO of Nestlé in China, Mr. Bula. Both mentioned that everybody is in their own way a “leader”, however, on varying hierarchical levels. One interesting point both speakers made was that soft skills should be more emphasised than hard skills when assessing leadership potential. Additionally, the speakers provided the audience with a new angle by stating that it is important to have worked on a lower hierarchical level in order to gain the required competences for good leadership. Mr. Wang and Mr. Bula achieved these abilities by working on a production level for several months. Even though Mr. Bula was already in possession of an MBA at that point of time, he was obliged to launch his career as a manager at Nestlé by working first six months in a production line in Japan. To sum up the key statement of the presentation was that one has to be willing to work hard, be motivated, show effort and love ones job in order to achieve a successful career. So the manager should walk the talk, don’t talk the talk!
The evening ended with a pleasant aperitif with a delicious buffet at the Crowne Plaza Sun Palace lobby. What a great second day!