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.