Day 15 – Guangzhou: SGS (Société Générale de Surveillance SA) and Baiyun – leather trading and exhibition center

Today we had the rare opportunity to visit SGS-CSTC Standards Technical Services Co., Ltd. This company serves local and overseas clients with inspection, verification, testing and certification services. We were all very positively surprised how interesting the certification process is. We got an overview about how inline-skates, wheelchairs , soccerballs, photocameras, textiles or washmaschines are tested before being launched to the market. Just few of us had been completely aware of the certification process as a set part between the product development and its launch.

We continued our bus ride while the organization team announced the further program. It came as a surprise and a rather good one especially for the women. We stopped at “Baiyun – world elaborate leather trading and exhibition center”, which is the prominent chinese wholesale market for leather goods. There are further sold a considerable amount of fake gadgets. It was extremely impressive to realize the premium quality of the copied goods and the similarities between copies and originals. We could first-hand experience about this huge black-market, the corruptions of the police around according to it and see all the major buyers, mostly African and Arabian citizens who place big orders.

The third and optional stop today was the medical market as long as the busy schedule allowed it. And finally in the evening, most of the students took the chance to catch some Western food which was a welcomed contrast to the daily Asian food we enjoy.

Day 10 – Yiwu City

We met early in the morning, at 7.15 am in the lobby. Throughout the day we were accompanied by DJ, who is a local Chinese student who studied for one year at the ZHAW. After a two hour drive with the coach we arrived in Yiwu city. Yiwu city is a city that was pushed by the government as a trading area and is nowadays the largest global commodities wholesale market. The business area of “China Yiwu City International Trade Market” is over 4 billion square meters with approximately 130 market halls. We visited two market halls. The first market hall included show rooms selling goods from Chinese suppliers whereas the second hall is offering products from foreign companies. After a delicious traditional Chinese lunch we took the coach to Neoglory Jewelry Co., Ltd. We were warmly welcomed by the CEO of the company. He introduced us to his company who is number one for fashion jewelry in China and presented us his show room. We even had the chance to buy jewelry with a generous discount.

Last but no least we visited Yiwu Industrial & Commercial College (YWICC). We were shown a presentation about the school. After the presentation we had an interesting discussion with two students from the College which offers a degree in Entrepreneurship. Lastly, we were guided through their innovation park on the campus. The innovation park is an exhibition of the innovations of several students. Then, we drove back to the hotel by bus. After the arrival at the Ramada at around 7 pm everybody enjoyed their free evening.

Day 10 – Can Tho at its Best

The breakfast took place in the rear deck of the boats, the crew had already prepared everything in advance. The views as well as the ambiance were stunning, as the two heavy vessels, still tied together, gently floated upwards on the quiet Mekong River. The fresh morning breeze helped everyone to wake up quickly.

It took another one-and-a-half hours until we reached our anchorage, where we changed to small boats that would allow us to travel further river upwards and see Vietnam’s largest floating market.

There were an uncountable number of little barks and small rowing boats that sold almost anything related to Vietnamese food. There was a diversity of sights and scents, which carried on as we went onshore to visit a typical market in Can Tho. Pigs and chickens were taken apart with bare hands on the open street. The smell of this was not easy to take for everyone.

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