The last day of our China trip started as usual in the lobby of our hotel from where we left for two very interesting meetings with Swiss expats. The visits gave us an insight in the banking industry in Hong Kong and the especially the Swiss banks in this area as well as the life as an expat working for those banks. First we took the boat to set over to Hong Kong island and soon arrived in the Hong Kong branch of the UBS. Due to connections of Mr. Ruettimann we were able to talk to a Swiss expat who worked abroad for 12 years already and therefore was able to give us a unique inside what banking in Asia and Hong Kong is all about. We were received on the 52. Floor in a nice meeting room from where we had a great overview, although most of us first went for the `hen hao chi` croissants they offered us. The speech was great and helped us to understand why the banks rush into this region and opened us the eyes for the fact that we should be more aware of the coming, yet already ongoing competition from Asia to the West.
Secondly, thanks to a contact of one of our students, we could dig in further into the banking sector in Hong Kong by visiting a Swiss expat at the Credit Swiss. This meeting was for some of us of special interest, because it was a former student of the ZHAW and an example of how a career could look like in the first few years after graduation. As a Swiss banker sent to Hong Kong on a two years contract he could tell us firsthand experience about the value of gaining experience abroad, but didn’t hide the difficult side of it. Overall we think he gave us a good and honest overview about what he experienced so far and it will be for sure a help for some of us when the question comes up about going a step further and becoming an expat. Continue reading →
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.
After checking out at the yet best Hotel in Hanghzou, Mr. Bi, a former business partner of Mr Ruettimann, took us to the company `Flockmaster`. This tannery processes cow and sheep skins to industrial leather for mostly shoes and jackets. In huge halls thousands of leather pieces are cleaned, dyed and refined with chemicals. Finally they are being checked and cut to meet customer`s demands. Furthermore, we learned that it is hard to distinguish genuine from fake leather for laymen and professionals alike.
The next company we visited was `Haining City Lili Leather Garments Co., Ltd`. This company manufactures fashion leatherware, especially jackets. They count Tchibo, Esprit and H&M to their customers. Actually, we saw the new