Today, I thought I would post some insights from two our Team London members that are currently with us in China. The first one is from Andrea Feddema of Ernst and Young and the second is from Barry Cleaver of Siskinds.
Submitted by Andrea Feddema:
With this being my first trip to Asia I cannot help but be amazed by the sheer size and scale of the cities of Chengdu and Chongqing. The city of Chongqing alone has a population greater than Canada exceeding 30 million. While our countries differ in the size of our cities it is clear to me that the importance of relationships and face to face meetings to business is shared across our cultures. We have had the opportunity to share insights on doing business in each other’s countries, both through our formal presentations and our informal meetings. I am encouraged by the tangible opportunities I see to do business with the Chinese chamber members we have met who are considering doing business in London. Putting on my hat as a Chamber board member I am very proud of our London Chamber of commerce team. As always, Gerry does an excellent job on behalf of the London Chamber and of course is keeping us all in line. Also, Lily has truly outdone herself in making the trip run smoothly, and of course proudly representing our ABOC committee! It is interesting to see the level of respect that the chambers of commerce command in China and what an important role they play in business and also education. Last but not least it has been a pleasure to travel with the City of London delegates who are hard at work every time you turn around; they can often be seen at the end of a very busy day writing their blogs in train stations, bus shelters or airplane terminals.
Submitted by Barry Cleaver:
I arrived in Chengdu on Monday the 23rd and after an adrenaline pumping taxi ride joined Team London at the Sichaun Chamber of Commerce just in time for the meeting with the Sichaun Chamber, an organization with more than 160,000 business members. The Chairman of the Sichaun Chamber, other representatives of the Chamber and various business leaders were present to listen to the Team London presentation and to discuss with Team London the various opportunities that exist between our communities-and the opportunities seem limitless. Many of the business members of the Sichaun will be expanding into North America, and I believe Team London did convince them that the London area should be given serious consideration as a point of entry to North America. The following morning a further meeting was held with the CCPIT (China Counsel for the Promotion of International Trade). China is promoting international investment, and communities wishing to benefit from that investment must get noticed, and to do so it is critical that the relationships be developed and bridges built. As we heard, cities such as Cambridge, Toronto and communities from British Columbia have recently sent trade missions to this area. That evening saw us on a high speed train to Chongqing, a city, the world’s largest city. Wednesday started early with a meeting at one of the world’s leading micro electronics companies that has previously shown a strong interest in entering the North American market through London. Our host had organized a number of Chongqing businesses with a mandate to pursue opportunities in North America. Again, the keen interest in London seemed genuine. The relationships were formed and meetings continued into the evening. Both the Chengdu and Chongqing visits resulted in specific opportunities which will create opportunities for the City and for private industry.
The entire team is impressed by Jinshan’s leading edge technological advances. Here they watch a demonstration on the first of its kind magnetically controlled micro camera.