Way back in 1990 (was it really last century?), I travelled through China on buses, trains and a black, iron Russian-made bicycle. It was a different scene to the present day China. Under strict, uncompromising communist rule, there were no starving, homeless or unemployed people and crime was relatively unknown (except from their own government). However I also saw much dissatisfaction in the restrictions set upon many of the people, which included leaving their country and in some areas, even their province.
In the south of this vast country, I met two young American lads way ahead of their time, who were learning Chinese as part of their business education. They told me that China would become a powerful business opportunity in the near future. I silently scoffed as I couldn´t see such a strict, anti-capitalist regime becoming a great economy.
WHAT DID I KNOW?
Of course, their predictions were correct and they are now probably CEO´s of their own global empires. China is booming and is becoming the economic power the two Americans predicted. Many businesses around the world are now looking to China for suppliers and clients.
DOING BUSINESS IN CHINA
There is a lot to learn about doing business in China and this week we look at this vast country. I like Ken Cheong´s tips which were published in "The Canadian´, check them out for an excellent overview on business travel to China: www.agoracosmopolitan.com/home/Travel/2006/03/06/01165.html
BIG IMPROVEMENTS IN SMALL PLACES
Note the "Washroom facilities´ paragraph: "One of the worst experiences many have with China is the atrocious toilet facilities. Things have improved very much but it may still be a good idea to empty your stomach or bladder at every opportunity in a hotel, restaurant or departmental store. Public toilets and toilets in small shops can be a nose hazard!"
At least if you keep to the cities, you actually have the use of anything resembling toilets! Using the ablutions in rural areas during my earlier visit consisted of trekking out the back door of the establishments to the pigpens and doing my business among the snouts. Enough to put one off pork for life.