A Transformational Day

Honestly speaking, I didn't think that August 7th would be the day I almost died, the day I visited and spoke with corporate representatives, the day my lips puffed up to double their size, and the day I became well acquainted with a businessman from China.

The day began as usual after breakfast, where the bus was delayed by a rainy day. We arrived in a hurry to the Chengdu Chamber of Commerce and met with lively Chinese representatives. We learned about the wonderful history and culture of Chengdu such as the ancient water irrigation which is still present in the status quo. We also learned that the city hasn't changed in 2000 years in name or location. There was an insightful question and answer period right after where I asked about Traditional Chinese Medicine and tourism. This was very important for my tourism and cultural exchange mandate because if there is to be a Free Trade Agreement, Canada needs to begin building relations by understanding the predominant culture within China such as TCM. So I know for sure that I will discuss TCM with travel agencies to promote China as a tourist destination specifically Chengdu.
After, we visited Tencent, the company which owns the famous WeChat. This was significant for me to learn about how WeChat can be implemented within Canada to have Canadian businesses become more accessible to Chinese tourists. It was interesting to learn about the philosophy of Tencent which is to encourage small businesses to thrive, I loved that about the corporation.

After, we had a meeting with Glamour Fortune, to gain market information. Meeting with the people was fun because we learned about the financial regulations within China and the future investments. For example, theorange bicycles around the city to promote Eco-friendly transpiration and electric cars.

There was one last meeting at 6:30 which was a hassle to get to. We taxied after attempting to catch one for an hour in the middle of the roads. It was rush hour so our driver had no problem driving in the wrong lanes so we almost died but itwe definitely had a unique adventure.  The dinner meeting was with a business man named Ricky who is the consult general of an oil company called, Sichuan Province Chamber of Commerce of Private Oil Industry. 
This dinner was important for business but I learned that business is second and building a trusting relationship is more important within the Chinese corporate culture. I respect that value because I think in every respect, it should be adopted. He bought us gifts from China, a hand written post card. I loved that he took the time to do that for us and I had fun eating Hot Pot despite my lips puffing up from the spiciness! He told us over dinner about the history of Hot Pot and Chengdu as well which I appreciated because I understood China even more.

The day ended with a sizable reception in the hotel where guests were invited to promote the educational institutions whom they were sponsored by. It was a great experience to interest directly with interested Chinese students who want to study abroad and I think it was great to promote Canada as well! 

Overall, this day was insightful in the business aspect but also I learned so much about the culture of China which I think is very beneficial for my sponsors and myself to understand if Canada wishes to further its relations with China.

Sarah Rana
Junior Team Canada Ambassador of Global Vision