Magical Day Where East Meets West

Blog August 2nd 2017

Today is the busiest day in Shanghai, we started the day off at CanCham--the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. Héléne Larochelle, the Executive Director gave us an informative presentation on CanCham where we learned the challenges and difficulties of the Canadian companies and professionals who are working in China. We also learned about some tips and insights on how to enter the Shanghai market such as the keys to be successful in a foreign country which is to stay connected with fellow Canadians and support each other. 

Followed by Mrs. Larochelle’s presentation, we had the honour to meet with Carl Breau, the CEO of Saimen. He gave us an analogy that “8 years in China is like 100 years in Canada!”, which makes us realize the fast and rapid growth of China. He also shared his personal experience of the qualities that one should have to be able to practice business in China. “For those who are up for changes and challenges, Shanghai would be a great place to start in China.” The main qualities to have is to be humble, to be flexible, and to be able to adjust. He also mentioned the biggest challenges that people face is to adapt to the scaling differences and vigorous pace. Personally, as a recent immigrant to Canada, I found the struggle works in both ways. When I moved to Canada with my family in 2012, I immediately recognized that the definition of “big” has a distinctive scaling difference. I also realized that I lived life at a very fast pace prior to living in Canada. Due to the massive population in China, the definition of big usually means at least 10 times more and since there are so many people, everybody is forced to move and live at fast paces in order to survive. For many of our fellow JTC ambassadors, this trip provides a unique opportunity to experience the differences and learn how to adjust to them.

As one of the biggest fans of Disney, the meeting at Shanghai Disney was definitely one of the happiest moments in my life. We were invited to the “團隊大樓Team Building” to meet with Murray King, vice president of public affairs at Shanghai Disney Resort. Mr. King was originally from Montreal, Canada and he went to school at the University of Ottawa. He shared his personal story of how his career started with a Civil Engineering degree and to working for one of the biggest international companies, Disney. He inspired us to keep our minds open, as many opportunities and new adventures will come along the way in life. Mr. King also gave us a detailed presentation of the story of Disney and some behind the scene stories of Shanghai Disney Resort. Unlike other Disney Resorts around the world, Shanghai Disney is unique in the way how it was built on one core value, “Authentically Disney, distinctly Chinese”. This value is the key that sets Shanghai Disney apart from other theme parks around the world.

After the magical meeting at Shanghai Disney, we went to our first Junior Team Canada reception of the trip. We were invited by the honourable Canadian Consul General in Shanghai, Mr. Weldon Epp to his residence. While at the reception, we had a tremendously unique experience to network with professionals in Chinese industry and learn about Canada’s international presence.

Today, JTC had the honour to not only witness the magic of East meets West, but to live and to be a part of it!