European managers learn ‘good guanxi’ in China

October 29th, 2008 - 5:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Brussels, Oct 29 (IANS) The European Union (EU) has teamed up with China in a two-way partnership for training professionals and managers.The programme offers high-level training for EU managers and professionals interested in gaining China expertise, as well as Chinese managers with an ambition to train in Europe.

According to a survey published recently by the human resource consultancy Hewitt Associates, 55 percent of corporations with a presence in China plan to hire new staff in 2008.

For the EU-based companies, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs), the EU-China Managers Exchange and Training Programme (METP), financed by the EU and China, offers the possibility to train their employees to become qualified experts in the Chinese market.

Stefan Hell, team leader in Beijing said: “Despite the strong coverage China has received through the Beijing Olympics, the country and its business culture remain unknown to most European managers.”

“To be successful in China, one needs a profound knowledge of economy, culture and business ethics. And this is what METP offers applicants. At the same time, the programme functions as a platform where Europeans and Chinese meet and build long-term relationships - the basic foundation for successful business in China,” he added.

Julius Daujotas from Lithuania, who has already travelled to China and participated in the programme, told IANS: “The company I am working for (Umega AB) manufactures heating equipment for industrial and laboratory purposes. Mainly it’s heating furnaces up to 1,800 degrees Celcius.”

“Our company is selling quite a lot in Asian markets, for example Pakistan, India, Indonesia, but the Chinese market was still unexplored for us. So, one of the main objectives was to enter China with our production. To do that is a lot easier when you are able to speak Chinese, when you are familiar with local traditions and customs,” Daujotas explained.

“During the cultural training, we had a chance to meet each other more closely. For doing business in China, to have good ‘guanxi’ (relations) is very important,” he said.

“The most interesting experience during my stay was seeing the bargaining in markets - and the way salesmen try to attract your attention. Initially I was shocked, but then I understood the way of doing this and it became fun. Also it’s a really good practice for your Chinese language,” Daujotas added.

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