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As a African Newcomer to China

Date:2012-04-27 Source:Sinochem Group

By Alain Loe

We will never forget our visit of TAICAN FLUORINE MANUFACTURING. How could we forget these new containers stamped with the SINOCHEM logo? What about all these hotels and buildings which belong to our company, especially the JIN MAO tower?

On SINOCHEM executive managers’ initiative, the General Management of HEVECAM, a subsidiary of GMG International, has designated Mr SEKAR, Mr NAREEN and me to take part in a professional seminar in China, composed of managers of SINOCHEM’s subsidiaries in SINGAPORE, THAILAND, INDONESIA, PHILIPPINES, CHINA and CAMEROON.

The first seminar of this group of people - named “TEAM” and divided into 3 small groups - took place in Beijing and Shanghai from October 19 to 24, 2011, and had one goal: “Knowing SINOCHEM”.

The information we have got on the activities, organization, heritage and future plans of SINOCHEM, and also on the impact that cultural differences have on communication, has been efficient to remove our cultural barriers, and so to form a strong and confidant SINOCHEM team, able to meet future challenges and targets of the company.

Our visit to China from October 18 to 26, 2011 was informative both professionally and culturally.

We will never forget our visit of TAICAN FLUORINE MANUFACTURING, where we saw the discovery of new combinations of chemicals used in research laboratories for the production of textile, polyester, etc.

Besides, how could we forget these new containers stamped with the SINOCHEM logo, which was designed by the company for the carriage of hydrocarbons, chemicals and other materials? What about all these hotels and buildings which belong to our company, especially the JIN MAO tower, 84 floors, SINOCHEM headquarters and one of the highest towers in Shanghai?

This shows the dynamism of our company, but also the power of the Chinese model which can only be admired. Moreover, we have been feeling this power all along our touristic stops and walks in both Beijing and Shanghai.

Beijing, capital of China, with its 10°C in the fall season, impresses the visitor as soon as he left the airport by its wide highways, its avenues and boulevards lined with massive buildings. Welcome to an ultra-modern city. However, I have been a little surprised by the cleanliness of avenues and streets – lined with flowers and decorated trees – thanks to their constant cleaning services.

Visits around the lake, the Great Wall and the Forbidden City illustrate the diversity of style in the city. This combination of ancient and modern periods provides the city with a pleasant feeling, where administration and tourism are in harmony. Also, the numerous means of transport such as taxis, subway, buses and bicycles make travels of a non-stop moving population easier.

Shanghai, the beautiful, gives any newcomer a little shock. This cosmopolitan city differs from Beijing by the superficial appearance reflected by its skyscrapers. However, once we are walking along its boulevards and avenues, we are quickly brought back to reality, as its human mass movement is unique in the world. This international city gives its visitor a clear idea on the real strength of China.

The highways, the bridges which link the two parts of the city, Pudong and Puxi, located on both banks of the Huangpu River, give its users a harmonious blend of Eastern and Western civilizations.

Walking along the banks of the Huangpu River and its river boats remind the banks of La Seine in Paris, while looking at the suspended bridges that lead to other provinces remind the Bridge of New Jersey, at the entrance of New York.

This modest powerful city is showing the world its impudent international center of trade and finance.

The constancy of the Chinese culture that we meet in the streets, shops and in the various restaurants – where we can taste every eastern countries food – is living up to its reputation of modest and discreet civilization.

In fact, the expanse of the Forbidden City as well as the pretentiousness of the Great Wall, which seem to contradict the Chinese virtues, paradoxically reveal to the world the hidden strength of this conquering and hardworking people.

Of course, all this would never happened without the staff of SINOCHEM International Group, their continuous availability offered us a good help in achieving our work, and facilitated our discovery of the wonders of China.

During our stay in China, we have met a modern country, rooted in its ancient culture but which is increasingly opening itself up to the world. We will never forget it.