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What I've learned about China after a business academic trip
Some weeks ago, I returned from a 10 day trip to China, organized very well by FIA Business School. It was a business academic trip, part of my Masters course I just took this year. It included visits to some companies and classes in Chinese universities. I had very good expectations before I go, based on opinions from my friends that already had been there, but it overcame and that is what I want to share with you together with some lessons I've learned from them. Thanks one more time to FIA Business School, Toschio, Harold by organizing this trip and giving us this opportunity to know this so amazing country, learning from Chinese people and the colleagues I met on this trip, who let more pleasant these 10 days.
There is a Brazilian advertisement that says "nobody returns from a trip the same way went". In other words, it means that a trip changes the way you see and think about the world. For me, it is one of the main truths that exists and with China was not different for me. I also believe that the best way to know a country, its people, culture, economics and politics is going there, not only reading news, books and opinions from other people, that is important but not enough. It is the same of "Gemba", the Japanese expression we apply in Continuous improvement projects to say "go there and understand" and take off your own conclusions. I always was curious about China due to its huge and fast economic growth in the last years and also because its culture that is so different from Brazil, where I live. Despite this, China was not one of my top priorities to travel. I think the language was the main barrier for this and the second one was the distance from Brazil, because we have also a lot of other amazing countries closer Brazil that I could go before. But the opportunity happened, and I thought it was the moment to go and it was the best decision.
Before I begin, I would like to say that I don´t have a pretension to explain what happens in the whole China. I visited only 4 cities (Shanghai, Ghangzhou, Dongguan and Beijing) and all of them big cities. So, I describe below my perception about what I saw in these cities, what I heard from the company’s executives we met and from the classes we had at universities there.