china 2011 1

In October 2011, BLOBEL participated in the Western China International Fair (WCIF) in Chengdu, sharing a booth with Bayern International. The event was organized within the framework of Bavaria's trade fair promotion programme. This large industrial fair was remarkable for the unbelievably large number of visitors and interested parties yet few decision makers.

A procedure that one can hardly imagine happening here in the West: on the day that a very high-ranking politician visited the fair, the authorities closed off the entire exhibition grounds until 2 p.m. We even had to leave our hotel, which was located on those grounds, at 7 o'clock that morning, otherwise we would not have been allowed to step out of the building. On the other hand, it gave us plenty of time to visit the city's famous Panda Breeding and Research Centre. This was not the only outing on which Mrs. Janli, our interpreter and the wife of our business partner William Ma, proved indispensable. English would not have been enough to cope with everything going on at the fair.

With their command of the Chinese language, the staff members of the German Chamber of Foreign Trade and the Chamber of Industry and Commerce optimally organized the evening events: a Western-style buffet to which our delegation had been invited by the City of Chengdu, the typical Chinese dinner arranged for us by Chengdu Province, as well as a “hotpot” evening, which featured a spicy variation of fondue that is typical of the region. Chinese fairs can be quite strenuous for “long-nose” Europeans...