Fitzpatrick China Study Tour Bulletin

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BULLETIN 7

With just over one week to go before we leave for China, I’m sure you’re all getting excited about the trip and starting to think about what to pack. Please don’t forget to pack a bottle of wine (with a story attached to it) as mentioned last time, and plenty of business cards (I suggest 50 - 100 would be ideal).

Chinese Currency - RMB

One or two people have asked me about taking cash into China and my recommendation is that you have at least RMB1,000 (approx A$200) with you in cash. Foreign credit cards are not always accepted in taxis and restaurants so I always have plenty of cash with me. If you can’t exchange A$ for RMB in Australia, there are banks in the airports and hotels in China who will be pleased to convert for you. The RMB/AUD exchange rate is fixed each day in China and should be the same wherever you go, so you don't need to shop around as much as you do in other countries.

What to expect on Day 3?

I suggest an early breakfast at the Westin Financial Street in Beijing (included with your room) with time to pack and check out before we assemble in one of the meeting rooms upstairs (details to be supplied later) for an Australia China Wealth Management Roundtable (please click here to download the invitation) which will start promptly at 9am. The dress code is ‘smart casual’ but, as many of our guests will be dressed in suit/tie, please consider bringing a tie with you.

I have invited a selection of local wealth management firms, including private banks, private equity, VC, securities and fund managers to join us for a discussion about mutually beneficial opportunities between leading wealth management firms in China and Australia.This event will be supported by the local Government office in Financial Street, Beijing, and attended by senior Government officials, and will be conducted in Chinese and English. I have booked an experienced interpreter to be on hand to translate for us, as English will not be widely spoken by our guests. You should expect the proceedings to be quite formal as they often are in China, and we will all be on our best behaviour!

The session will run for two hours which will include exchanging business cards, a formal address from the local Bureau of Financial Services and at least one formal group photograph. In the eyes of our Chinese guests, we will be seen as an official financial services delegation from Australia and we should see this as an opportunity to make friends, explore opportunities and represent our country.

We will have to wrap up this event quite quickly on or before 11am to take the coach to Beijing Capital Airport for our flight MU5114 to Shanghai which departs Beijing at 2pm. Please bring a printed copy of your e-ticket with you just in case it’s needed at the check in.

The flight is due to arrive in Shanghai at 4.20pm where we will be met and driven by coach to the Langham Hotel in Shanghai which is in Xintiandi district (a great place to visit at night) which will be our final destination and our home for the rest of the week (including the Fitzpatricks Private Wealth Annual Conference).

In the evening, we are having dinner at M on the Bund with a small group of local entrepreneurs who are members of the local Entrepreneurs Organisation (EO) and have been invited to share some of their local insights and experiences. The dinner starts at 7.30pm and will finish around 10.30pm, allowing you some time to explore Shanghai at night, starting from The Bund, one of Shanghai’s most famous landmarks.

M on the Bund.jpg

M on the Bund is my favourite restaurant in Shanghai and owned and operated by an old friend from Hong Kong, Michelle Garnaut, who is now described as “one of the most respected and recognised restaurateurs in Asia” and a leading Australian entrepreneur in China. Her story is fascinating and I hope you get a chance to read more about her in these two articles from Advance and The Monthly

Watch out for our final Bulletin next week. In the meantime, if you have any queries, please send them to support@thinkglobal.com.au and we will reply as soon as possible.

Best Wishes, 

David Thomas
Think Global Consulting

Fitzpatricks China Study Tour 2018 Bulletin

BULLETIN 6

With just over two weeks until we travel to China, I’m assuming you have your China Visa organised and you’re all ready to go. If you haven’t already, please send us your Visa details so we have them on file? Please also review your travel insurance needs to make sure you are fully covered for the duration of your visit to China

IMPORTANT: Please bring a bottle of wine with you

For our visit to the Great Wall, please can I ask you to pack a bottle of wine (white or red) in your suitcase (appropriately wrapped and protected of course!) with a story attached to it which you can share with us when we get there? Please add this to your packing list.

What to expect on Day 2?

We will wake up on Monday morning at the foot of the Great Wall in time for breakfast at 7am which I understand is excellent at the Brickyard Retreat.

At 8am sharp, we will leave the Brickyard by coach for the two-hour drive to the highly acclaimed Daimler Factory in the Beijing Development Area which operates under the name of their local joint venture, Beijing Benz Automotive Co. Ltd and is “the first ever engine plant outside Germany for Mercedes-Benz vehicles”. See www.bbac.com.cn/EN

I am very pleased that I’ve managed to secure this factory visit with the help of one of my local friends, Jeremy Perks of the Leadership Group, who has been working with the senior executives of Daimler’s China operation to address their cross-cultural leadership, communication and HR challenges. 

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Daimler’s production facility in China, which is the primary base for the manufacturing of Mercedes-Benz vehicles, won a “Factory of the Year” award in 2017 (see media release for more information) and is, I understand, a magnificent showcase of Sino-German automation, innovation and collaboration, and will be one of the highlights of our China Study Tour.

Please prepare to dress “smart casual” for this visit which will follow this timetable:

7.00am - Breakfast at Brickyard in Mutianyu
8:00am - Drive to BBAC (expected 2 hour drive to cover 100 kms)
10:00am - Arrive at BBAC
10.10am - Briefing from BBAC re China operations (includes video)
10:30am - Visit Assembly Shop
11:00am - Visit Body Shop
12:00pm - Lunch in BBAC Canteen
 1.30pm - Leadership Roundtable/Workshop facilitated by Jeremy Perks and the Leadership Group
3:00pm - Depart BBAC and drive to Westin Financial Street Hotel

In the evening, starting at 6pm we will be hosting a Cocktail Reception in our hotel, the Westin Financial Street Hotel, for local members of the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Beijing. I met with the CEO, Nick Coyle, last weekend in Sydney and he tells me that he has invited a number of Chinese VC, private equity and wealth management groups who all have an interest in Australia, plus Austcham members particularly from the financial services sector. It should be a good networking opportunity and a chance for you to meet and talk to Aussie expatriates and executives living and working in Beijing.

The cocktail event will finish at around 8pm allowing some free time for you to explore Beijing at night (the locals will have some ideas for you!).

Beijing Benz Automotive Co. Ltd
Please take a moment to study the BBAC website and supporting information on the Daimler Factory in Beijing so you can start thinking about your areas of interest, questions you might ask, and how you can contribute to the leadership discussion with their senior leaders which will follow our factory visit.

Watch out for our next Bulletin on “What to expect on Day 3” which will follow next week

I will be in touch again soon but, in the meantime, if you have any queries, please send them to support@thinkglobal.com.au and we will reply as soon as possible.

Best Wishes, 

David Thomas
Think Global Consulting

Fitzpatricks China Study Tour 2018 Bulletin

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BULLETIN 5

With less than 4 weeks until we meet up in Beijing for the first day of our Study Tour, its essential for you to send us the details requested in Bulletin 4 (click here to review) if you haven’t done so already:

  • Details of your China Visa
  • A high-resolution corporate headshot and a short summary of your personal and business activities, experience etc. (max 100 words)

Please send these through as soon as possible so we can make sure (a) you won’t have any problems entering China, and (b) our hosts in China are fully briefed on who’s coming from Fitzpatricks and why they should treat us like VIPs!

In the next four pre-departure Bulletins, which will be sent out in each of the next four weeks, I will give you a taste of what to expect in China on each day of our China Study Tour so that you’re fully prepared. Please download the latest version of the itinerary here so you know what’s happening, and give some thought to what to wear, what to bring and please feel free to ask questions in advance.

What to expect on Day 1?

I will be arriving in Beijing myself at lunchtime on Saturday 15th September (from Hong Kong) and will go straight to the CITIC Hotel Beijing Airport and check into my room. I will be in the hotel all afternoon so please text me on +61 413 942 186 if you'd like to meet up at any stage. I'll also be in the hotel lobby to meet those travelling from Sydney on QF107 from Sydney which arrives at 10.15pm to assist with the check-in and answer questions.

On Sunday 16th September, we will make an early start and depart the hotel by coach after breakfast (included in the hotel room rate) at 8 am. The dress code is casual (it will be warm in Beijing, probably 25 degrees or higher) so feel free to wear shorts, casual shirts and trainers.

Our drive to the Brickyard Retreat at Mutianyu Village will take around 2 hours so we aim to arrive just after 10 am. The program for the rest of the day will be as follows:

10.00am    Arrive at Brickyard Retreat. Tea and Coffee on arrival.
11.00am    We meet as a group outside on the Yoga Platform for a welcome briefing and the first part of our tutorial with Dr Xisu Wang
12.30pm    Break for lunch (Chinese family menu)
1.30pm      Part 2 of our tutorial with Dr Xisu Wang
3.30pm      End of our tutorial. Time for everyone to relax, check in to their rooms and change clothes if necessary
4.00pm     We will go to the Great Wall by shuttle bus (it takes only 8 minutes). We will take some drinks with us and have a relaxing time on the Great Wall until the sun goes down around 6 pm
6.00pm      Back to the Brickyard Retreat by shuttle bus
7.00pm      BBQ Dinner and relax by the bonfire with drinks
12.00pm    Bedtime

I know you’re all going to enjoy meeting my old friend, Dr Xisu Wang and learning from him as he talks about China’s past, present and future. I’ll have more to say about him when I introduce him at the Brickyard Retreat but I can assure you that you’re going to enjoy spending a relaxed and engaging time with him at the foot of the Great Wall!

Dr Xisu Wang

I am much looking forward to introducing you to Dr Xisu Wang, an old friend who I have worked with since my first Study Tour to China in 2005. Please download and read his profile before we arrive in China.

Next Bulletin

Watch out for our next Bulletin on “What to expect on Day 2” which will follow next week

I will be in touch again soon but, in the meantime, if you have any queries, please send them to support@thinkglobal.com.au and we will reply as soon as possible.

Best Wishes, 

David Thomas
Think Global Consulting

Fitzpatricks China Study Tour 2018 Bulletin

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Bulletin 4

With just over 7 weeks until we touch down in Beijing, our preparations are in full swing and I’ll be communicating with you quite regularly during the coming weeks to make sure nothing gets forgotten and you are fully prepared for our China adventure.

Please can I ask you to respond in relation to the following:

Chinese Visa

If you now have a valid China Entry Visa, please can you send us the Visa number for our records? If you haven’t applied yet, please click here for instructions and attend to this soon? 

Profile

Our hosts in China often ask us to send them a brief profile of all of our delegates and we will prepare a small booklet as a PDF to send to them in advance. Please can I ask you to send me:

  • a short summary of your personal and business activities, experience etc. (max 100 words)
  • A high-resolution corporate headshot

Itinerary

The itinerary is still being finalised but to give you an idea of the current position, please download a draft copy via this link. In the coming weeks, I will be sending you updates together with a “What to expect” summary for each day that we spend together in China

Address

I’d like to send you a copy of my book “My China Insights - How Business Gets Done” to browse through before our departure. Please provide your preferred mailing address and I’ll send you a copy in the mail?

Next Bulletin

Watch out for our next Bulletin on “What to expect on Day 1” which will follow shortly

I will be in touch again soon but, in the meantime, if you have any queries, please send them to support@thinkglobal.com.au and we will reply as soon as possible.

Best Wishes, 

David Thomas
Think Global Consulting

Fitzpatricks China Study Tour 2018

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BULLETIN 3

In only two months time, our 4 day study tour to China will commence and I would like to thank all of you for your co-operation in submitting your passport copies, payments and other details requested from our previous Bulletins. If you missed or haven’t had a chance to read the first two, please click here to catch up.

Confirmed Bookings

I’m pleased to confirm that hotel and flight bookings have already been secured on your behalf and details are as follows:

  1. Our stay in the CITIC Hotel Beijing Airport on Saturday night, 15th September 2018
  2. Our stay in the Brickyard Hotel at Mutianyu on Sunday night, 16th September 2018
  3. Our stay in The Westin Beijing Financial Street on Monday night, 17th September 2018
  4. Our domestic flight from Beijing to Shanghai (MU5114) on Tuesday, 18th September. The departure time is 14:00 and arrival time in Shanghai is 16:20. We’re booked for dinner that evening at M on the Bund.

Accommodation at the Langham Hotel in Shanghai on Tuesday, 18th September and the following nights at the conference are being organised by Colin Bold and Julia Wang at Fitzpatricks HQ.

Chinese Visa Application Process

Now, that majority of the bookings are in place, I think it’s the perfect time to start applying for your China Entry Visa. Please click here for a copy of the Application Form or you can download it from their website

Please note the following important points when filling out your visa application:

  • On page 2, part 2.1, please tick the box which says 'Tourism' as the major purpose of your visit. A “Business” visit will involve invitation letters and other requirements which are best avoided!
  • Please select “Single Entry” or “Multiple Entry” depending on your preferences (and budget!)
  • On page 3, part 2.6 (Itinerary), please indicate clearly that you will be arriving in Beijing and, if required, state your hotel as CITIC Hotel Beijing Airport. You will need to provide a copy of your flight itinerary (international flights, not domestic) with your application form
  • Application forms must be submitted in person at your local China Visa Application Centre. To find your nearest one, click here and look for the Australian flag.

Pre-reading

In addition to my latest ebook “Three Cups of Tea”, I encourage you to read my recent blog: China in 2018 – the view from ground level, in which I have summarised some of the views expressed by our local business partners on my most recent visit to Guangzhou in May. Hope you find this interesting and no doubt we’ll be discussing many of these themes in China in September.

I will be in touch again soon with Bulletin 4 but, in the meantime, if you have any queries, please send them to support@thinkglobal.com.au and we will reply as soon as possible.

Best Wishes,

David Thomas

Think Global Consulting

Fitzpatricks China Study Tour 2018

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BULLETIN 2

I hope you safely received Bulletin 1 (if not please scroll down) which is the first of a series of pre-departure bulletins I'll be sending you in the months ahead as we prepare for our 4 day study tour in China, starting in Beijing on the night of Saturday 15th September (not the 17th which was incorrectly shown in the previous bulletin) so that we're ready to drive to Mutianyu Village the next morning (Sunday 16th).

If we haven't heard from you already, please can you reply to this email confirming:

  • how and when you plan to arrive in China before the Study Tour commences, so we can keep track of everyone and organise transfers from the airport for those who require it.
  • whether we should include any other family members in our flight booking MU5114 (China Eastern) from Beijing to Shanghai on the afternoon of Tuesday 18th September, departing at 2.00pm? Unless you say otherwise, we will book one seat for each person registered on the Study Tour.
  • please can you send us a copy of the photo page on your passport so we can see exactly how your name is written and can include your details in all flight and hotel bookings?

I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.

I'll be in touch again soon with Bulletin 3.

Best wishes

David Thomas, Think Global Consulting

Fitzpatricks China Study Tour 2018

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Bulletin 1

Firstly, welcome to the Fitzpatricks Study Tour to China from 15th to 19th September 2018.

Thank you for committing early, sending in your booking form and paying a deposit which has enabled us to get started with the planning and logistics so that we will be well organised and ready by the time we get there.

Future Bulletins

This is the first of a series of pre-departure bulletins which I will be sending you in the coming months to prepare you for the China Study Tour in September. In future bulletins we will cover:

  • Details of the Study Tour program as it comes together
  • Who you're going to meet
  • Hotel and domestic flight bookings
  • What to wear and what to bring
  • Applying for your China Entry Visa
  • Final costings and the timing of your final payment
  • Some pre-reading to prepare you for the experience

If you are making plans to arrive in Beijing before the Study Tour commences, please note that we will be staying at the CITIC Hotel Beijing Airport on the night of Saturday 15th September to enable us to drive to Mutianyu Village the next morning (Sunday 16th) for the start of our Study Tour program. If you are planning to arrive in Beijing that day, you may consider flying on QF107 from Sydney which arrives in Beijing at 10.15pm. The hotel is just a few minutes drive from the airport and we will organise a transfer for everyone who needs it.

As a first action for you, please can you reply to this email confirming:

  • how and when you plan to arrive in China before the Study Tour commences, so we can keep track of everyone and organise transfers from the airport for those who require it.
  • whether we should include any other family members in our flight booking MU5114 (China Eastern) from Beijing to Shanghai on the afternoon of Tuesday 18th September, departing at 2.00pm? Unless you say otherwise, we will book one seat for each person registered on the Study Tour.
  • please can you send us a copy of the photo page on your passport so we can see exactly how your name is written and can include your details in all flight and hotel bookings?

Finally, I know that for some of you this will be your first visit to mainland China so I thought some early pre-reading for you might be my new ebook "Three Cups of Tea" which provides some advice and guidance for foreigners seeking to build new relationships in China.

Please download it via this link and send me your comments and feedback.

I will be in touch again soon but, in the meantime, if you have any queries, please send them to support@thinkglobal.com.au and we will reply as soon as possible.

Best Wishes, 

David Thomas
Think Global Consulting