Capital Research is a conglomerate of investment firms that manages assets for institutions around the world. This includes corporations, governments, retirement plans and nonprofit organizations such as endowments and foundations. The Capital Research organization has earned its success from making every decision with the investor in mind. Andrew Dougherty is a China Affairs specialist for the Capital Research firm. One of the most interesting careers I have ever heard of. Andrew’s job is to inform investors of China’s political and economic environments. Gaining this understanding is performed by going out to the Chinese people and learning different aspects of industry through a plethora of meetings and site explorations. Once complete, Andrew writes evaluations and generates presentations on which he delivers to the Capital Research group’s corporate office and other analysts whom are in demand of this information. Andrew is a huge asset for the Capital Research Corporation as company employees and other investors use his information to make big decisions such as investing millions of dollars in a firm. Furthermore, Andrew is a highly educated well rounded individual whom earned a masters from Cambridge University in London and speaks both Chinese and Russian fluently. I aspire to be more like him in many respects and will keep in touch with Andrew for future advice.
Archive for July, 2010
I decided to go to the complex that hosted the 2008 Olympics and see the various complexes that were used for the recent summer games.The architecture of the Beijing National Stadium was quite unique.The nickname of the Beijing National Stadium is the Bird’s Nest because of it’s outward appearance.There was not a sporting event occurring when I visited so I had the oppportunity to go inside.Some of the structures,banners,and decorations used for the Olympics were still up.I asked an employee at the Bird’s Nest if the stadium has seen alot of events since the Olympics and he said that the Bird’s Nest has barely gotten any use since the games.The Bird’s Nest cost about US $423 million to construct so it’s hard to believe that it has not been getting alot of use.After the Bird’s Nest I was able to go see The Beijing National Aquatics Center,also known as the National Aquatics Center,and nicknamed the Water Cube.
On our free day in Ho Chi Minh City, we went to a German bakery to have a coffee. Schneider’s finest is a really nice bakery and opened one year ago. We were very lucky to talk to the owner of Schneider`s finest and interviewed him about challenges and opportunities in the Asian market. The owner Hartmuth Langer came to Vietnam in 1968 to work for the American Express military bank. During that time he met his wife and traveled for the bank around Asia and Europe.
With 25 years work experience in Asia and four other investors, two Americans and a German couple, he started to open a German bakery. Starting the bakery was only possible because of the cultural know-how and Ms Langer, who was born and raised in Vietnam. According to Mr. Langer, finding a local reliable Vietnamese business partner is like winning the lottery. The investment for equipment was around 400.000 Euro which is a high amount to invest into a communist country with no predictability of legal decisions and political stability. Nevertheless, they build their production hall in Binh Duong, Vietnam and employed one German master baker and four local assistants. The owner told us that he had 50 German applicants for the position of the master baker, which is quite a lot. For the German bread they produce, they buy the brown-bread mixes from a German company, Abel and Schäfer. They also work as a wholesaler for Abel and Schäfer in South Vietnam and sell the mixes to restaurants and hotels. However the import is complicated and expensive due to the different taxation on different mixes.
Nevertheless, it is worth it because the local people like the taste of dark bread, which is 5 times more expensive as the normal white toast and healthier.
We wish Schneider’s finest all the best and thank Mr. Langer for all his valuable advice.
On the free day in Siem Reap, we visited the Tonle Sap Lake and the floating village, which is a
remarkable social site. In order to get to the city it is necessary to rent a boat and a guide for a
fee of 20.00$ per person. The 20$ are used by the government to maintain the canal and to increase its diameter in order to prevent boat-traffic jams. Since the government made the canal bigger the number of boats increased from 10 boats to over 200 boats for tourist. During the rainy season, there are more than 500 tourists coming to swim and to visit the floating village.
This is a very important site and gives a lot of Cambodians jobs. Additionally it is important for the village people.
The local school, where the children of the village people learn English for free, is funded by the tourists. They are also depended on the book donations the tourist can make.
On the lake live 5000 residents. There are two different communities. On the one side live 3000 Vietnamese and on the other side 2000 Cambodians, but they live friendly together. The reason why these people live on the water is that the properties on land are too expensive for them and they don’t have to pay taxes on water.
The people on the lake make their living of tourism and fishing.
Visiting the floating village was a valuable experience and lets you appreciate what you have and where you come from.
Top: Northwood Students at INTI college, Malaysia