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Friday, June 19, 2009
It was our last day in Hong Kong. In the morning we went to OOCL, an ocean freight company, and learned about shipping and logistics from a global company. It was interesting to talk to a company in an industry that had been hit especially tough in this economic downturn. They had to sell off sections of their company in order to have enough cash to stay afloat. When consumers stop spending as much money, there is less of a demand for the shipment of goods. Andy Tung, the COO, talked about the leadtime in building a ship and how that effects business for such a long time. Prices have gone down a little on ship building, but they are such a large investment that does not come for 3 years or so, that if you pick the wrong time to buy them, you may have to live with it for the rest of the time you work there; even 25-30 years later. How would you like to be the planner and decision maker on that?
We then went and visited the HKTDC, which helps the small to medium sized businesses of Hong Kong succeed in a global economy. The trip was nearly cancelled due to some miscommunications, but the faculty fixed the problem and we enjoyed a quick, yet impressive visit. They have offices set up all over the world to help facilitate their clients and they provide world-class services. It was interesting to see how many of the businesses in Hong Kong fall into the small and medium sized sector: 95%. Then it was off to Vietnam. It hit everyone pretty hard going from such a westernized country to Vietnam, but we are keeping good attitudes.