October 26th it was time for our first company visit. About 4 hours by bus from Shanghai there is a city called Ningo. Honestly I had never heard of it untill we learned about the company visit, but it is actually a rather big and modern city with a population of 10 million. Close to Ningbo there is an industrial park designed to help nordic companies enter the Chinese market – Nordic Industrial park. This was the main destination of our Company Visit. We were about 100 norwegians (3 buses) invading their industrial park. but they were well prepared for us. We got some nice food before listening to the Chief Marketing Officer of Nordic Industrial park and a representative from Kitron (a company founded in Norway that has moved parts of its business to the park). Nordic Industrial Park’s motto is simply:
“China is not a mystery. People do Business here every day. People like us.”
Really great line there, and it suits NIP very well as they can help out companies with HR, Legal issues, finance and IT in addition to a place to build up production facilites. After the seminar part of our visit we went on a tour of two production facilities within the park: Swedish Ålö and Norwegian Marine Aliminium. It was interestin to see the inside of these factories and listen to the stories of the companies as well.
In the evening we headed for central Ningbo and our hotel – Crown Plaza. I got to say I did not expect this, it was actually a pretty fancy 5 star hotel! The room was great, with supersoft beds, bathrobes and tons of free stuff like toothbrushes, manicure sets, etc. Didn’t have much time in there though as we headed out for dinner more or less right away. The dinner was just for us Bachelor students, so we were “only” 36 people there, not 100. The restaurant was pretty awesome as well, got tons of delicious food to eat and beer, whine and softdrinks all provided by our school. The head of the BI office here in Shanghai, Ole Fossgård seems like a pretty nice guy actually, did a toast with everyone and also came over to each table to check that all of us were having a good time.
The evening ended with a trip to KTV (karaoke bar). More or less everybody at least stopped by and we all got a big room together, awesome! Oh and Ningbo is a beautifull city as well, check out this picture: