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Chinese business delegation spends more time in traffic than site visit

Chinese business delegation spends more time in traffic than site visit

Posted July. 05, 2014 04:12,   


More than 50 Chinese entrepreneurs, who came to Korea on the occasion of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit, visited Gyeonggi Province on Friday afternoon. As the Chinese commerce ministry requested Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency, or KOTRA, to arrange on-site visits to areas in Gyeonggi where Chinese firms could consider making investment, the Gyeonggi provincial government set up the schedule.

The Chinese business delegation had to depart KOTRA on Heonneung-ro in Seoul’s Seocho District at around 1 p.m., and visit three places including KINTEX exhibition center, Hallyu (Korean Pop Culture) World in Goyang City and Unification Park in Paju City in Gyeonggi before returning to Seoul by 6 p.m. The itinerary entailed two-way trip extending a total of 120 kilometers within five hours. After all, the Chinese business delegation’s onsite visit was conducted as a "cursory tour."

Even though various events were arranged with extra care, the Chinese delegation simply lacked time to cover the entire schedule. At an investment information session the Gyeonggi provincial government hosted at KINTEX, the Chinese entrepreneurs had to hurriedly leave only after hearing presentations. All different exhibits on investment projects in Gyeonggi Province were on display at the exhibition, but the visitors had no time to take a look. Since they hardly had time to interact with Korean entrepreneurs, they were scrambling to exchange business cards.

A presenter, who offered a guided tour at Unification Park, only gave a brief introduction and even asked the visitors to "refer to brochures for details.” They were scheduled to stay at the park for 45 minutes, but remained there for only 10 minutes due to delays in schedule. They had no question and answer session at all throughout the half-day event. They spent three hours on the road, more than at the investment information session (one hour) and onsite inspection tour (one hour).

Apparently due to tight schedule, members of the Chinese delegation increasingly showed signs of fatigue as time went by. One Chinese businessman did not bother to get off the bus due to headache.

Lack of coordination between the Gyeonggi provincial government and KOTRA that supported the event was another problem. Originally, the provincial government prepared the event in anticipation of visit by officials from Chinese realty development companies, as it had been informed earlier. Not many of the Chinese entrepreneurs were from realty firms, however. More than 20 Chinese businessmen cancelled their tour right before departure, but the Gyeonggi provincial government and KOTRA were not aware of this due to lack of coordination.

It is regrettable for both the Gyeonggi provincial government that set up highly tight schedule during hours including evening rush hours, and KOTRA that failed coordinate this as medium. They sought to show too many things to the “honored guests,” but failed to make compelling appeal to the guests with any of them, which is truly lamentable.