"China is like the sky or the sea, anyone can write or say about it whatever they want. Everything is true and false at the same time. Of each statement made, its opposite is true as well, and the truth does not simply lie in the middle as the term Middle Kingdom might suggest", adapted from Hans Christoph Buch
For 47 years now I have been interested in and in close contact and continuous exchange with China - Chinese business partners, Chinese culture, its language and its traditions.
This is exactly the reason why now, having completed my active business career after 47 years in 2008, I want to continue to be involved in intercultural exchange and interaction and to put my knowledge, insight and experience gained over the years at the disposal of those interested in setting up good business relations between Chinese and German partners.
One of the many encounters that I had and that is very special in my mind is the long talk I once had with professor Chen Minzhang, health minister of China at that time.
l.t.r. Prof. Chen Minzhang, China's former health minister, Dr. D. Schoedel, Joachim Nagel
I started to gather my first experience as a young wholesale and export merchant for the China business and always stayed in close touch with the country and its people during all the heydays and low points of economic development, thus creating a portfolio of intensive and most diverse experience. So, for instance, working in the fields of sales, export and quality management I was directly involved in intercultural business negotiations and gained deep insights into the many aspects and facets making up the commercial field. Some of my tasks included…
- leading of negotiations resulting in the foundation of several subsidiaries for the distribution of medical products in Europe,
- negotiations on the setting up and expansion of a joint venture in China,
- the support of a Chinese inventor with respect to the marketing of his invention in the USA and Europe,
- the introduction, successful implementation and further development of distribution processes in general and targeted at a variety of products.
In addition to theses tasks in the commercial field I also worked as manager, consultant, coach and instructor in charge of quite a variety of projects and sub-projects, including…
- 2-day seminar for sales managers and managing directors of the European subsidiaries of a customer active in the medical sector; objective: taking over of sales and distribution of a bone cement containing antibiotics,
- training of Chinese members of staff in China and in Germany and working in the fields of administration, sales, and production,
- modification and supplementation of German manufacturing instructions to suit the specific requirements in China,
- presentations and speeches on "Opportunities for the German dental industry in China" held in Karlsruhe/Germany and on "Light-curing restoration materials" for professors, lecturers and assistants at a university in Jakarta/Indonesia
- "PSS3" (Professional Selling Skills) sales seminars held in German, English and French,
- organisation of hands-on seminars for dentists and dental technicians,
- compilation of expert information for the edition of a manual in Chinese language: "Photo-cured restorations" for the instruction of Chinese dentists and their introduction to a modern dental filling therapy.
Furthermore, and this goes without saying, the development of Europe has always been a challenge of particular interest to me, such as the working out of the "Europe 92" concept. In connection with this, I ran a one-day seminar for general managers of European sales and marketing companies on the topic of "effects of EU regulations on sales and prices" in the course of which we successfully managed to complete the development of a future-oriented and promising European price and sales/distribution system.
Owing to my technical understanding of the respective subject matters I also became the co-owner of two patents, namely "Material for the manufacture of artificial teeth" and "Retentive Filler".
Now, with all this knowledge and experience gathered, I strongly feel that I should continue to be part of and contribute my share to the positive development of Chinese-German relations and partnerships.
First and foremost it is about forging links to bridge the gap between the two cultures, i.e. by discovering and exploring the cultural differences by aiming at a positive and mutually rewarding effect, and by resolving existing conflicts. That this is really possible and not just wishful thinking the more than four decades of professional activity in this field have shown me more than clearly. During this exciting time, I was given an abundance of opportunities to come across, experience and see at work the elements and intricate details that make up the knowledge, the plans and the material required for the building of stable and sustainable bridges that can connect our two cultures. Therefore, I would be very pleased and gratified if could continue to contribute my share to successful communication and beneficial understanding among nations.