12 Mar CodigoDelSur goes to China on an ICT Presidential Mission!
CodigoDelSur goes to China on an ICT Presidential Mission!
The ICT industry in Uruguay has much to offer: a great network in the western world, an internationally highly regarded quality of its services, a great presence in Latin America, and fast internet connection which enables proper remote work; attributes which are highly interesting for international companies.
CodigoDelSur is Uruguay’s biggest software exporter, and as such, we were invited to participate of an IT business delegation by the initiative of the Uruguayan Chamber of IT to go to China on a Presidential Mission, along with the investment promotion agency ‘Uruguay XXI’ and the Minister of Industry, Energy, and Mining. It aimed to explore potential tech-related business and to present the country as a top-notch digital product manufacturer.
So there we went to China for a week of intense activities, meetings, company visits and matchmaking sessions in Shenzhen and Beijing.
Preparation for our trip implied making a thorough analysis of cultural differences and interesting intercultural business communication matters. However, it wasn’t until we actually experienced it that we were able to fully understand what it really implied.
The IT industry in China is a 1500 million dollar business, so it really is no wonder that they have an Industry and IT Ministry. Nonetheless, we were honored to have been welcomed by the Minister himself!
The first stop of our Mission to China was Shenzhen, which was an old fishing village 30 years ago and is today inhabited by 20 million people. In a meeting with its vice Mayor, he told us the history of the evolution of the city, a city that was built for technology following values of innovation and sustainability. Free commerce has been another change that was installed in this city and reflects a China seeking to open up to the world. Shenzhen is frequently called the Asian Silicon Valley, and it really is no wonder as there are companies working with the latest technologies related to robotics, artificial intelligence, drones, IoT, and much more. We visited many companies, among them DJI, Huawei, ZTE, and Makeblock. Also, Tencent is established there, the company that developed WeChat, an app that works like Whatsapp, twitter, skype, email, and payment system altogether.
Shenzhen definitely is a technological benchmark and throughout the visits and meetings we had with various companies we realize that the China they’re constructing implies children starting to be in touch with technology since a very early age, which will obviously lead to a highly IT-oriented population in the long term.
In Beijing, we could experience an astonishing mix of avant-garde practices and a spectacular millenary culture which surprised us for its magnificence.
As part of the delegation, we were invited to the celebration of the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Uruguay; which was our first activity in Beijing.
As we arrived on a Friday, we could enjoy Saturday and Sunday off to go touring around the city and discover many historical wonders Beijing has to offer!
We started our tour going to the Forbidden City! A spectacular and enormous place where we were captivated by the mysticism and by all the stories of the different dynasties, the emperors, the traditions and the different superstitions that are reflected in its architecture. Absolutely incredible.
The next day we went to the Great Wall, which was also outstanding, especially since our tour guide -who called herself “Maria”- was very charming and knowledgeable so she could make us feel like we were actually experiencing history. Stories of how men were recruited to go build the wall and many tragedies related to that fact were a highlight. After that, we had a typical Chinese lunch and went to the temple of heaven; another spectacular architectural beauty, also enormous. It seems like the emperor (represented by color gold) was the connection between God (in the sky, represented by color blue) and people on earth; which gives the temple such colorful and impressive design. It would be possible to simply sit down and stare at those buildings for hours, decorated with such detail, it was extremely beautiful. Chinese culture really fascinated us.
Continuing with the business affairs, we had a seminar organized by Uruguay XXI (the investment promotion agency of Uruguay) and CCPIT, its Chinese equal; where the Minister explained the assets of our country, mainly making emphasis on the great talent and the stability with which Uruguay is internationally known. After the dissertation, the companies which were present participated in a B2B matchmaking where they could discuss potential commercial relations. Later we visited other software giants: Baidu and Jumore.
Going to China was an awesome experience and it gave us the opportunity to better understand and experience a culture which is radically different to ours but that succeeded at communicating its charm and captivated us. We’re now looking forward to our next adventure! San Francisco!