1 Going global: How to succeed in International Business! (29 pages)

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Going Global: How to succeed in international business! 29

What do you think accounts for your success in China?

Aniko Willems: I was in China twice: in 1998/99 and then

again from 2005 until 2008. During my second stay, I profited
from what I had learned during my initial stay. I went to China with
a different attitude, was more open, with a greater respect and
level of consideration. You really can’t force anything onto Chi-
nese partners. Consequently we were in a position to do business
with companies in their country.

You definitely need to allow half a year for preparation before

you can passably orientate yourself in China. This period of time
can be shortened if a competent coach accompanies you in Chi-
na, one who understands both cultures well and already knows
what it means to

‘stand out from the crowd’

solely because of

one’s physical appearance.

What is the most important piece of advice you would give to

people who want to do business in China?

Aniko Willems: Keep a smile on your face and remain open.

By this I mean, maintain a positive attitude, a conscious easiness
and calmness. Then you are open enough to learn something.
We can certainly learn a lot from the Chinese; for example, how
one goes about things in a more flexible manner than what we are
used to.

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