Chongqing，located in the South West of China, is the youngest municipality in the Middle Kingdom. This city has became the newest “buzz word” in China, people often relate Chongqing to its “population of 30 million,” with the “highest GDP growth in China in 2011,” the recent “crackdown in crime” and the “singing revolution songs.” The IMBA students who were chosen to participate in the IMBA Chongqing Study Trip were able to find out more the depth behind those descriptions. The study trip took place on February 13th to 16th, 2012. After four full days of visiting companies, government officials, and tour around the city, we gained an appreciation for the Five-Chongqing program. This comprises Livable Chongqing, Forest Chongqing, Traffic-free Chongqing, Healthy Chongqing, and Safe Chongqing.
When we arrived at night on the 12th of February, we were taken to try the city’s most famous gourmet – hot pot. We went to The Captain Hot Pot restaurant, where all the waiters were dressed in military attire.
On the morning of the 13th of February, we went to visit “Liangjiang New Area”, where its management committee gave us a warm reception. They began the tour in their 3D exhibition hall, where we were shown the development blueprint of the 1200 square-kilometer Liangjiang New Area.
The tour was followed by a panel discussion at the management committee office, with Liangjiang New Area’s Minister of Organization Department, Mr. Deng, Director Wang, and the Director of Industrial Development Bureau, Mr. Wu in attendance to provide us with a better understand how Liangjiang New Area is important to Chongqing strategically.
Following which, in the afternoon we were introduced to high-tech companies head-quarted in Chongqing. The afternoon began with a visit to a medical equipment company, Haifu, which is the world’s leading manufacturer of non-invasive ultrasound therapeutic systems for both malignant and benign tumors. After Haifu, we visited the JV between Ford and Changan Auto, where we were able to see the manufacturing plant and to learn about their operation management systems.
On the morning of Day 2, 14th of February, we were warmly greeted by Director Kang of the Organization Department, Director Kang of the Communication Department, and Director Chang of the Development Department at the Organization Department of Chongqing Municipal Party Committee office. The Directors had kindly arranged for an intimate yet detailed forum to give us a better understanding about the policies and future directions of Chongqing.
The forum allowed us to learn about the core rationale for Chongqing’s development. Their strategy focused on increasing urbanization to serve as the catalyst to bring changes to rural and mountain areas. Director Chang and Director Kang, with the aid of use actual examples such as the HP investment, showed us how Chongqing’s transformational strategy moved from light industry towards high-tech manufacturing. We were greatly impressed by the determination and leadership displayed by these leaders spearheading the Chongqing developments.
The organization also arranged for us to meet two of the local party delegates that are Tsinghua Alumnus. They were the first selected local party delegates from Tsinghua to Chongqing, and despite their high education achievements, they were willing to start at the base level picking up responsibilities within the rural areas. The two alumnus and the organization also made it known throughout this meeting that they desperately need more talents to help develop Chongqing and welcome anyone that can assist them to carry this momentum forward.
After the extensive forum and an equally fulfilling local hotpot lunch, we visited some of the famous sceneries such as the Liberation Memorial and the Eighteen Steps. The Eighteen Steps were a particularly intriguing sight to behold and juxtaposition to the glamorous city that laid beside it. A fellow student said that it was as if he was looking at the past, present, and future all at once as he absorbed the sight of old run down bungalows coexisting next to shiny new high rises. It was a humbling event, but at the same time, buzzed with excitement knowing the sheer to imagine of what Chongqing will look like the next time we visit her.
On the third day morning we visited the Chongqing branch of Bank of East Asia. After a warm welcome, the regional manager generously shared with us their current and future direction for expansion in Chongqing. The assistant manager shared with us his macro view of the growth within Chongqing as a foreign financial institution. Through our discussion we were able understand some of the hardships they face as a foreign financial institution. Additionally, we were able to gain a new perspective while recognizing areas limitations as a foreign institution within the China market.
In the afternoon, we visited the HP Plant in the XiYon High Tech Manufacturing Region. There was an enterprise friendly atmosphere, well-organized town planning, as well as the presence of well-known brands as occupants, XiYon manufacturing region would grow to be an extremely competitive location for firms looking to invest in China. The Manufacturing Region’s display models showcased many of its town planning and occupants, which made us realize how holistic and well planned every project we encountered in Chongqing was.
After the XiYon visit we met up with the Tsinghua Alumnus stationed within Chongqing. It was refreshing and relaxing to meet alumnus who selflessly volunteered their time to tell us about their experiences and perspectives regarding various sectors within Chongqing. Through their candid sharing, we were able to connect the dots on many things that we learned on this trip while instilling new meanings to the numbers that we heard throughout the trip. It was both remarkable and enjoyable to observe their clear and systematic thinking process of the Tsinghua alumnus who reminded us once again why Tsinghua is such a highly valued brand name in China.
On the last day of the study trip, we went to visit Ciqikou and Chongqing Planning Exhibition Gallery.
The Chongqing Planning Exhibition Gallery was a comprehensive demonstration of the master development plan of Chongqing City. The exhibition included of all sorts of infrastructure blueprint, which depicted the Chongqing Government’s vision, and determination of transforming Chongqing into a world-class metropolis.
We ended the Chongqing Study Trip with a visit to Ciqikou, the famous ancient town in Chonqing, which is well known within China for its rich history dated back to the Song Dynasty. Built as a commercial port and market almost 1000 years ago, Ciqikou is now one of the most celebrated tourist attractions in Chongqing. We were able to meander along the steep and narrow pedestrian alleys in Ciqikou, which are filled with souvenir shops, temples and cafés that attract thousands of overseas and domestic visitors everyday.
Although the Chongqing trip has already ended, and we have moved on to the next stage of our studies, the memories and new insights, which we have gleamed from the trip, will always stay with us. We were fortunate that this journey showed us a different side of Chongqing, one that the media and tourism would not typically show. Through all the different site visits, we have gained a deeper understanding on the development of the West of China. Additionally, the experiences that our Chongqing alumni shared with us was extremely valuably, as they told us of the importance of utilizing what we learn in school and making a positive impact on the society.
Our Chongqing journey has proven that field trip is an effective channel to learn about the political and business landscape of China. Learning goes beyond textbooks and classrooms, and we are confident that our spirit of “practical learning” will pass on within the program years after years.
重庆一行时间表（by Anson, Bernard, Crystal, Cathy, Justin, Mike, May, Pinky, Jason, Patrick, Janice, Lee）