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Finnish architect behind one of Beijing’s landmarks

2 ScandAsia.China • June 2013

What if...

ExPloRE WhAt if

new students Imogen and Ryohei relax at ‘home’ on UWCSEA East

…yoUR ChIld fElT AT homE fRom dAy onE? Would feeling secure and supported make learning easier? That’s the finding by leading education specialists, and it’s certainly the experience of students at UWCSEA. Take Imogen and Ryohei, new students who had a friend from day one through the school’s Buddy Programme. Because their buddies accompanied them throughout the day and introduced them to other students, Ryohei and Imogen felt they belonged from the start. This feeling followed them from playground to classroom, giving them the confidence to do anything from making friends to learning new mathematics concepts.

This is just part of the school’s Personal and Social Education (PSE) programme, a key element of the learning experience. Through PSE, students explore their identity and place in the world. With the support of their teachers and each other, students are prepared to take their seat at school and beyond, with confidence. What if your child joins UWCSEA? Visit to find out more.

138AdV-1213 June 2013 • ScandAsia.China 3

UWCSEA dover is registered by the CPE CPE Registration no. 197000825h Registration Period 18 July 2011–17 July 2017 UWCSEA East is registered by the CPE CPE Registration no. 200801795n Registration Period 10 march 2010–9 march 2017


The demographic timebomb

C Your FREE ScandAsia Magazine in China ScandAsia is the only magazine that covers all the Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, and Swedish residents in China. We also publish a ScandAsia magazine in Thailand, Singapore and the rest of South East Asia.

Please sign up for your own FREE copy: Publisher : 211 Soi Prasert Manukitch 29 Prasert Manukitch Road Chorakae Bua, Lad Prao Bangkok 10230, Thailand Tel. +66 2 943 7166-8, Fax: +66 2 943 7169 E-mail: Editor-in-Chief : Gregers A.W. Møller Assistant Editor: Wachiraporn Janrut Advertising : Finn Balslev

ountry by country all over the world, we move closer to the point when the number of people entering the workforce are less than the number of people exiting the workforce. In some countries, like Japan, this point has already been reached. This is not just an old world scenario – it is also happening in our part of the world. Official data from China shows that the working-age population defined as people 15-59 years old fell almost 4 million people in 2012. It is the first time in 50 years that the labour pool has declined in China. Even though the contraction in 2012 appears to be small relative to China’s more than a billion people, the cumulative effects will accelerate over the next decades. A Chinese government think-tank has reported that the number of people between 15 and 64 will drop by around 40 million people the next 15 years. The proportion of over-65-year-olds will double over the next 25-26 years, a feat which took United States 69 years to complete. China’s one-child policy imposed over 40 years now suddenly threatens to impact the country’s future growth. Forecasters predict that in Japan the labor force will over then next 30-40 years decrease from 68 million down to 46 million, Italy’s from 23 to 14 million and in Germany the labor market goes from 41 million to 28 million. Thailand will face the dilemma in 2025, just 12 years from now, according to research. However, looking at the prediction in the research, we now see that the time where more people leave the labour force than entering (i.e. contracting) is coming earlier than expected. Fewer young people in the labour market means an increasing aging population and a shortage of workers to support that aging population. Which will again affect economic productivity and also strain the social security and pension systems. For companies, it means attracting good staff will be increasingly difficult. Strong brand names like Apple, Google, Starbucks and another 50 global brands may not feel this but for the average company that does not enjoy such strong name recognition they have to do something. As a starting point, you must develop an Employee Value Proposition (EVP) which clearly describes real needs and clarify job expectations. Here are just a few of the many questions that will help you on the way. They must be answered before you start any sourcing of new staff. And let me warn you, there is no way you can develop the EVP between coffee breaks. • Why would someone who is good at this type of work want this particular job? • Why should anyone come and work for you? • What does this job offer that is unique or makes it most attractive to a potential candidate? • Why is doing this job at your company better than doing the same job at a competitor? • Why do people come to work at your company and why do they stay? Is it leading edge technology? Fast growth? Industry reputation? Work/life balance? How does it differentiate you from your primary competitors? • What is your competitive compensation and benefits plan? 12 or 13 months guaranteed pay, sign-on bonus, performance incentive, company car, medical cover, provident fund, for employee or for family too? Flex time, free parking at the office building? • Remember that applicants or candidates are a perishable commodity. It is the only “product” I know that can speak. They can say no to being “sold” to your organization. The better ones are quickly turned off by unresponsiveness which is interpreted as a lack of initiative or seriousness. If you are not prepared with an intelligent EVP when meeting future employees the contraction in the labour force will hit you hard and before your competitor.

Piyanan Kalikanon Nattapat Maesang Graphic Designer : Supphathada Numamnuay Distribution : Wanvisa Rattanaburi Printing : Advance Printing Services Co., Ltd.

Daily news and features here:

Tom Sorensen is a Partner in Grant Thornton which he joined in 2003 as head of Executive Recruitment. He is a prominent figure in the Scandinavian community, having been among others Chairman of Scandinavian Society Siam and for five consecutive years President of the Danish-Thai Chamber of Commerce. His column “From the Headhunter’s Desk” is a popular feature in the English speaking media in Thailand.

Norwegian Day celebrated in Shanghai

Past Events


n 11 May 2013, over 280 Norwegians both adults and children participated in the Norwegian Constitution Day celebration held at Emerald Compound, Pudong. After many rainy days, the sun finally came out on 11 May and the whole day was fine. Though it wasn’t held on 17 May, Klubb Norge Shanghai had arranged for all of the traditional entertainments at the event such as brass band (Chinese brass band playing all the traditional Norwegian songs), food, games, lucky draw and singing. The Norwegian priest gave a speech at the event. Participating kids enjoyed lots of ice cream, children’s choir and the traditional children parade with flags and whistles.

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June 2013 • ScandAsia.China 5

Past Events

Norwegian Day celebrated in Hong Kong


nce again, the Norwegian Constitutional Day was celebrated in Repulse Bay in Hong Kong. This year’s celebration on 17 May 2013 hit a new record of over 100 participants. The day started with speeches by both the Vice-Ambassador from the Norwegian Royal Embassy in Beijing, Mr. Nils Gunneng, and the Consulate-General from the Royal Consulate in Guangzhou, Mr. Espen Rikter-Svendsen. Traditional Norwegian buffet was available for participants to enjoy. Then the traditional parade was held at the beach where “sekkeløp” and “potetløp” took place later.

Sommerskole på Herlufsholm - for piger og drenge i alderen 13-15 år

FRA 19. JULI TIL 2. AUGUST 2013 Tilbring 2 sjove og spændende uger i sommerferien på Danmarks ældste kostskole i selskab med 13-15 årige fra hele verden. Programmet byder på niveauinddelt dansk undervisning, sportslige og kreative aktiviteter samt ekskursioner og oplevelser. Lær om Danmark, mød nye venner og nyd de enestående historiske og smukke rammer som Herlufsholm Skole kan tilbyde.

LÆS MERE PÅ WWW.HERLUFSHOLM.DK 6 ScandAsia.China • June 2013



Past Events

Spring Party 2013 in Shanghai


he Swedish Chamber of Commerce annual Spring Party was held at Le Royal Meridien, a fivestar hotel in Shanghai on 26 April 2013. 200 guests enjoyed the dinner filled with entertainment and speeches by the famous standup comedian Anna-Lena Brundin and Fredrik Härén amongst others. Mats Haborn presented the Honorary Award which went to Anita Jonsson and Bengt Johansson for their great work in promoting the relation between Sweden and China. The night ended on the hotel’s 65th floor with music and drinks.

June 2013 • ScandAsia.China 7

News Brief

Danish primary school versus Chinese super students


an a Danish 9. grade pass a Chinese exam? Can the Chinese solve a Danish exam? Danish TV Channel DR1 recently aired a TV-experiment program which followed a Chinese and a Danish 9. grade and their schoolings to offer an insight in what Denmark and Scandinavian countries in general are competing with. The level of the Danish students is often criticized while Chinese students are considered best in the world. In the international PISA-tests, the skills of Danish students are measured as average compared to other Nordic countries, but first place in almost all subjects goes to the Chinese. The question that the program “9.z mod Kina” (or 9.z versus China) raises is; who is best when it comes to creativity and cooperation? The program tests the students in reading, mathematics, English, cooperation and creativity. The program audiences get to follow the everyday school life in a 9. grade in Holme School in Aarhus and school no. 69 in Harbin, Northeast China. The school in Holme has 30 students in the same class who go to school six hours a day while the Chinese 9. grade has 54 students who go to school 12 hours a day. Niels Egelund, a Danish professor of theory of education at the University of Aarhus, acts as an expert on the program and calls the Danish middle school loving but weak. Anders Bondo Christensen, who is the foreman of Danish Teachers Union, is also part of the program and he believes that the Danish middle

school has many other tasks than just creating students who do well in tests. According to him the Danish primary school is the foundation of the development of the Danish democracy and focus should be on making sure that students can put their skills to use in real life. One of the things the documentary presents is sexual education and it seems that there are big cultural differences between the Danes and the Chinese. Most of the Chinese students knew very little of contraception because they had received no education in the subject. In general it seems that the Danes have a

Chinese hack new Danish super fighter project

8 ScandAsia.China • June 2013


more liberal attitude when it comes to this area. In a creativity test, the students were handed to half circles that they had to use as part of a drawing and the difference in ideas was big. “I was surprised that there was a group of ideas in the Danish drawings that were not created in the Chinese. Mainly about anatomic things like penises, breasts, bums and semen,” Christian Byrge explains. “Maybe Denmark is more liberal, which is why we can have these ideas. Maybe the students from China just have another focus,” he adds.

s a replacement for the current F16 fighter jet long found in the Danish air force, talks have been to buy the new Joint Strike Fighter Jets, but according to NATO and the American Congress, confidential information about the jets have been systematically hacked by China from the spring of 2009 to the fall of 2012, reports the Danish post Jyllands-Posten. The Danish government currently considers buying Joint Strike Fighter, JSF, for DKK 20-30 billion. JSF is one of the most advanced fighter jets in the world and is being developed in cooperation between the USA and a number of countries. Denmark is one of the countries involved and they have contributed with DKK 500 million to the project. “It is a problem that the Chinese might know about the weaknesses of the jet. Of course that could be used in a potential conflict,” said Thomas Elkjer Nissen, an expert in strategic communication at the Academy of Defense. Joint Strike Fighter is equipped with stealth technology, which means that the jet cannot be seen on radar. If the Chinese managed to get a hold of information about the technology, it could be critical, according to associate professor Jens Ringmose from the Center of War studies at the University of Southern Denmark. ”Purchasing new fighter jets is a very large and comprehensive investment. From a Danish point of view, one should ask critical questions of how many states have obtained information about the Joint Strik Fighter program and how much information how much information that has been leaked about the actual jet,” he said. The Chinese espionage is reported to have started in 2009. China denies having hacked the program but in the fall of 2012 China tested flights with a stealth jet that had a similar appearance as joint Strike Fighter.

News Brief

Swedish Minister for Environment visits Beijing

Norwegian Embassy sponsors anti homophobia masquerade in Beijing


he Norwegian Embassy in Beijing was a media sponsor of the Beijing LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) Center’s masqueradethemed cocktail gala held on 11 May 2013. Following this year’s International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia theme of “fighting anonymous web homophobia,” the Beijing LGBT hosted a masquerade-themed cocktail gala, featuring great drinks, canapés and an enticing list of items for a silent auction and lucky draw raffle. All proceeds from ‘A Rainbow Affair’ will support the Beijing LGBT Center’s ongoing projects to end discrimination and misinformation about LGBT mental health, and provide counseling to those most in need. A guest speaker from the United States Embassy gave remarks about the importance of International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia and all efforts to eliminate discrimination. Guests were then asked to “remove their masks” in a symbolic show of support for the LGBT community.

Open Denmark Day draws 3,000 visitors in Beijing


he Swedish Minister for the Environment Lena Ek made an official visit to Beijing, Shanghai and Wuxi on 26 - 31 May 2013. An extended Memorandum of Understanding on environmental cooperation was signed by Minister Lena Ek and her counterpart, Minister of Environmental Protection, Mr. Zhou Shengxian, in correlation to former Prime Minister Wen Jiabao’s visit to Sweden in April 2012. During Ek’s visit to China, further Sino-Swedish collaboration in the field were discussed in bilateral meetings. Minister Ek met with Swedish companies in China to discuss how Sino-Swedish cooperation can contribute to a sustainable development. The Minister also spoke at a Sino-Swedish match-making seminar on environmental technology. On 28 May, users of the Chinese micro blog platform Sina Weibo also had the opportunity to ask questions to Minister Ek on the topic of “Swedish Environment and Green Technology”.

B a g s væ r d k o s t s k o l e gymnasium tid til talent

Bagsværd kostskole & gymnasium (Bk) er en udviklingsorienteret og traditionsrig skole grundlagt i 1908. elever, der vælger en uddannelse hos os, siger ja til fællesskab, faglighed, seriøsitet og individuel talentudvikling. det vi på Bagsværd kostskole & gymnasium kalder for: tid til talent. vi tilbyder:


he Royal Danish Embassy in Beijing opened its door to about 3,000 visitors on 25 May 2013. The aim of the Open Denmark Day was to promote Denmark in China and to create cultural awareness of Denmark among Chinese citizens. A variety of Danish design, food and culture were presented to the Chinese visitors as top Danish companies and brands exhibited their products in the garden of the embassy. Danish star chef John Pedersen’s New Nordic Food Cooking show was one of the highlights at the event as it presented the real taste of Denmark. The theme for this year’s Open Denmark Day was “Fairytale for the Future”. It was the third time for the embassy to showcase Danish sustainable lifestyle and organic food while strengthening cultural ties between the two countries.

• • • • • • •

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June 2013 • ScandAsia.China 9

News Brief

Danish company in charge of China’s biggest district heating project


anish Danfoss, a world leader within energy-efficient and climate-friendly solutions, in May has signed a record deal with the Chinese city of Anshan which aims to make Anshan world leaders in district heating. The contract is the largest deal so far made by Danfoss in China when it comes to district heating, which means that the company will be expanding its factory in the city, Danfoss announced in a press release. The agreement includes a district heating solution at a value of hundreds of DKK millions, which means a more stable district heating to the more than 1.8 million inhabitants of the city. That means that Anshan will be the first city in China to use district heating in that scale. “Anshan will be a role model of how Dan-

foss can display energy saving district heating solutions,” said vice-president, Atli Benonysson from Danfoss District Energy. “The project will be the first of its kind in China and it already has the attention of many other municipalities,” he adds. The new district heating system will make use of excess heat from a local steel steelworks and make Anshan capable of reducing the use of energy and also reducing CO2-emissions by 240.000 ton annually. “We look forward to the project because the most important institutions in Anshan are working together in creating a much better environment for our citizens,” says deputy mayor, Zhang Shichao of Anshan Municipality.

Finnair expands rapidly in Asia


rom January to April this year, 511,000 passengers opted for the quickest route from Scandinavia to Asia via Helsinki with Finnair. That is an increase of 6 percent compared to the same period last year. In April, Finnair increased capacity by 6.7 percent compared with 2012. More than 91 percent of all aircrafts were on time. The number of sold air tickets rose to 79.5 percent. Finnair increases capacity to Asia from 14 June. Overall, it serves about 13 destinations with 80 aircrafts per week. Also two new destinations are added: Xi’an in China and Hanoi in Vietnam. Finnair’s available flights to and from Asia include: Japan: Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya daily. China: Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong daily, Chongqing 4 flights per week and 3 flights Xi’an per week. India: Delhi 6 flights per week. South Korea: Seoul daily. Vietnam: Hanoi 3 flights per week. Thailand: Bangkok daily. Singapore: Daily. In the past four months, 523,520 passengers chose Helsinki airport as their gateway to Asia. That is 22, 500 more than in the same period in 2012. With that number, Helsinki retains the position as Northern Europe’s largest gateway to Asia, and Europe’s second largest of Japan. 10 ScandAsia.China • June 2013

Sweden and China collaborate on transport solutions


ngela Bendrot, Swedish State Secretary to the Minister for Infrastructure, visited China in May for meetings and activities focusing on transport solutions. Bendrot had a meeting at the Ministry of Transport on 13 May for a half-time review of the Sino-Swedish Action Plan on transport solutions signed in 2011. The Action Plan has led to furthered Sino-Swedish exchange in the areas of urban transport, road transport and safety, shipping, maritime affairs and green flights. New activities within these areas were discussed. Bendrot also met with the Traffic Safety Bureau of Ministry of Public Security together with Swedish companies to discuss issues related to road safety. On 14 May, the State Secretary visited the Beijing Alignment Academy. In the afternoon, Bendrot attended a Sino-Swedish seminar on Urban Transport, co-hosted by the China Academy of Transportation Sciences. Topics such as congestion charges, modern city bus solutions and traffic planning and management were discussed. The State Secretary delivered an opening speech at the seminar. The Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute organised the 16th “Road Safety of Four Continents” conference in Beijing on 15-17 May together with the Research Institute of Highway (RIOH) of Ministry of Transport of China, and Transportation Research Center at Beijing University of Technology. State Secretary Bendrot attended the opening ceremony on 15 May and held opening remarks.

News Brief

China is now Volvo’s biggest single market


olvo Car Corp. said its April sales in China rose 30% over a year earlier, making the country for the first time its biggest single market and helping offset declines for the month in Europe and North America. Volvo, owned by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., sold 4,710 cars in China last month. The strength in China, which has become a much larger focus for Volvo since Geely’s 2010 purchase of the brand from Ford Motor Co., helped offset Volvo’s persistent weakness in North America and Europe. Volvo is in the process of pursuing an $11 billion overhaul that includes updating plants, vehicles and engines as well as opening new plants, and better competing in China is a big focus. In 2013, Volvo will open a Chinese plant in Chengdu with capacity to make 125,000 vehicles per year and the company has said it eventually aims to sell 200,000 vehicles in China annually. “Given our expectations for growth in China, we will sooner or later end up in a situation where China will consistently be our largest market, but when that will happen is hard to say,” Volvo spokesman Per-Ake Froberg said on 6 May. During the first four months of 2013, Volvo’s total sales were down 6.4% compared with the year-ago period on an 11.5% decline in European sales. Meanwhile, sales in China increased by 27.6% in the same period.

Norway’s oil fund wants open Chinese markets

Strong ties between Chinese and Finnish militaries


u Qiliang, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), met with Juha Rannikko, the visiting Finnish chief of defense staff and his party on 6 May 2013 in Beijing. Xu Qiliang noted that Finland is one of the first Western countries to have established diplomatic relations with China. China attaches great importance to China-Finland relations, and is willing to continue to make joint efforts with the Finnish side to promote the bilateral friendly and mutually beneficial cooperative relations to a new high. Xu Qiliang pointed out that the relations between the Chinese and Finnish militaries are an important component of the relations between the two countries. The high-level contacts between the two militaries have laid a good foundation for the two militaries to expand cooperation fields and uplift the level of exchanges. The Chinese side adopts a positive attitude toward developing friendly and cooperative relations between the two militaries, and is convinced that the relations between the two militaries are bound to constantly make new progress with the efforts of both sides. Rannikko said that the Finnish government and people hope to constantly consolidate the traditional Finland-China friendship. In recent years, the two militaries have maintained close contacts and cooperation, which is conductive not only to the building of their own militaries but also to the world peace and stability. Qi Jianguo, deputy chief of general staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), and others were present in the meeting.


orway’s sovereign wealth fund, one of the world’s largest investors, urged China to open its domestic markets to foreign investors, saying it was keen to pour billions of dollars into the world’s second-biggest economy. The head of the fund, which invests Norway’s revenues from oil and gas production for future generations, said on 30 April it had only around $1 billion invested in China out of total holdings of $735 billion. “Over time we will assume that we will have investments in China in proportion to the size of the economy. For the moment our investment in China is very little,” Yngve Slyngstad said after speaking at a parliamentary hearing in Oslo. Norway’s wealth fund is shifting away from European assets towards Asia and emerging markets to seek higher returns. Slyngstad said the offshore market for renminbi bonds was quite small and not very liquid and that the onshore market was largely not available to foreign investors. “China is a large investor in other parts of the world so it is reasonable to assume that they will allow those investors from those markets where they have invested themselves to invest in their market. I think this is a time question and we await developments,” he said. Separately, Slyngstad told the parliamentary hearing that global bond returns were low and would likely be low for a long time, making it more difficult for investors to earn high enough returns.

June 2013 • ScandAsia.China 11

Finnish architec behind one of Beijing’s landmarks The other day when I was filming the CCTV tower from a variety of angles, I realized how proud I was to have played a part in its construction.

Finnish architect Anu Leinonen’s first project in China was the China Central Television (CCTV) tower in Beijing’s central business district, thanks to a fortune cookie. By Alexandra Leyton Espinoza

12 ScandAsia.China • June 2013


hen the CCTV construction project was announced, international architectural firms were allowed to compete with domestic firms for the right to design the broadcaster’s headquarters. As a senior architect with Dutch firm Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), Leinonen was a member of the team that prepared the firm’s bid. Leinonen says the concept OMA presented to the broadcaster’s panel was the reason they won the contract. “Traditionally, media houses are spread across the city and suburbs. We wanted to create a building where different teams in television production could work and interact. I believe the CCTV leadership was ready for something different and unique,”Leinonen says. “Actually, we were going to compete in two international competitions: One was the CCTV tower in Beijing and the other, the Ground Zero in New York. The leader of OMA Rem Koolhaas had a fortune cookie, which contained the message

‘Stunningly Omnipresent Masters Make Minced Meat of Memory’. Based on this, he made the decision to compete for the Chinese project. It was our company’s biggest project, and our first in Asia. It was an amazing experience.”

Changes in Chinese architecture When Leinonen was appointed as project architect of the team to the CCTV project eight years ago, she didn’t know what to expect of China. She had been to the country only once before in 1990. She was cautious about the cultural differences, keeping her apartment in Holland for two years as base to return to. “When I first came to China in 1990, I was one of 20 young exchange students from Finland. We spent two weeks at the university in Tianjin to learn some basics in calligraphy and making dumplings. We spent another two weeks traveling in southern China. I took many pictures of places in China, but very few documenting photos of the daily life in China back then, which is a pity, since daily lifestyle and the way people live has changed dramatically,” Leinonen says.


CCTV Tower in Beijing “What impressed me most was how Chinese students studied architecture. Their access to literature on Europe’s architecture scene consisted of few copies of architectural books, which were interpreted into their sketches of the international contemporary architecture. It was heartwarming to see how the new generation of architects keeping themselves up to the global trend. I still have much of this literature which acts as a window in time. “After my studies in Finland I moved to Holland for work. After we won the competition, I was asked to work on the project in China. My greatest impression this time was the enormity of Beijing compared to the European cities.” Over the next eight years, Leinonen had time to reflect on the changes in Chinese architecture. She says the Chinese Government wants to achieve, within the next 20 years, the scale of urbanization that took Europe nearly 100 years to achieve. More and more people are relocating from the countryside to build new lives in the cities. The new sub-urban high-rises tempt the farmers to become urban consumers. But the vast investment

to this kind of development has momentarily also caused areas with overproduction, leaving some neighborhoods with newly built high-rises empty from inhabitants,” Leinonen says.

Historical areas and modern architecture Even though the CCTV tower is one of Beijing’s major landmarks, Leinonen’s favorite building in Beijing is her home, a courtyard house in the Gulou area. “The ancient hutong area offers an amazing urbanite experience to live, even if the buildings are not fully renovated, or equipped with modern comforts. I have always been interested in the history of architecture. Living in hutong definitely helps me keep up to what is going on in the city. In my professional life, I design modern buildings in new areas, which are the opposite of my personal life. It’s a way to make a statement. I believe we should protect and restore historical areas by adding considered modern architecture as a new layer of history on it, never trying to replicate what

was originally the past,” Leinonen says. “The Chinese take a lot of pride in their ancient history, and hutong is a part of that. Unfortunately, restoring the hutong is financially the same as demolishing them and building something new.” After having worked for OMA for 13 years, Leinonen decided it was time to explore new challenges and opportunities. She joined Danish architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). She is currently working on a 500-meter skyscraper near the harbor in Tianjin’s financial district. “It’s interesting to start working in a new company after such a long time. It reveals what you have learned, but also what you need to leave behind. I will remain in Beijing and hope to work also on new and exciting, personal projects, like photography and video,” Leinonen says. “Architectural projects can take years to complete. A video comes together much more quickly. The other day when I was filming the CCTV tower from a variety of angles, I realized how proud I was to have played a part in its construction. I will never become tired of looking at it.” June 2013 • ScandAsia.China 13

Consul General impressed by Dani in Shanghai

14 ScandAsia.China • June 2013

ish companies In August 2012 Karsten Ankjær Jensen was appointed as the Danish Consul General in Shanghai. Experiencing the financial centre of China in action has fascinated the diplomat who is satisfied with the Danish-Chinese cooperation. By Mikkel Keldorf


ith a brand new skyscraper rising every third week and a population increasing by almost one million each year, Shanghai is growing in a pace hard to comprehend – even for an experienced diplomat like Karsten Ankjær Jensen. With an impressive resume in the suitcase the 58-year-old Dane moved into the office at The Royal Danish Consulate General in Shanghai. “It has been incredibly exciting and busy. It is very surprising how much is going on in the Shanghai area. We had two Danish ministers visiting within my first months as a Consul General and numerous CEO’s, boards, schools and universities have also visited. Shanghai is one of the true hotspots of the world - everyone wants to go there. It is very satisfying because we get to meet and assist a lot of people,” Karsten Ankjær Jensen says. While the Danish Embassy in Beijing is dealing with the majority of the political issues, the Consulate in Shanghai mainly handles the commercial interests. But in Shanghai it seems impossible to part the two areas since the public sector is very much involved in the local business and administration. The effects of the unusual marked mechanisms have surprised the Consul General. “You have a society and an economy moving incredibly fast and at the same time you have an administrative structure that in certain areas seems designed for a different social and economic reality. The achievements of China are truly impressive, but it can be puzzling to understand how it is possible, “he says.

Karsten Ankjær Jensen Education: 1984 Master of Arts (Political Science), University of Connecticut, USA 1987 Master of Social Science (Public Administration), University of Aalborg, Denmark

International career: 1991-94 1st Secretary, Danish Representation to NATO, Bruxelles 2001-2005 Minister and Deputy Head of Mission, Danish Embassy, Washington Sept 2008 Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Denmark to Albania May 2010 Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Denmark to Kosovo, Resident in Tirana August 2012 Ambassador, Consul General of Denmark, Shanghai

‘They do not roll out the red carpet anymore’ Karsten Ankjær Jensen spends a lot of his working hours visiting various Danish companies in Shanghai and in the nearby villages. Getting a clear view of the status of the Danish–Chinese cooperation has been a positive experience with a lot of great examples of successful Danish companies. This does not mean that it is stress-free to get a piece of the very attractive Chinese market though. “China is an enormous country with enormous opportunities. The profit and benefits of succeeding in China are perhaps only comparable to the USA. It is far from easy though. The red carpet is not automatically rolled out when a foreign company wants to start up in China as it was fifteen years ago. You must come fit and ready for tough competition. If you can handle it, the rewards may be virtually limitless,” the Consul General states. The changed attitude on the Chinese market towards foreign companies is not the only thing that is worth considering for foreign companies. The local businesses are growing making competition harder and harder. One of the big discussions on the Chinese commercial and political scenes right now is the conditions under which the foreign companies compete. Karsten Ankjær Jensen also believes that this topic is important for the future cooperation between China and foreign companies.

Level ground on the market “One of the challenges is to get a level playing field. It is sometimes difficult for foreign companies to compete on equal terms with domestic companies. The EU is very focused on this,” he says. Despite the challenges, the general cooperation between the two countries is better than ever. The number of Danish ministers visiting China has increased year by year and this is an important sign for the future cooperation, Karsten Ankjær Jensen says: “We should pursue the path we are on. Prime Minister Helle Thorning Schmidt stated during her last visit that she would strive to visit China yearly and other ministers and high-level Danish officials have similar ambitions. This shows the high priority China is given in Danish foreign and economic policy. And I also believe that by nurturing a good relationship with China we will have recognition. You have to develop friendships by returning over and over again, i.e. invest the time. We are definitely on the right path.” June 2013 • ScandAsia.China 15


orn in Nantong, Jiangsu province of China, Bo Qin moved to Turku, Finland when she was eight. Growing up in Finland, she holds Finnish citizenship and speaks the language fluently. Bo graduated in Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Aalto University School of Economics where she is now pursuing a master’s degree in International Business. She also joined an exchange program at Fudan University School of Management in China. On top of speaking fluent Chinese and Finnish, she speaks English, Swedish and basic German. Being exposed to two different cultures since a young age, Bo has learned and embraced the practices of both eastern and western worlds. “From China, I learned self-discipline, hard-working attitude and respect for knowledge. On the other hand, in Finland, I learned to be creative, proactive and independent,” says Bo.

Moving back to China

Introducing Bo Qin Operations Manager at FBCS Bo Qin was born in China and grew up in Finland. As Operations Manager at Finnish Business Council Shanghai (FBCS), she enjoys utilizing her cross-cultural skills for both Scandinavian and Chinese interests. By Wachiraporn Janrut

16 ScandAsia.China • June 2013

Bo moved back to China in 2010. Currently, she is Operations Manager at Finnish Business Council Shanghai (FBCS) and an associate at MPS China Management Consulting, a global HR consulting company headquartered in Finland. As the operations manager, she is responsible for the marketing and communications as well as events management. In addition, she is the secretary of the board where she manages the bookkeeping. Also, she helps conduct the annual business confidence survey and members’ directory publication. Bo says that she works independently but in close collaboration with the Board, Executive Director, other chambers of commerce and other Team Finland members. “I joined FBCS because I wanted to develop the FBCS to be the best business networking platform in the Greater Shanghai area. We help the newly arrived Finnish companies to connect with the Finnish companies already established here to share information, ideas and experiences. At the same time, we are part of the Team Finland promoting Finnish businesses,” says Bo. Bo told ScandAsia of how she enjoys being back in China and her job at FBCS. “I have learned during the past two years a lot about doing business in China both from academic studies and from business leaders. I have also met many very successful and knowledgeable people that I feel honored to have talked with,” she adds. According to Bo, the FBCS has grown 25 percent to include over 100 members in two years. Bo says that FBCS offers various benefits to its members such as connection with other Finnish businesses in China, accessibility to a well-established China business information database, and international exposure through the FBCS’s cooperation with other chambers of commerce and public sector of Finland. Furthermore, members can attend seminars and other events organised by FBCS at discounted prices as well as get a hard copy of the Members Directory.

Enjoying the cultural mix Besides her work, Bo enjoys the diversity, the energy and the opportunities that Shanghai has to offer. “Shanghai will not leave you bored. Take food for instance – you can find restaurants representing any cuisines in the world; if you want to cook yourself, you can pick your ingredients from local farmers at wet markets, local supermarkets and imported goods shops,” says Bo. Nevertheless, she misses certain things about Finland such as clean air, blue sky, saunas by the sea, archipelago, safety, healthy food and her friends there. When asked whether she is more Finnish than Chinese, Bo says she’s a mixture of both. “I love the Finnish liquorice, rye bread and forest berries and mushrooms but I also enjoy the hot pot, dim sums and milk tea,” says Bo. “I speak both Chinese and Finnish, and with both culture heritages I can understand truly the reasoning behind different actions. I would like to break the stereotypes and bring people closer to each other,” she adds.


Smoked Bacon with Apples and Onions


By Anders Holm Nielsen

This traditional recipe from Denmark makes a hearty lunch or a tasty Sunday evening dinner.

Ingredients (Serves 4) • 4 tablespoons butter • 1 pound sliced back bacon • 2 large onions •3 medium apples cut in wedges • Black pepper • Preparation Melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add bacon and fry until lightly browned. Remove bacon and drain on paper towel. Add remaining butter and fry onions until soft and transparent. Add apples; cover pan and simmer 7 to 10 minutes. When apples are cooked, put bacon back in and simmer about 5 minutes. Grind pepper over top.

Are you done?


hen you have completed the above puzzles, please send your solution by fax to +66 2 943 7169 or scan and email to puzzles@ We will make a lucky draw among the correct answers. Five lucky winners will receive a ScandAsia polo shirt. Name:


Age: ________________________









Deadline for submitting your solution is 15 July 2013 18 ScandAsia.China • June 2013


the Mekong Delta and Phu Quoc island Take time out for a five days trip in South Vietnam. We start with a boat trip on the Mekong river delta and end up with a beach vacation on Phu Quoc island. Ask Indius Pedersen for details at


his four nights adventure starts at 7.30 in the morning, when you are picked up at your hotel in Ho Chi Minh City. We are going to My Tho on the banks of the Mekong from where we board a wooden motor boat. The trip is quiet and relaxing, passing by natural creeks, quiet villages with houses on stilts where fishermen go about their work. We are sailing around on the small waterways that criss-cross the Mekong delta with interesting stops along the way. One stop is at a large orchard with many different types of tasty tropical fruits and at another stop we change to a small row boat to see an interesting transportation modes that local people use to move around. We’ll also take you to a bee farm where you can taset authentic honey tea while listening to the folk music that is typical to only the people in Southern Vietnam. After a few more stops, it is time to return to My Tho and continue by bus to Can Tho where we will stay over the first night. Next day after breakfast, we are continuing the exploration of the delta’s wonders by boat for a few hours including a quick lunch. Eventually

we leave for the airport to catch the flight for Phu Quoc at 13.05. When we arrive Duong Dong airport in Phu Quoc island a car will send you to your hotel for the night. Next day it is time to explore Phu Quoc. We visit the North to discover the primitive forest then visit the black peppers plantation at Khu Tuong, sightseeing at Phu Quoc national park. Enjoy swimming at the Dai beach. Lunch. Return to your resort. Free at leisure in the afternoon. On the fourth morning of the trip, we will drive to An Thoi port to visit the Australian pearl farm on the way to the Southern island. In An Thoi port we embark a fishing boat to go out to the Thoi archipelago where we drop anchor in a quite bay. Angling equipment is at hand to cacth a few Garrupas, snappers... Back in the port we drive to the Sao beach for your relaxion on the hammocks. Visit the Ham Ninh fishing village on the way back to the hotel. This is your last evening on this interesting island. The next morning after breakfast the car waits to take you to the airport for boarding your plane back to to Ho Chi Minh City after a memorable five days of adventure. June 2013 • ScandAsia.China 19

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ScandAsia China June 2013  

June 2013 edition of ScandAsia China for Scandinavian residents from Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland living in China, Hong Kong and Taiw...

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