Bringing timeless fashion to China ScandAsia.dk
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Danish Minister for Higher Education opens Denmark Days in Beijing
n September 17, the Danish Minister for Science, Innovation and higher Education, Morten Østergaard, opened “Denmark Day” event at Peking University in Beijing, helping Danish higher education institutions and companies promote study and career opportunities for bright Chinese students. The career and education fairs “Denmark Day” is organised by Innovation Centre Denmark, as a part of the official Danish programme “Top Talent Denmark”. Top Talent Denmark is a new and unique “one stop-shop” for Chinese students interested in pursuing a Danish career. Through a range of offline and online activities, the initiative connects Chinese students and young professionals with Danish higher education institutions and companies and offers them a single platform to learn more about their Danish study and career opportunities. Denmark Days are the biggest events under Top Talent Denmark. Danish Minister Morten Østergaard and Peking University’s Vice President Li Yangson delivered speeches at the event, which gathered over 1,400 participating students. Nine Danish Higher Education Institutions were present showcasing the best of Danish education to the Chinese students. Sino-Danish Center of Education and Research was also present. Well-established Sanish companies such as Carlsberg, Grundfos, Novo Nordisk, Novozymes were at the event, giving advice to Chinese students about career oppportunites in Denmark and China. The lucky draws took place, and two lucky students (one in Beijing and one in Shanghai) won a SAS return flight ticket to Copenhagen each. For more information about Denmark Days and Top Talent Denmark, visit www.toptalentdenmark.com.cn
SWEA’s members in Beijing walk on Great Wall of China
n September 5, Swedish Women’s Educational Association (SWEA) in Beijing gathered 17 of its members to walk the wild stretch of the wall between Lianhuachi and Mutianyu. With a clear sky and nice weather condition, a group of eager hikers enjoyed good views of the restored Mutianyu section. Also, they could see both unrestored and restored wall in one tour. The SWEA hikers took only a few hours to walk on the wall between two points as the site is close to Beijing compared to most of the other wall sections. Parts of the adventures were some steep sections, a number of partly destroyed watchtowers, and areas of the wall covered with lichen and bushes. SWEA Beijing is a part of SWEA, a global non-profit organization for Swedish speaking women who live or have lived abroad. Members gather to enjoy Swedish language, culture and traditions. With its network worldwide, SWEA provides support to Swedish speaking women living abroad, arriving in a new place or returning to the home land. Today SWEA has approximately 7,500 members in 73 local chapters in 33 countries across five continents.
4 ScandAsia.China • October 2013
Welcome back BBQ with motivational speech in Shanghai
n Friday September 6, 130 people participated in the Danish Chamber of Commerce’s Welcome Back Barbecue in Shanghai. The party was held indoor due to the unpleasant weather. The participants enjoyed the evening listening to the highly acclaimed coach and speaker, Arne Nielsson, who is also a sprint canoer with eight medals from world championships. The audiences were activated during his 90-minute presentation. Arne Nielsson was awarded best motivational speaker in Denmark in both 2009 and 2011 and the participants found it easy to understand why. He gave them great advice on how to get more “hands above your head” days, showed how negative people can influence the motivation of the whole group and how they need to move themselves out of the comfort zone to make a change. Just as many expats have done, moving to China from their home countries.
Photos : Jens Skovrup
October 2013 • ScandAsia.China 5
Fun Crayfish Party in Beijing
his year’s Crayfish Festival in Beijing was celebrated with a great success. On September 14, over 200 guests turned up at Royal Garden, Radisson BLU Hotel Beijing to enjoy the Crayfish Festival featuring various fun activities including a Gold Sponsor crayfish eating contest where Ericsson’s representative Tom Nygren dominated Claude Bulté of Radissson BLU and Lars-Ove Filipson of SAS Airlines. The evening was filled with dance and traditional Swedish singing, followed by a well-received live performance by Janke Jönsson.
Cheerful Crayfish Party in Shanghai
n September 21, the Swedish Chamber of Commerce gathered 235 crayfish lovers at PaulanerBräuhaus on Pudong to celebrate the fun crayfish festival. At the party, Mark Levengood and HenrikJohnsson, the hosts and DJs for this year, nominated one representative from Ericsson and one from SAS Airlines to Miss Full Moon and Mr. Crayfishto compete in a quiz about Swedish facts led by the hosts. Guests enjoyed abundance of crayfish, snaps and drinks. Levengood and Johnsson led the snaps songs and mingled with the guests. After dessert theyentered the DJ booth and the dance floor was crowded instantly. Happy faces danced the night away to great music. Sponsors of the event included Ericsson, SAS Airlines, SKF, Swedbank, Grand Hyatt, SCA and Nordea.
6 ScandAsia.China • October 2013
Danish Minister for Business and Growth visits China
he Danish Minister for Business and Growth, Mr. Henrik Sass Larsen, visited China on September 5-10. The aim was to strengthen the economic ties between Denmark and China through a closer business-collaboration. The Minister went through a tight schedule with official meetings with Chinese counterparts and institutions as well as meetings with Danish companies and organisations in both Beijing and Shanghai. Together with the Danish ambassador, Friis Arne Petersen, the Minister met with the Chinese Minister of Transport, Mr. Yang Chuntang, and Minister in State Administration for Industry and Commerce, Mr. Zhang Mao. The Minister also had a dialogue with China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CISC) and he opened the new Danish CSR initiative, ‘Danish Footprint Network’, which was hosted by the Royal Danish Embassy in Beijing. Another important aspect of the Minister’s visit to China was to promote Chinese outbound tourism to Denmark. The Minister participated in several events hosted by the national Danish tourist agency, Visit Denmark in China. At the meeting with the Chinese Minister of Transport, the Ministers discussed the prospects of bilateral cooperation on shipping and transportation matters. Minister Henrik Sass Larsen also signed a memorandum of understanding on the importance of intellectual property with the Minister in State Administration for Industry and Commerce, Mr. Zhang Mao. Minister Henrik Sass Larsen visited Shanghai on September 8-10, where he went to Waigaoqiao Container port to inspect one of the largest container ports in the world. More than 25 per cent of the containers at the port are Danish. The Minister also stressed the importance of maritime cooperation between Denmark and China during his visit. The Danish Minister for Business and Growth, Henrik Sass Larsen, and the Chinese Minister for Transport, Yang Chuntang
Chinese students visit Danish school in cultural meeting
ugust 13 was a very special day for the Danish Boarding School Stenhus Kostskole in Holbæk. 30 Chinese students and the Chinese cultural attaché visited the school in a cultural meeting between the Danish and the Chinese students. The visit was arranged by the Chinese Embassy and Holbæk Municipality in collaboration. During the day the Chinese students demonstrated classic Chinese disciplines such as handwriting Chinese signs, coloring and building dragons, paper cutting and translations of Danish names in Chinese. The students at Stenhus Kostskole are taught in Chinese, but it easily takes a whole life to learn how to speak Chinese, so they also had the chance to speak English with the Chinese students. The Mayor of Holbæk also attended the meeting and with help from a Chinese student he created paper figures from H. C. Andersen’s recipe. The ambition is to have a new cultural meeting with Chinese students in 2014, and hopefully it can take place in one of the public schools in Holbæk Municipality, the Embassy hopes.
October 2013 • ScandAsia.China 7
Danish Minister for Health visits China
Finnish firm Raisio unveils yogurt drinks in Hong Kong
aisio, a Finland-based food company, has unveiled its Benecol yogurt drinks in Hong Kong, as part of its efforts to expand its presence to the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, Drinks Business Review (DBR) reported. The company will take joint responsibility with its local Benecol product distributor Wing Kee Produce to further develop the business and plans to implement a new alternative business model.
Hong Kong was selected as the first market for the alternative business model following a series of market surveys, the company said. Benecol yogurt drinks for Hong Kong market are manufactured by Swiss dairy giant Emmi. Raisio’s licensed brands vice president Mikko Laavainen said that the company considers Asia as an important future market area for Benecol products and the Hong Kong launch offers a great opportunity to develop the business in this region. “We will actively continue negotiations with new potential license partners in order to launch Benecol products in new markets especially in Asia and South America,” Laavainen added.
enmark’s Minister for Health Astrid Krag visited Beijing in China on 28 – 30 August. The aim of the visit, which was the Minister’s first time in China, was to share experiences and further enhance the bilateral cooperation between China and Denmark in the field of health, the Embassy said on its Facebook page. Together with the Danish Ambassador in China, Friis Arne Petersen the minister met with the Chinese Minister for Health and Family Planning Commission, Ms. Li Bin, and the Minister of China Food and Drug Administration, Mr. Zhang Yong. During the visit, Astrid Krag had a good talk with her Chinese colleagues on healthcare issues where the two countries are facing many similar challenges. The Minister also visited PekingUnionMedicalCollegeHospital where she had the chance to see how the hospital system in China is operated. She was presented to the strategies developed to counter the health challenges, which China will face in the near future as a result of an aging population. China looks to Denmark on aging matters as Denmark has years of experience on dealing with a large elderly population. “The ambitions set by Chinese hospitals are ambitions which the Danish medical companies have already helped us reach. There is no need for China to go through the same trial and error as we did,” Astrid Krag said. “As we share many of the same challenges there is a good breeding ground for further collaboration on healthcare matters between our two countries,” she added.
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8 ScandAsia.China • October 2013
New sales channel for Finnish food safety expertise in China
hina Operation Center, the Finnish co-operation organisation, has concluded a significant framework agreement with the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration (Shanghai FDA). The agreement will open up a direct sales channel to China for Finnish companies, the Finnish newsdesk Good News from Finland reported. The framework agreement enables companies to sell food safety expertise, such as consultation services and equipment, to the Shanghai FDA. “At best this means that the Shanghai FDA can purchase the services it needs from our companies through China Operation Center,” Sami Areva, spokesperson for the organisation, said. The Shanghai FDA rarely purchases products or services from foreign operators unless they have a strong local representation. This is precisely the type of representation and sales channel that the Finnish China Operation Center provides in China. “The co-operation agreement significantly improves the chances of an individual company test-marketing their products. Our sales premises in the duty-free area allow companies to test-sell their products directly to the consumer or distributor,” Areva explained.
Swedish Beer club opens in Shanghai Norway to improve conditions for textile workers in Asian countries
he Norwegian government has committed up to NOK14.3m (US$2.3m) in funding to improve conditions for textile workers in China, Vietnam, India and Bangladesh, the Norway Post reported. The money will go to the Ethical Trading Initiative Norway (ETI) and will fund courses for manufacturers on decent work. It will see employers and employees come together to practise how to have a constructive dialogue. Courses have been developed for manufacturers in China, India and Vietnam, with the programme now being expanded to include Bangladesh as well. The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the goal is to have 700 manufacturers attend courses held by the ETI between 2013-2015. “We must do whatever we can to ensure that the textile industry has safe workplaces with decent pay and good working conditions – for both men and women,” said minister of international development Heikki Eidsvoll Holmås.
he brand new established Swedish Beer club opened on Friday August 30 with more than 500 guests. Also Chinese press showed up to cover the event. The Swedish Beer Club is initiated by the Shanghai food importer Scandic Foods Asia, to promote its newly started import of Swedish beer in China. At the club’s first event there were nine different beers available, counting brands as Mariestads, Norrlands Guld, Stockholm Festival and Spendrups. The Swedish beer event was the first of its kind in China, and a large turnout of many Swedish and international guests proved a huge interest for the Swedish beer. The positive response exceeded all expectations and now Scandic Foods Asia has scheduled more events for the Swedish Ölklubben, it said in a press release. “It’s incredibly fun to see so many showed up and drank our Swedish beer,” Per Linden, CEO of Scandic Foods Asia said. “People left the hall with new, positive impressions of Swedish beer. The beer club got a great start here in Shanghai,” he added.
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October 2013 • ScandAsia.China 9
Swedish firm SCA buys tissue-maker Vinda to expand in China
Rovio opens first Finnish Education Center in Shanghai
wedish paper and hygiene product maker SCA Group Holding BV said it would buy the remaining shares in Hong Hong-listed tissue maker Vinda International Holdings for HK$8.65 billion (US$1.12 billion) to strengthen its position in the Chinese tissue market. “Becoming a majority shareholder is an important step to allow SCA to explore potential opportunities to create value such as sharing or entering into licensing arrangements with Vinda,” according to joint statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. SCA already owns 21.68 percent of Vinda, and it offered to pay HK$11 per share for the remaining stakes in Vinda, about 35 percent higher than the average closing price in the past 30 days. The Swedish company would also help Vinda promote “Away from Home” tissue markets, which are less-developed in China’s mainland. SCA said it intends to keep the listing status of Vinda and the latter will operate as a subsidiary of SCA after the completion of the deal. Vinda surged 37 percent to HK$10.88 after it resumed trading since suspension from September 2.
SAS celebrates 25 years anniversary with China
n August 1988 Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) was the first airline to open a route from Scandinavia to China with the Copenhagen-Beijing connection. Today SAS has another route going directly to Shanghai and a comprehensive cooperation with Air China. 25 years after the opening the demand on directly flights to China is high. “China is the fastest growing tourist market in Asia, and the country is a fascinating destination for us Scandinavians. At the same time the Chinese are also very excited about travelling to Scandinavia. We will make use of networks from our partnership with Air China, so that we can fly more Chinese tourists to amazing destinations in Scandinavia. And of course Scandinavians the other way,” Sales and Marketing Director Eivind Roald said in a press release. SAS offers one daily departure between Copenhagen and Beijing and five departures a week to Shanghai. The partnership with Air China gives SAS the opportunity to offer connecting flights to other Chinese destinations such as Chongqing, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Hangzhou and Nanjing.
10 ScandAsia.China • October 2013
ovio, the Finnish company known for its Angry Birds games, is now expanding its wings to education. The company is exporting Finnish educational expertise to the world, first to China. The company has signed a preliminary agreement with 123 Education Development in China, and the first Angry Birds Playground is opening in Shanghai. Rovio’s Angry Birds Playground learning concept is based on the Finnish national curriculum for kindergarten, and it’s developed in partnership with the University of Helsinki. “The concept allows children to experience learning in a fun way. It has been scientifically studied and proven in cooperation with the University of Helsinki, Cicero Learning Network – making education both engaging and inspiring,” says Sanna Lukander VP Learning and Book Publishing at Rovio. With the Rovio’s concept, young children are “inspired in different life skill areas” such as language, math and interaction, music, arts and crafts, and both physical and social education. According to Rovio, the collaboration with the Department of Teacher Education at the University of Helsinki ensures that the concept is “based on the most recent early learning research and also adapts to innovative 21st century teacher education methods and practices”. Earlier on Rovio has been collaborating with several scientific and educational brands and institutions like NASA, CERN, National Geographic Society and the University of Helsinki.
Finland’s elevator company Kone wins Shanghai order
Chinese Huawei to build 4G network in Denmark
hina’s mobile network provider Huawei has won a mega mobile deal with Denmark’s TDC, Online magazine MobileWorldLive reported. In a deal reported to be worth DKK 4 billion ($727 million) over six years, Huawei is to supply and manage the mobile network of Denmark’s TDC including 4G from March 2014. While it is a huge deal for Chinese Huawei, it is a blow to Ericsson that used to manage TDC’s network from Romania, the Wall Street Journal reported. Huawei is going to replace TDC’s existing base stations, and will add 200 new employees to its Danish operations. Furthermore the Chinese supplier plans to set up a network operating centre in Denmark. “This is a milestone for Huawei in Denmark,” said Jim Lu, Huawei’s head of Central Eastern Europe and the Nordics. The TDC announcement comes shortly after senior Huawei executives told reporters in a briefing on September 18 that the Chinese firm expects to rake in more than $2 billion in 4G sales this year as operators in China and Europe expand their networks.
Chinese delegation visits Swedish city Västerås
innish elevator and escalator company Kone has won an order for 108 elevators and 57 escalators at Dazhongli, a mixeduse development on Shanghai’s flourishing commercial street, West Nanjing Road, the company announced in a press release. Covering a land area of 63,000 square meters, Dazhongli will comprise two office buildings, a shopping mall and three luxury hotels, with a gross floor area of 323,000 square meters. “We are excited to deliver our People Flow solutions to this major project in the heart of Shanghai’s commercial and cultural hub,” said William B. Johnson, Executive Vice President for Kone in Greater China.
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n September 5, a delegation from the Chinese city Jinan, in the partnership region Shandong visited the Swedish city Västerås, 100 km West of Stockholm. The delegation consists of the deputy mayor, the Secretary General and representatives from the food and drug administration and sports management. The City Council leadership receives the delegation at the City Hall of Västerås. The aim of the visit was to discuss mutual interests and future collaborations. The delegation also visited Widenska high school, and later in the afternoon they visited the central warehouse of ICA, one of Sweden’s biggest retail companies.
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October 2013 • ScandAsia.China 11
12 ScandAsia.China â€˘ October 2013
Bringing timeless fashion to China Finnish fashion brand Marimekko has expanded its network in China with the openings of new stores in Shanghai and Beijing this summer. Believing in the Chinese market, the company aims to open 13 more Marimekko stores in China by the end of 2016. By Alexandra Leyton
hen Marimekko was launched in 1951, the Finnish company that began producing its bright, extroverted colours in the dark days of the postwar period became a fashion institution. Whilst in China, only two years earlier Chairman Mao had read out the public announcement of the Central People’s Government and solemnly declared the establishment of the People’s Republic of China to the world. His audience was a sea of Chinese people dressed in only blue, gray and black. Today, every Chinese youngster dresses to stand out from the crowd and Marimekko is ready to fulfill their needs.
world to hold a fashion show in Shanghai’s People’s Park. At the same time, we were also showcased at an exhibition entitled ‘Design Colours Life – Contemporary Finnish Design and Marimekko’ at the Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art. On the basis of the positive feedback we have received in Hong Kong and Shanghai, we firmly believe that the new stores in Shanghai and Beijing that opened this summer will be successful. Our objective is to build the Marimekko brand and store network systematically on a solid foundation. We will open 13 Marimekko stores more in China until the end of 2016 with our local partner, whom we are very satisfied with,” Ihamuotila says. The company has a common vision with their
Marimekko’s timeless fashion ”The core values of Marimekko is to encourage people to be who they are, to show their true identity and stop pretending in their lives. Marimekko stands for timelessness. We are a counterforce to the rapidly changing fashion world, where people buy something today and then throw away in a few months when the product is no more trendy. We want to create products that last for a long time and are beautiful forever. The enormous Chinese market clearly has room for new and attractive Nordic design brands, and I am convinced that the unique colours and patterns of Marimekko will provide a fascinating breath of fresh air for Chinese consumers,” says Mika Ihamuotila, President and CEO of Marimekko. “We have noticed that our Chinese consumers are very curious about everything new and they really want to educate themselves on new brands. Besides the products, they are very interested in our history, designers and inspirations. Marimekko is actually a house of stories as each product has its own intriguing story to tell.” Marimekko is already a well-established brand in the rest of the Asia-pacific, in Japan they have 21 stores throughout the country. The brand was launched in Japan in the beginning of the 1970s. 40 years later it’s China’s turn.
Expansion in China “We began to make our way into the hearts of the Chinese people last year: the first Marimekko store opened in Hong Kong in May and, at the end of the autumn, we were, to our knowledge, the first in the
Mika Ihamuotila President and CEO of Marimekko
local partner Sideflame on how to build the brand and position of Marimekko in the Chinese market systematically and with a very long perspective. However, you can still find knockoffs of Marimekko design in the mainland. “We want to build our network of stores step by step on a firm basis and without rushing. It will take years to achieve the position we’re aiming for, and results should not be expected too early. As a design company we take copyright matters always extremely seriously. We register our products and have great network of copyright experts to support us,” Ihamuotila says.
Produced to last According to Ihamuotila, the company’s business strategy is to be very strict when it comes to the qualitiy of materials and to emphasize their own production. “Most of our products are made in Finland or in the rest of EU and the sustainability of production is very important for us in every phase of the product development. I also think that the timelessness of design is an area of sustainability that virtually no one else talks about. For us in Marimekko, it is so important that our products last for a very long time, both quality-wise and visually. I hate when companies create something that is trendy today but irrelevant after three months. That is not sustainable,” he says. To show their Chinese audience they mean business, Ihamuotila has been studying the language and spoke Chinese during their opening speech in Shanghai’s People’s Park. “It was a 5-minute opening speech, so no longer discussions, unfortunately. I really love China and the Chinese language and will try to understand this wonderful culture even more. I think China will have a great future. This is why I started to study the language,”he says. He believes that Chinese people share some of the qualities of Marimekko’s phylosophy in terms of trends, still there is definately room for more. “There is definitely room for Marimekko’s inventive, yet timeless dialogue between colour, pattern and shape that translates into distinctive Marimekko lifestyle – including clothing, bags and other accessories as well as interior decoration items ranging from furnishing fabrics to tableware – among the Chinese consumers,” he says. October 2013 • ScandAsia.China 13
Why China needs Scandinavia Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (Right) meets with Prime Minister of Finland Jyrki Katainen in Dalian on September 11. (Xinhua/Zhang Duo)
14 ScandAsia.China â€˘ October 2013
Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen has recently visited China and met with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. Saibal Dasgupta reports on the meeting, giving an outlook on China’s relationship with Scandinavia. By Saibal Dasgupta
innish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen was lobbying in China for greater use of his country’s environment friendly technology and tools, and initial response from Beijing showed he might succeed. But his success may partly be the result of his public comments aimed to help China deal with its problems with the European Union besides the quality of goods and services he was selling. A sign of Katainen’s success in selling clean technology devices was evident when he met Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on September 11 on the sidelines of the annual Summer Davos Forum in the northeast Chinese city of Dalian. China wants to further enhance relationship and push forward bilateral relationship, Li said before saying what Katainen wanted to hear. China wants to strengthen cooperation with Finland in areas that include investment, innovation and environmental protection, the Chinese premier said. Li recalled the Finnish President Sauli Ninisto’s visit to China and the consensus reached for establishment of a China-Finland future-oriented cooperative partnership. He said it is the common will and responsibility of the two sides to implement the consensus. In comments widely circulated in China, Katainen took a dig at some European Union countries saying they were less interested in free trade. He told China’s government-controlled Xinhua news agency in Helsinki that both European Union and China must give greater importance to the idea of free trade at this time when there were signs of economic recovery. “The more we can liberalize our trade relationship, the better for both, because it would help both European and Chinese companies to improve competitiveness and productivity,” he said, “and of course there are a lot of opportunities for investment.” ‘Not all EU members have been interested in liberalizing trade, but luckily we have managed to collect a group of countries who have put those decisions forward,’ Katainen said. The statements come after China waged a long battle over EU on the issue of free trade, particularly in relations with solar power panels manufactured in its factories. The EU put up severe resistance to China made panels, which many in the West say is heavily subsidized by the government. But Beijing felt EU was being over-protective and trying to save Germany’s market for solar panels. China needs Scandinavia to soften the resistance it faces from other EU nations including France and Germany. The key to obtaining Scandinavian support lies in Beijing’s ability to offer lot more business opportunities than the entire western world in a variety of areas. Both Sweden and Finland are fiercely competing for Chinese contracts in the area
of clean technology as this giant nation goes about its stupendous cleaning task. For instance, Wallenius Water AB, a Swedish environmental technology company that specializes in chemical-free water purification, delivered a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) to a company in the east China city of Tianjin, Minfeng Aquaculture Company, in March. “Its water-saving effect is remarkable. The amount of water needed to replenish the fish farms is only 0.5 percent of the previous amount,” said Chen Mengmin, general manager of Minfeng. The company plans to buy and partly manufacture components for its other RAS facilities as well as establish a technology research center in Tianjin. Denmark is promoting itself as the best tourism destinations for Chinese visitors, who are the single biggest tourist tribe in the world. Makers of Danish dairy products find China an attractive market, which is ready to experiment with new tastes, and likely to grow in a big way in the near future. China also has the ability to entice Scandinavia with its growing demand for quality sea food. Comments by Katainen, which seemed tailormade for China’s purpose, showed Finland was prepared to push for Beijing’s case in the EU even if it means some loss of face in the Eurozone. The prize being offered by China, potentially the world’s biggest market for Green technology, is big enough to entice Scandinavian countries. This is not the first time Finland is making a conscious effort to help China in its problems with the EU. Ninisto visited Beijing last April at the peak of the tussle China was facing with the European Union over the solar power panel issue. The Finnish President took the stand that sections of the EU were being too adamant and unwilling to see China’s point of view, and this public posturing went a long way in helping Beijing tackle the problem, observers say. Katainen, 42, arrived at the meeting of the World Economic Forum, which is also called the Shmmer Davos Forum, which took place September 11 to 13 in Dalian in northeast China, along with his Environmental Minister Ville Niinisto and a business delegation consisting executives of 30 clean technology companies. The Finnish Prime Minister noted that China was trying to adopt clean technology and drastically cut pollution and environmental damage. “That is the reason why I am coming to China. I can imagine that clean technologies, whatever it means, water cleaning, bio-fuel, energy saving, more efficient industrial processes, and city planning, could play a very big role in our trade relation.” Katainen said there was great potential in clean technology-related businesses, which concentrate on renewable energy, energy efficiency, environmental restoration and so on.
China needs Scandinavia to soften the resistance it faces from other EU nations including France and Germany. The key to obtaining Scandinavian support lies in Beijing’s ability to offer lot more business opportunities than the entire western world in a variety of areas.
October 2013 • ScandAsia.China 15
SKAGEN DENMARK Boosting Danish Design in Asia
Beyond a sleek minimalist look, Danish design encompasses a mindset, a philosophy which adds new dimensions to the general perception of design worldwide. With its distinctive Danish design, SKAGEN DENMARK aims to be a leading lifestyle brand, inspiring the global community. By Wachiraporn Janrut
16 ScandAsia.China • October 2013
or over 24 years, Skagen Denmark has been a lifestyle brand offering engaging, elegant and superbly designed accessories to its customers at accessible prices. Since 2003, Skagen Denmark has been available in major retailers across Asia Pacific. Today, the brand’s products ranging from watches to jewellery are sold in more than 1,600 retailers in Asia. “We are currently working on expanding our
sales network to 2,000 retailers in Asia in 2014,” says Anita Jensen, Skagen Denmark’s Brand Director for the Asia Pacific Region, based in Hong Kong. Born and raised in Naestved in Denmark, Anita has been working for Skagen Denmark since 2003. “I love Danish design and feel very privileged to work with Skagen Denmark. The past 10 years has been a truly inspiring journey for me,” she tells ScandAsia.
About Skagen “Skagen” takes its name from an old fishing village located at the Northern tip of Denmark. For many centuries, many artists have travelled to Skagen to experience and find inspiration from the stunning natural light, beautiful nature and unparalleled blue sky. Additionally, the town is full of fascinating contrasts, such as the cozy traditional yellow houses with red tile roofs located just around the corner from world class modern architecture.
Skagen Denmark Many people might not know that the logo of Skagen Demark is a symbol of ‘Kattegat’ and ‘Skagerrak’ – the two seas meeting at Skagen. The striking blue colour in Skagen comes from the salt crystals thrown into the air at the meeting point of the seas. “With our anchor solidly planted in Skagen, our scope of inspiration is not only the beach and the sea in Skagen, but also the whole village of Skagen and its rich history and texture, as well as its duality as a remote fishing village and an international cultural epicenter,” says Anita. “Moreover, our scope includes how Skagen Denmark is part of Denmark and how this society has spawned the institution that we know as Danish Design,” she adds.
Anita Jensen Skagen Denmark’s Brand Director for the Asia Pacific Region
Less is more
Danish design Danish design is a style of functional design and architecture that was developed in the mid-20th century. Focusing on the ideas of simplicity and functionalism, Danish design’s key element is the genuine interest in the users of a product and its functionality. The characteristics developed are user-friendliness, respect for materials, simplicity, and a desire to achieve a certain honesty and simple beauty. “We strive to inspire our global community, showing the utmost hospitality, warmth, and respect to all,” says Anita. “Caring is the ultimate competitive advantage.”
To achieve its goal of becoming a leading lifestyle brand, Skagen Denmark continuously launches new distinctive design classics with an emphasis on unique Danish expression. For its Fall Winter 2013 collections, Skagen Denmark offers pure aesthetics with a global influence. Anita reveals that consumers can expect the colours to be clean, the unadorned palette reflecting the simplicity and imperfection of nature. “We are conscious of when to use colour and when to hold back. We want to reflect the Danish design with the mindset that less is more,” says Anita. “The brand will move closer to being a lifestyle brand with leathers and possibly home goods in the future. We want our fans to see us as the curator of Danish design in an array of categories.”
Skagen Denmark & Fossil Group In 2012 the Fossil Group, the S&P 500 company based in Dallas, Texas, saw a big business oppor-
tunity and acquired Skagen Denmark. For Skagen Denmark, it meant that the brand could increase its presence and expand into more markets. “We now have access to 400 more retail locations and 13,000 employees supporting the brand venture. Next year we will reveal to the public what we have been working on in the past year. It’s a very exciting brand journey,” says Anita. 2014 will also be a big year for Skagen Denmark as it will mark the brand’s presence of 25 years. The company plans to celebrate its 25th birthday in grand style. “It’ll be a big celebration featuring lots of new concepts,” says Anita with excitement. “Highly anticipated, the event will have something to wow consumers all around the world.”
Skagen Perspektiv Launched in April this year, Skagen Perspektiv is a new lifestyle collection of men’s and women’s timepieces featuring an uncomplicated, minimalist design in a sophisticated style. Inspired by elements in nature, this collection presents more daring colours, distinctive materials and new evolution in Danish design. For men, Skagen Perspektiv introduces durable genuine leather bands in an earthtone palette of stark black, soft gray, classic brown and natural green. Keeping with a sleek urban feel, watch dials are encased in a 42mm diameter matte black case with matching black faces and indicators. For ladies, Skagen Perspektiv introduces high-quality genuine leather straps in pebble gray, dark brown, camel and burgundy. A slim case design in polished silver, ion-plated gold or rose-gold features a 34mm case diameter and 7mm depth with reflective glass dials in silver, rose-gold and gold, lending an air of clean sophistication. October 2013 • ScandAsia.China 17
18 ScandAsia.China â€˘ October 2013
DNB Bank’s new head of Asia
will continue the safe ride After eight years in Shanghai the Norwegian Vidar Andersen is taking over the position as Head of Asia for DNB Bank based in Singapore. He replaces Erik Borgen, who has served the bank for 34 years. By SIne Neuchs Thomsen Photos by Rasmus Taun Vidar with his wife and 8 months-old son
idar Andersen hardly had the chance to get to know his new country. After moving to Singapore in mid August and officially taking on his new responsibilities on September 1 he has been nothing but busy. Business trips to China and India have filled up his calendar, and though he is convinced that the level of being out of time is related to “how it is to get a new job in a new country”, it is not like he will get bored in the nearest time to come. Already next week he is off again, this time to Europe. Head of Asia is the title of his new role in the Norwegian DNB Bank, which specialises in shipping, offshore and energy financing in addition to service their Nordic clients in Asia. Based in Singapore he is going to be responsible for the bank’s operations across Asia. He already has long and well repudiated experience with the bank. After eight “fascinating” years in China, Vidar Andersen and his wife eyed the chance to move further. “Mainly we decided to move here because of the job. My new role here is very exciting and offers me a greater area of responsibility, and also a chance to try out new unknown areas,” the busy Norwegian explains. With that said he does not hesitate to mention, that it also in a personal view seemed to be a good time to move on. “There is some sort of limit for how long you can stay in a country, where you cannot imagine yourself staying forever. That time had come for us, and so Singapore seemed to be a good place to raise our son,” Vidar Andersen says. The couple had their first child eight months ago. “Furthermore, Singapore is the centre in the
region which gives us the chance to go explore the area in the weekends. It is going to be a big experience personally,” he believes. It also relates to the fact, that we had a son eight months ago. In terms of that, Singapore offers many great opportunities,” Vidar Andersen adds.
Will not change the strategy For the tall red-haired Norwegian the new job will be more diverse than it used to be in China. Even though China is a big multifarious country the system and the culture is relatively the same, he explains. He expects his new job to be considerably more diverse, as each country in Asia has its own system and rules for running business and banks. That does mean that his entrance to the bank will cause any bigger changes in the way the bank operates. “First of all DNB Bank shall continue doing well. But the strategy of the bank has been more or less the same for 20 years, we are long-term and relationship oriented. So I did not come here because I am going to change anything radically compared to what we are used to do in DNB Bank,” he stresses. And if DNB Bank looks different in a couple of years, it will “be more related with the change of the world than with me,” he says. “Globally the financial sector is not the same after the bank crises in 2008-2009. With an increased focus on control and regulation of banks, you can no longer put up a five year to come strategy and then follow that blindly for years to come. As a bank you must be flexible and adapt-
able because the world is constantly changing,” he says.
100 new colleagues In Singapore Vidar Andersen also has a task getting to know his almost 100 new colleagues but that does not scare him “When you come to a new place, the first couple of weeks a lot of things will seem unknown; the office, the city. It will take a little time to find my own way, but in a short while all the unknown things will become familiar,” he says. Eased by many years of experience from being expatriates the shift to what some will call “Asia for beginners”, the life in Singapore might not become such a big deal for the little family. Vidar Andersen also used to work and live in New York. Even though it has been a long time since he lived in Norway, he still thinks of opportunity to come back one day. Being abroad means missing out on many things counting family and friends, and as the true Norwegian he is, of course skiing. Luckily he found a new way to spend his holidays that allows him to explore a whole other world. “Diving is probably my biggest interest out here, and is has that advantage that you can continue diving no matter what your age is. I really like the way you can escape from the world, while exploring another one so different,” he tells. To escape the current world on land might become an issue later on, but right now Vidar Andersen seems to be incredibly excited about his new job. And before the next moment has passed he is off to his next appointment. October 2013 • ScandAsia.China 19
Mikael Avatar Despite having cerebral palsy, Swedish artist Mikael Avatar lives his life with a positive force and has achieved much more than the average person. He broke the world record long jump at the 1996 Atlanta Paralympics, went on a sailboat across the Atlantic Ocean, practiced judo, went to a music school and studied Science. Mikael is now a personal coach, a public speaker and an artist. By Wachiraporn Janrut
20 ScandAsia.China â€˘ October 2013
rom June 28 to July 21, Olive Bistro on Sukhumvit 33 road in Bangkok hosted an art exhibition featuring abstract paintings entitled “Avatar Energy Art”, by Swedish artist and motivational speaker Mikael Avatar. “It’s called ‘Energy Art’ because it’s aimed at creating positivity. If you are positive you are lucky. That’s what I wanted to create when working on my art here,” says Mikael. At the art exhibition opening, Mikael delivered an inspiring speech concerning his life story and played music to impress participating guests. One of his paintings was sold for 100,000 baht that evening.
Life story of Mikael Avatar In 1968 in Sweden, Mikael Avatar was born dead for 40 minutes before coming back to live. As a result of oxygen deficiency, however, he was diagnosed with severe cerebral palsy. Despite the doctor’s statement that he would not be able to live a normal life in a community, Mikael grew up with a positive energy and no sense of self-limitation. “I have never thought that I am disabled but people around me think I am but I don’t act upon it,” said Mikael at the opening of the art exhibition. When asked by his mum at a very young age what he wanted to be, Mikael said that he wanted to be a mountain climber. With a diplomatic character, his mum told Mikael that mountain climbers don’t make money. However, Mikael proved her wrong as 15 years later he was one of the instructors for a climbing group showing people how to climb on vertical walls. When Mikael was young, he saw his friend on a bike and wanted to do the same. While the special commissioned bicycle was being ordered for him, he taught himself to ride a bike using his friend’s bike in the yard. As no one told him that it was impossible for him, Mikael believed he could ride a bike like his friends. And by the time the special bike from the social service arrived, he could already ride a bike by himself. “I like to be positive. I have always been positive,” said Mikael. Living a normal life would, in fact, be an understatement for Mikael as he has actually done more than the average person. Mikael practiced judo, went to a music school, studied science in regards to cerebral palsy for ten years and was an Assistant Professor. Also, he trained more than 10,000 hours for Paralympics. “When I had a passion for something, I always went for it. I have done everything with passion,” said Mikael. Mikael went on the first sailboat crewed by
disabled people across the Atlantic Ocean. He made the world record in 1996 Atlanta Paralympics in long jump, which he held for 12 years. “I never doubted that I couldn’t break the world record in the Paralympics in front of 68,000 people,” he said. On top of that, he is a personal coach, a public speaker, and an artist. With his inspiring life story, he has had an impact on lives of over thousands of people across the globe.
A personal coach and a public speaker Mikael started coaching a group of ten to 20 people how to train when he was ten. At the time, he had a mentor who taught him about life. “Because of my condition, I don’t scare people. I think I have chosen the way to come in this earth so I could reach people without them thinking I’m crazy. “I give my audience the pictures of my life. It’s a true story and they react. That’s what I do when I do public speaking. I don’t tell people what is right or wrong. It’s up to them. When people listen to my talk, they forget about me because they see themselves,” said Mikael. Mikael has been a personal coach for over 30 years, and a public speaker and an artist for over 20 years. “Whatever you do, don’t wait. Just do it. Don’t care what people say. If you have the passion, go for it and you’ll be good at nearly everything. It’s
five per cent talent and 95 per cent practice. “Many people want many things and have different goals in their lives, but to be a painter you need to paint. You don’t need to be good but you need to paint at least every week. “When I started I didn’t know how to paint. I just knew I wanted to paint and I decided that I would do 100 paintings before deciding whether I should continue. When I finished 100 paintings, I knew it was for me. However, I know that the best painting I’ll make would be in 10 years from now,” said Mikael.
Moving to Rayong,Thailand As Mikael’s physical condition means he often has cramps, especially in cold weather, he decided to move from Sweden to tropical Thailand four years ago. Through a long-term connection between his Swedish ex-wife and well-known Swedish education expert Lars-Erik Uneståhl, Mikael joined the mental coaching & training centre in Rayong called “Center for Excellence in Thailand (CET)”, which is an affiliation of Skandinaviska Ledarhögskolan. “That’s one of the reasons why I came here. Without him, I have nothing in Thailand,” said Mikael. Located near Thaihem, a Swedish villa community, the centre is about 20 kilometres east of Ban Phe, 100 metres from the sea and just 25 minutes from the famous Koh Samet. Mikael plans to offer weekend coaching sessions at the centre in Rayong to anyone who is interested. “It will be a mini coaching session to help you understand yourself and your life, or what you really want to do with your life,” he said.
I believe that human beings come to this planet with a purpose. After you find it, walk that path until the end.
Mikael believes that human beings come to this planet with a purpose. He said he has met and coached many people, where he has been by their sides finding their purposes. “Finding a purpose for your life is important. For me I have many but for some, one is enough. It doesn’t matter what you choose. After you find it, walk that path until the end,” said Mikael. “I met many good sportsmen who started their paths but didn’t have enough passion to go to the Olympics because they didn’t have the strength to train 50 hours more per week to pass that line,” he added. At the moment, Mikael lives in Rayong with his Thai wife “Khun Kai”, whom he has been with for two years. Mikael’s next goal is to make great music and wow the crowds with his live performance. October 2013 • ScandAsia.China 21
Homemade bounty bars By Sine Neuchs Thomsen Evil
Ingredients • 15 oz milk cooking chocolate • 3 cups shredded coconut • 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
Directions • Mix coconut and sweetened condensed milk to make a thick and sticky paste. Shape the paste to the wished size. If you use your hands, make them a little wet before, so the paste will not stick on your hands. • After shaping the bars put them in the freezer for at least 20 minutes. It will make it easier to dip them in chocolate.
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• Meanwhile you melt 2/3 of the chocolate (avoid contact with water and steam whilst melting). Add the remaining 1/3 chocolate and keep stirring until it is fully melted. This process is called tempering chocolate which allows the chocolate to have a glossy texture and the right “crack”. • Now you can start dipping. Use two forks and roll the coconut rectangle to cover all sides with chocolate. Lift the bar from the chocolate and place it on a baking sheet covered with baking paper. Put it back in the freezer and the chocolate will get “shocked” and get stiff. • Your homemade bounty bars will keep fresh in up to five days in an air tight container.
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