News Xina 13

An Important Step Towards Internationalisation

A piece by an industrial engineer published in our Fulls dels Enginyers bulletin in 2010 prompted reader reactions that led to a key meeting on 9 December 2010. Three industrial engineers who wanted to set up a working group to familiarise our members with China met with me; they also wanted to build a network to include expat industrial engineers based in China and local engineers interested in the country that is set to become the number 1 world economic power by the end of this year.

Since the group was founded, it has recruited Catalan engineers based in China, who provide support in the form of reliable information and newsletter articles. They are called “correspondents” and have by now reached a count of 20, organised into the Shanghai and Hong Kong chapters.

The correspondents are one of the group's main assets – the link between the Barcelona members and current developments in China and a great source of support both for the China Working Group itself and for any Catalan engineers embarking on the adventure of living and working in China.

Another major area of activity is working with supporting organisations that help us obtain information and organise symposia. We highlight the role of Casa Àsia, ACC1Ó, Ajuntament de Barcelona, the Open University of Catalonia (UOC), and the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC). Thanks to the UPC collaboration, three of its Chinese engineering students joined the working group in May of this year – one further step in the internationalisation of our group and of our Catalan Association of Industrial Engineers as a whole.

However, the aim of the group is not merely to disseminate China's culture and information about business in China, nor is it solely to foster networking among engineers. The group is currently working towards collaboration agreements with various entities in order to provide services both for Chinese companies wishing to do business in Europe and for European companies interested in doing business in China.

One excellent example of the early contacts made thanks to the efforts of the China Working Group is FingerQ, a Chinese company that has developed a new biometric authentication method for mobile communications. Through the group's contacts and with the support of our ICT Committee, this company managed to meet with Telefónica and propose a joint development project.

As the Dean of our Association, I am immensely pleased to see the progress achieved over the past three and a half years by the China Working Group, which arose out of the wish to help our members become more internationally oriented. I honestly believe this is how we should approach internationalisation and provide a new outlook, in line with our members’ current experience, so that they may identify with the Association and receive services with a high added value – the kind of services that can only be provided by a highly technically qualified association with extensive experience in internationalisation projects.

Congratulations to all members of the China Working Group, and please keep working with this participative and collaborative approach that will enable us all together to make our Association ever greater.

Jordi Guix i Armengou
Dean of the Catalan Association of Industrial Engineers