Simon Shen’s Approach to Africa
» To do business successfully in Africa, you have to be patient. You will meet more challenges and difficulties than you anticipated. » You must have the right people. Besides the local staff, you need the right support from China because skilled people are very difficult to find. There’s no conflict in this. Get a core of skilled people from your own country, then create jobs and hire locally. The core team can train the local staff. » Do your preparations and estimations carefully. For a project in Africa, allocate double time and cost than what you would need in China. » It’s always better to have a local partner in Africa. A local partner will know the local law, culture and people and make your life easier. » Respect the local culture, law and people. That’s very important. Some companies are very successful in China and elsewhere but fail in Africa because they fail to heed this.
The center is expected to come up by this year, possibly in the Xiamen Free Trade Zone.
“At the trade fair, African delegations come for four days. But the center will be open 365 days a year,” Shen said.