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Thursday, 10 April 2014


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G'day Duffers,

Before my retirement to a life of ease and luxury I was, in part of my post HM service life, an advisor on two Asian Development Bank projects in that bastion of tolerance and light, the Peoples Republic of China. One in Liaoning Province and the other in Hei Long Jiang Province. Both being "up north".

The Chinese have a quaint outlook on and approach to contracts. If it suits them then the contract is the absolute truth and non-variable. If it doesn't suit them, for whatever reason, then the contract becomes the base line for negotiation. They also have quaint notions on the ownership of "intellectual property".

It was something of a culture shock for them to come across a white barbarian who pointed out to them that the contract they signed was what they had to bloody well live with and if they didn't want the funding that was fine by me as I'd rather be home where it was +30C and eating prime quality meat and drinking good wine than somewhere where it was -30C, freezing my extremities off, and eating "things" of uncertain provenance. Though to be fair the beer was good.

On the other hand I found, like you, the people in Singapore good to deal with. Don't know what they are like now as I have no intention of going back to the worker's paradise.

All the best for Passover and may the Easter Bunny deposit lots of chocolate thingies on your doorstep.

Interesting stuff, AussieD, and why am I not surprised! But what surprises me is how many big western companies go rushing off to places like China and Russia and are then 'shocked, I tell you, shocked', when they get their fingers burnt!

And if any Easter Bunny deposits any chocolate thingies on my doorstep it will get a kick up its chocolate box!

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