RSS Feed

First business trip (Singapore)

Right after arriving to Taipei it was time to enroll on the first business trip, to Singapore (shortened as Spore). I will obviously not disclose any work details as this is a public website (and it would also bore most of the potential audience anyway)

Singapore is “merely at” 4 hours from Taipei by plane and that helps to understand the size of the Asian continent compared to Europe. Here the business trips usually will take 2 or 3 days, as with the distances involved is simply not realistic do to a return trip on the same day for most of the destinations abroad.

Singapore is a country/island quite unique. Extremely wealthy, with tons of regulations and the government involved at all aspects of citizens life. Drastic examples: it is forbidden to chew gum (they are not being sold anyway), strokes of cane in addition to prison sentences and death sentence for drug dealing.

The Port of Singapore is one of the biggest and the most active in the world. Around half of the world’s oil goes though the Port of Singapore. As Singapore natural resources (land, mountains, etc.) are extremely limited, they have to import most of the goods consumed by a modern society: water, electricity, food, oil, etc.

Being a former British colony, apart from driving on the left (wrong? :)) side and the UK-like plugs , the most widely spoken language is English (sometimes with a peculiar and rather difficult accent). Mandarin, Malai and Tamil are also official languages. It is impressive how people regularly speak from 3 to 5 different languages.

Two additional funny facts from this trip:

  • The company hired a minivan, the TashiLimo … with Wifi inside it! :) The drivers was a very interesting person indeed.
  • At the malls the air is fresh and clean, but when you hit the street it is really hot and humit (leading to my glasses getting foggy sometimes) … and your nose will get a quite strong food smell … it is a strange sensation for Westerns

On this trip I’ve also had the chance to start experimenting the how business is done with Chinese companies:

  • No Chinese company will buy anything from you unless they get to know you pretty well. In order to cement this relationship the contact with the client is not limited to the meetings but extended to the whole day including various meals and entertainment. That can easily last several days.
  • The hierarchy is extremely important. During meals the maximum representatives of each company will have the honor to taste all dishes in the first place.
  • The gift related culture is also crucial. The gifts (that do not need to be expensive ones) are arranged according to the position in the company. Make no mistake on this aspect or you can ruin all previous efforts to cement the relationship

On the other side, business with Singaporean companies are slightly close to the western business habits and they even have a Latino approach sometimes (that was a nice surprise to me!).
In general the business dressing code on all these countries is less formal that in Europe. In Singapore for example, long sleeves shirt is the maximum you should wear (and expect) on a business meeting

As we had time for tourism I took several pictures with the mobile phone (my beloved Canon Ixus 400 seems dead…)

Marina Bay

Lion/Mermaid, symbol of the city

Paradís de les compres

Shopping paradise

Centre comercial

Yet another mall

És nadal!

Xmas time!

Oli d'oliva. ~4€ els 100 ml

Olive oil ~4€ each 100 ml @ VomFass

Stan, Peter i Selinna. Companys a ADB.

Stan, Peter and Selinna. ADB colleagues.

Jo mateix. Tocat del bolet.

Myself. Tocat del bolet t-shirt present from the farewell party.


    Molt be Albert,

    Aixo de la jerarquia, els regals,etc hem sona d´alguna cosa…. ;)

    El tema calor ja men havien parlat, i tu esperat quan foti calda de veritat, que no et passi res!

  • Gran post, muy buenas las anécdotas del viaje :)

    Ya sabes, a comprar una nueva cámara para poner fotos en el blog…¡No te quejarás lo buena que salió esa cámara!


  • Albert cuand tornis a Singapur avisa, que l’any passat vaig comprar un acamara i ni va gaire be. els de la canon només donen garantia per els països asiatics.