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Belt and Road careers beckon
Date:2018-03-12 Readers:

Young people in China are being encouraged to broaden their career horizons in the era of the Belt and Road Initiative.

A school in Hong Kong wants to help its students widen their career development scope by not only focusing on the domestic job market but also on regions along the Belt and the Road network. With this aim, Lok Sin Tong Yu Kan Hing Secondary School recently took 10 of its 800 students to Kenya for a six-day study tour.

Hong Kong aims to become an important Belt and Road hub and the tour was carried out under Hong Kong Youth "New Runway" program. This provides support for students in secondary schools or higher education institutions in Hong Kong to take part in study tours in Belt and Road countries, including Eastern Europe, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Middle East and Africa.

It aims to achieve a "people-to-people bond" as well as enrich knowledge among young people.

Through the program, they can learn about current developments and the future potential for Chinese talent, businessmen and entrepreneurs in Belt and Road countries.

According to Huang Shiyun, an English teacher at the school, the ultimate goal of the program is to help the young people to gain a better understanding of the future development of China as well as develop a sense of perspective on their individual career development and life-planning.

Huang says the program, which is fully funded by Raymond Lee Charitable Foundation, aims to support students from 100 Hong Kong schools.

During the Kenya tour, the students learned about the culture and history of the country as well as the customs and lifestyle of the local people. They also explored the role of Kenya in the Belt and Road Initiative as well as the development of economic and cultural ties between China and Kenya.

The students also studied the operations of Sino-Kenyan businesses and corporations, as well as the lifestyle, potential and challenges of living in Kenya.

They met several Chinese entrepreneurs who shared their success stories, challenges, motivations and opportunities.

Yang Tao, CEO of Kilimall, an e-commerce company, explained why he left a well-paid job as the head of staff at Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, the Chinese multinational, to start a venture in Africa.

"One of Yang's key strategies was to modify his e-commerce business to a Kenyan context, riding on his previous experience. He also had to spend most of his time in building a customer base," Huang says.

The students also learned a great deal from Dylan Yu, the managing director of Yocean Group Ltd, a company that makes, repairs and distributes transformers. Yu said he had to overcome many challenges to establish his company.

At the outset, Yu's company was in huge debt, which he had to clear. He also faced customs clearance obstacles that left his goods stuck at the port for many days.

"Despite these frustrations, Yu kept going. He advised students to never give up, no matter what the challenge, so long as they have a dream to fulfill," Huang says.

Student Mei Shishi says this was a valuable lesson. "In life we will always encounter problems but we must remain strong and assure ourselves that we have what it takes to overcome the challenges," she says.

Liang Haiqian, a form three student, says the Chinese entrepreneurs motivated him to consider investing in Kenya after his education. "I would love to contribute to development of the Belt and Road Initiative, as well as serve the local community along the route," he says.

Li Kaiqing, a form five student, says she has learned that there are many business opportunities in the countries along the route. "This trip has given me a lot of new insights in terms of my career development," she says.

Huang says the Hong Kong job market focuses on academic excellence and specialized knowledge but students also need to understand that there are numerous opportunities outside Hong Kong.

source:http://africa.chinadaily.com.cn/weekly/2018-03/09/content_35817533.htm

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