On the Road
Thousands of people travel to China for business every day. Club China meets with and follows business travelers on the road in China and asks them about their experiences
"Be honest in dealing with your business partners"
Haydn Davies of Wells Reclamation Company
This week Club China spoke to Haydn Davies; a businessman who travels to China several times a year for his UK based reclamation business.
Could you tell us a little bit more about yourself and your business?
My name is Haydn Davies and I have a business based in the UK that recovers items from demolitions for the Restoration of properties and gardens from the Elizabethan, Georgian and Victorian periods. I have a five acre site in the countryside with many barns and buildings for storing items, everything from: rooftops to wooden floors, windows, fireplaces, garden benches etc etc.
What’s the purpose of your frequent trips to China?
Many of the items that I need to keep up my UK stock began to dry up in the mid 1990's, to overcome this I started having the items replicated in China and India. I import the supplies in twenty foot sea containers and ship about fifteen containers each year.
Where do you go during your stay?
On my travels to China I usually start in Bejing and fly direct to the Shijiazhuang factories, then by car to the Botou factories, the Jishou factories and then take a train to Baoding. From Boading I travel back into Beijing, as many items are cheaper in Beijing than in the provinces. From Beijing I fly down to Zibo and then to Xiamen for the Granite purchases. After this I fly home.
I always fly KLM business class as I find it very important to relax before and after a strenuous three weeks. Also it is very convenient to be able to change flights at short notice, in case I should get held up or in case I finish my buying a few days early.
Have you travelled to China for business before?
I first visited China in early 1997 and have gone there every April and October ever since. I have built up a number of contacts who I call and see each time that I visit, the contacts have become my friends; you could perhaps call them 'agents' because they are a great help to me and supply items for my business.
Have you got any good tips for the other Club China members?
Regarding practical advice for working with the Chinese, I can only enlarge on how I have always operated. It has always been my idea that in business one should surround oneself with good people that you like and wish to deal with. There are many hundreds of thousands of businesses in China and so you can select your suppliers as you please. One word of advice though: be honest in dealing with your business partners, this something the Chinese find very important.
Do you have any non-business related tips, like a favourite restaurant, hotel or attraction?
I have stayed in the same hotels for the past fifteen years. It is better that way. For pure convenience and for the past four years or so I have used the ' Seven Days Inn' in Beijing and for about $35 a night you have an immaculate and warm clean room and a good breakfast. They are quite centrally located. There are many of these hotels about China.
Are you traveling to China soon and would you like to be featured on Club China and give our members some top tips of things to do during their stay there? Get in touch!
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