Officially launched in July 2006, the EU-China Managers Exchange and Training Programme (METP) is an international exchange of human resources resulting from a 2004 agreement between the European Commission and the government of China.
The programme aims to train 200 Chinese and 200 European managers in over four years spanning 2006 to 2010 to be proficient in not only languages but also the one another's business culture and practices.
Representing both China and the EU, the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) will be responsible for the implementation of the programme. China-EU relations continue to strengthen as cooperation deepens, laying a solid foundation for future developments in bilateral trade between the two regions.
Joint efforts of the two political and business communities have resulted in developments on all fronts, including their scope of trade. By the end of June 2006, the EU had invested over $50 billion in more than 240,000 corporations in China.
At the same time China's investment to the EU also grew as numbers of well-known Chinese companies opened research and development centers or invested directly in European factories.
Such rapidly expanding trade has resulted in a pressing need for more senior-level managers capable in both the languages and business practices. The establishment and implementation of the METP supports the effort to meet human resource shortages in business and trade.
With guidance and support from China's Ministry of Commerce and the European Commission, the programme will provide training and internship opportunities in languages, commercial know-how, business skills, culture and more for managers of institutions ranging from small- and medium-sized enterprises, the public sector, media and non-governmental organizations from both regions.
The wider opportunities of trade between China and the EU now available to create the need for cooperation in human resources.
I believe that the implementation of this programme will certainly provide a much broader forum for exchange of human resources for international trade between China and the EU.
"Five months of experience in Europe will influence my life - I am not kidding you," he says.
"During the course, we studied in four cities in Europe - Manchester, Paris, Turin and Brussels - for seven weeks. Then we were divided into groups for internship training in Dsseldorf in Germany and Manchester in Britain for three months.
"We learned about human resources, strategies, project management, accounting, finance and investment. I learned new concepts, including psychological contracts, stock prices and strategy theory.
"What's more, we had opportunities to visit some famous companies including Bentley, Fiat and Deloit, which was really incredibly interesting.
The biggest improvement is that lessons taught the ways of European thinking and doing business. I really learned a lot from the courses. "
"I came to China last August. In the first two weeks, we studied how to read and write Chinese characters. Then we were taught more about Chinese culture and how to do business in China.
Before I came to China, as a lawyer I only knew Chinese import and export, customs and its competitiveness in market. Even though Spain and China have many differences in culture, they face similar difficulties in the development process.
"During the course, we had opportunities to visit Chinese companies. Besides Beijing, we have been to companies in Chongqing, Changsha and Langfang. I was impressed by the development of EU Project Incubation Center Chengdu, which is developing quite rapidly. It surprised me.
"I met lots of Chinese people and we began to know each other quite well. The Chinese language is very important, which makes you feel comfortable when studying and working in China. "
Source: China Daily