For every European, the first visit to China is usually related to a cultural shock. Even just because of the difference in scale. There, a small town is a settlement with 8 million people and a length of 100 km. What we have seen changes our point of view and perspective. The good partnership between the BCCI and the Chinese Chamber of Commerce has enabled business leaders and managers from Bulgaria to undergo training and experience the pulse of the All under Heaven Empire this summer. Among them was Krasimir Kotsev, the founder of the cybersecurity company SoCyber. He shares his impressions with Economy Magazine:
My stay in China made a deep impression on me. In the last 20-30 years, the country has undergone a tremendous development. The culture and ideology of every Chinese today is based on “Work, Work and More Work”. A key slogan is that one should never stop working, but must give everything they are capable of for the economic prosperity of the country. There, they have a huge resource as a number of people, but they are experiencing a growing shortage of qualified specialists, who are increasingly needed. The country’s main goal is to outperform the United States by economic indicators. No one denies that there is an economic war. Pursuing its goals, China has been able to dramatically change the market, and the focus has been shifting from exporting a wide range of goods to exporting high-tech solutions. Huawei and Alibaba are major brands that bring one of the country’s biggest revenues. If some of the foreign markets, for one reason or another, are shutting down for them and their exports are declining, the Chinese are preparing to activate the capabilities of their domestic market, so that there will be no turbulence in the economy. In recent years, a lot of efforts have been made to overturn people’s attitudes and create a consumer society that is no longer pleased to have just a pan of rice. The domestic market is
a strong economic growth engine
which is an incentive for higher employment. With the increase in people’s income, trade turnover also increases. In this way, the Chinese economy does not stop growing. However, rent prices also increase, since in the cities the concentration of people is rising sharply. China continues its development in the food, light, porcelain and glass industries, but technology for them has the greatest potential because of the higher added value.
The Chinese business is looking for investment and export opportunities in Bulgaria. They are interested in participating in the creation of new infrastructure and in the construction of enterprises; they have identified specific sectors in Bulgaria they want to enter. Our country is a convenient entry-point for Europe that provides them with a closer but more profitable access to the major markets in Western Europe.
My visit to China changed me because it gave me
a new perspective on business and the freedom
we have. There is a filter on everything there that is thought, said and done. We have many opportunities here that we do not even appreciate. The Chinese have a different value system, and the encounter with them may be a reason to rethink some of our attitudes. I realized that we should not put any unnecessary emotions into everything, but accept things more calmly and more soberly.
An obstacle for business is that China has limited access to the communication channels that the West uses. Communication can only be done by email, which makes it difficult to establish long-lasting contacts. With the control that is exercised over everything, external cyber-security companies will find it hard to get
access to their market
because of the sensitive information. That’s why I think that for companies like ours, it is more realistic to turn to the West. China can produce everything that people need there. The labour force is cheaper and it is harder for Bulgarian companies to offer something that is demanded. The taste of the Chinese is also very different in terms of food, which also affects export opportunities. However, they can invest in Bulgaria. This will create employment, but we have to carefully consider what will be of real interest to Bulgaria.
The Chinese call for “Work, Work and More Work” produces good fruits there, but in our country, it should not be applied in the same way. As a population here we are incomparably less, that’s why
is to work smart instead of hard. I would not accept their approach and would not apply it in my company because I prefer employees to take smart moves, to be creative and oriented towards innovative solutions. We have a proverb saying that we should better work than do nothing, but another time has come. Bulgarians are people with their own vision, we enjoy more freedom, we have our habits and ways, which we do not have to give up. What we can do is try to make the most of the benefits and resources we have. My visit to China helped me to reassess everything we take here for granted. There, they are more disciplined, moderate and patient. There are things we can learn from them, including to be more committed to our work in order to make the most of our capabilities. Tourism in Beijing is a money machine. Our tourism business has a place to grow. It is inconceivable, however, to pursue the goals that China has. But we have our strengths that we just need to develop in a smart way.
I was fortunate to see this different way of thinking. And I already feel that this gives me a perspective in every situation to look from another angle in order to make a better decision.