Doing Business in the Pacific Rim

Winter Term 2009

Day 4: Modern Terminals – Port of Hong Kong

Today we visited Modern Terminals, Inc. which manages the majority of Hong Kong’s port terminals.  We observed a presentation and question-answer session with Mr. Kelly, CEO, and Gavin Dow.  Mr. Kelly talked in depth about the economic realities of Hong Kong and China, the purpose and operations of Modern Terminals, and explained how Modern Terminals strategizes and implements its plans.

Presentation from Modern Terminals

Afterward, we were taken up to the control tower from which we could view 9 different shipping terminals and watch as hundreds of cargo containers were transported.  Modern Terminals provided us with a delicious lunch and allowed us to ride on a company yacht back to Kowloon Peninsula.

Visit to Modern Terminals





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Credit: Matt W. & Kevin O.


January 10, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Day 3: Trip to Mainland China

Our morning started off bright and early aboard a ferry leaving from Hong Kong. Once we arrived at the border of China and went through customs we were greeted by Albert, our tour guide for the day. Almost immediately we noticed how differently things were going to be throughout the day as compared to Hong Kong. 

 Our first stop was a local kindergarten where we met children who sang us songs and showed us around. Next, we went to see the terracotta warriors which turned out to be slightly a tourist trap as they promptly led us to a jewelry shop. After that, we got back on the bus to head to the zoo to see the giant panda. The panda seemed to be more interested in eating than having its picture taken, but the sight was still exciting.

Our two-hour bus ride through rural China to Guangzhou allowed us to get a glimpse of villages occupied by farmers and factory workers along the way. Farmland, housing, and highways filled the view on both sides of the bus on the way to an authentic lunch after our visit to the zoo. Lunch consisted of fish, beef, chicken, and other various local dishes. The group separated to tour the main street of Guangzhou, which was crowded with many local people who seemed very interested in seeing visitors. A trip to the market followed, in which we were led down back alleys filled with vendors. Crafts, food, live chickens, scorpions, and even a street barber shop were among the many foreign sites.

 Live Chickens In Market

After regrouping at the end of the market streets, Arnold led us through a Buddhist Temple where we were able to get an inside look at the local religion. It was very interesting and different to see monks and the shrine where Buddhists go to pray.

Buddha In Temple

Our final stop was to the memorial hall dedicated to China’s first president. Not much was going on other than a rehearsal for a performance going on later at night, but the lobby had an interesting timeline of artwork to look at.

Memorial Hall Garden

A short bus ride followed by a two hour train ride ended the very unique and informational visit to mainland China.

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Credit: Tommy A. & McDonnell B.

January 10, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Day 2: Hong Kong Trade Development Council & Textile Alliance Limited

Hong Kong Trade & Development Council

January 6th we visited the HKTDC which is responsible for bringing together different businesses from Hong Kong and around the world. With the help of HKTDC businesses are able to find other businesses who can help them to produce and transport their products around the world. Most of the businesses that are associated with the HKTDC are small and medium enterprises within the Hong Kong area. Our host Wylie So, also took us to visit the HKTDC Info Center which is filled with information about different industries and how businesses can get involved in doing business in Hong Kong.

HKTDC also hosts trade shows for different industries so people from around the world can come and see what products and services will be available in the coming years. We were lucky enough to conclude our visit with a visit to the 2009 Hong Kong Toys and Games show. See the attached pictures for some of the toys which may be hot in 2009!  After the show students went to lunch on their own before returning for our afternoon business visit.

Textile Alliance Limited 

Harry Lee, CEO of TAL
Harry Lee, CEO of TAL

Day 2 also included a presentation by the CEO of TAL, Harry Lee. The company was founded in 1947 by Mr. CC Lee. It changed its name a couple of times during its history and in 1983 focused primarily on apparel. The products of TAL mainly are dress shirts for both men and women, pants, outerwear, tailored suits and more. In fact, 1 of every 6 dress shirts of the USA market are made by TAL.   TAL is a high-end manufacturer, supplying over 60% of all dress shirts priced at $50 or more in the US market.  

TAL Factories are located across the globe, from Ramseur North Carolina to Vietnam. Revenue per year ranges from 630- 768 million. Many times during the presentation, Harry Lee mentioned how the company is people driven vs. profit driven. The company works hand in hand with its customers, which include Brooks Brothers, Nordstrom, Dillard’s, Burberry, L.L. Bean, etc., to tailor it to their needs and values driven mission for these strong brand names. Harry Lee showed us the mission statement which focused on improving the customers business and even to “know the customer business better than the customer themselves”.  TAL is a ‘Total Solution Innofacturer’, meaning that the company strives to maintain a closer partnership with its customers and does this following a 12 step integrated supply chain cycle, rather than the typical three steps.

Some special TAL products are made with the SofTAL fabric that originated with them. These wrinkle free products, pucker free seam technology, dot.TAL: Anti- Microbial finish and dual action stain repeller fabrics all are innovated by the company. The presentation included a brief overview of how efficiently the company does with its ‘Pick to Light’ and ‘Fire Truck’ systems. The most interesting part of the presentation to me had to do with the RFID and PPG (parametric pattern generator) models which showed how clothes are tailored to meet different body types. 

Dr. Harry Lee’s presentation was fabulous with many different graphs and models depicting their growth over the years. Attached is a picture of CEO Harry Lee and a link to the website


At the Asia Toy Expo

At the Asia Toy Expo


Credit: Jeff C. & Erin H.

January 10, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment