Date: April 29th
Written by: Patrick Ng and Nicole Mozel
Today we went to the Canadian Consulate. I did not realize the amount of Canadian government resources that were available to help connect Canadian businesses and to aid expansion in Germany. A business can be connected with other companies that may be interested in the product and trade shows to display their products. The commissioner can help German businesses build relationships with Canadian companies as well to help expand into the Canadian market.
Some cultural differences between Germany and Canada are important to know before venturing into business quests. An example is that German people value timeliness, which is reflected in their perception of people. There is an expectation in Germany that if you are going to be more than 5 minutes late, you should call. Another cultural difference is that in Germany it is the norm to be less reserved in conversations and freely speak your mind, which is not always the case in Canada.
On the way to the restaurant, we saw the clock in the central block strike noon. People gathered to watch the figurines spin and sing. Our lunch consisted of traditional Bavarian food. I personally had veal meatballs, potatoes and vegetables. A lot of vegetable stands have a product called “spargel”, which I believe was on my plate.
Later in the evening, we had a chance to visit the BMW World, BMW Museum, and BMW factory tour. Altogether, the whole 3 visits provided the most comprehensive coverage of the brand and its past and present developments. BMW World is like a giant showroom that displays the latest models of all of the lines, namely BMW, Mini, and Roll Royce. BMW Museum displays some of their antique models and showcases the history of the brand through various presentations.
The most interesting part of the BMW visit was the factory tour. For the first time ever, we were able to see how each BMW is made, from the very beginning where they cut and press steel plates, to the final assembly where they finish installation of various components and test for any manufacturing defects. Not only is the real-time observation of the vehicle development fascinating, it also enhances my desire to buy one when I have money.
Overall, within today, we learned about the business opportunities and assistances in Germany for Canadian businesses, and the development of a German automobile. It has been a rewarding day.