The challenges of doing business and breaking new grounds in unfamiliar markets is a formidable challenge for any entrepreneur. Wanting to help businesses cross these cultural barriers, Tanoto Foundation in 2016 donated a talent training fund for initiatives between the People’s Republic of China and countries in the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) programme. A donation agreement was signed then with the Chinese Language and Culture Education Foundation of China, a non-profit foundation established under the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council.
On September 19, 2017, Tanoto Foundation Founder Sukanto Tanoto along with Zhang Yong, Deputy Director of the National Development and Reform Commission of China and Tan Tianxing, Deputy Director of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council, attended the opening ceremony of the talent development program with 122 participants from 23 countries such as Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Micronesia, Netherlands, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Participants hailed from various government institutions, chambers of commerce, businesses including financial institutions, universities, research institutes, and think tanks. China National Education Foundation Vice Chairman and Secretary General Qiu Liguo presided over the opening ceremony.
Classes and workshops were conducted by senior government officials as well as experts from renowned Chinese universities such as Tsinghua University, Fudan University and Huaqiao University. Apart from formal seminars, participants had ample opportunities to network and cultivate the bonds of friendship.
“China has been an important partner country to Indonesia, so it is important for Indonesia to have a better understanding of China’s government policy under the ‘Belt and Road Initiative.’ Hopefully in the future, Indonesia can expand our trade and investment cooperation through the maritime silk road under the ‘Belt and Road Initiative.’ The Belt and Road Talent Training is only the beginning of the people to people connectivity. More important is how to promote the information we learned from this training after we return to our countries and benefit our organization in the future,” said Roro Citra Rapati from Indonesia’s Ministry of Industry.
“The lecturers are able to balance theory and practice. Participants came from different countries, government agencies, and industries were able to exchange views and experience in a friendly and conducive way. Not only did I benefit from the increased knowledge, but also gained new friendship and contacts,” said Wang Xiaoqing from China National Offshore Oil and Gas Group.
“While the OBOR is developing at a rapid pace, there are people in many countries who are unsure about the programme, and misunderstandings and misgivings still exist in some countries and regions. At the same time, many China entrepreneurs are unfamiliar with the cultures and conditions of other countries in the OBOR programme, resulting in considerable losses expanding their businesses,” said Sukanto Tanoto in his speech when he first announced the donation.
The idea of establishing a training fund for OBOR is to provide an opportunity and a platform to enhance communication and cultural exchange between people of different countries, so as to build mutual trust and greater productivity in the programme.