Article published at Catalan News Agency, 9th May 2016
Photo: Tiens’ Director Assistant, Li Zongmin, during the visit to Eladiet’s factory (by ACN)
Barcelona (CNA).- Around 2,500 employees of the Chinese multinational conglomerate Tiens were offered an all-expenses-paid trip to Spain, the last stop of which was Barcelona. The trip was also business related. Indeed, the company expects to signnew “strategic alliances” with Catalan companies, noted Li Zongmin, son of billionaire tycoon, philanthropist, chairman and founder of Tiens, Li Jinyuan. The primary business allegiance is currently with pharmaceutical factory Eladiet Papiol, located east of Barcelona. Zongmin specified that the company Tiens wants to associate itself with enterprises specialising in areas “that are necessary for consumers”. Regarding Catalonia’s push for independence, Li Zongmin affirmed that this would not affect business in the future, focusing rather on “cultural exchange and business, not politics”.
Tiens Group is a multinational conglomerate with business in sectors including but not limited to biotechnology, logistics, finance, property, international trade, retail, e-business, education and tourism. One of the peculiarities of the trip is that all costs were paid by the founder and chairman of the company, the billionaire industrialist and philanthropist Li Jinyuan, as a reward for his employees.
In all, 20 aircraft were chartered, 1,650 hotel rooms were reserved and 70 buses were hired to transport the passengers. At the Sants train station in Barcelona, two entire AVE trains (holding 700 and 800 passengers each) were filled, and two were partially at capacity. The volume of people was so high that Renfe had to make changes for the occasion, with a personnel reinforcement of 50 people to guide and ensure the safety of Chinese visitors. Numerous media were also concerned by the arrival of the group, who wore turquoise shirts and caps marked with the Tiens corporate logo. The workers were photographed many times smiling and waving at cameras during what they called ‘Passion Trip in Spain 2016’.
The Tiens Group expects to sign new “strategic alliances” with Catalan companies. This was stated by son of Chinese tycoon and assistant director of the company, Li Zongmin, on a visit to the factory and pharmaceutical laboratory Eladiet Papiol (in the Catalan town of El Papiol, some 20 kilometres east of Barcelona), as part of the trip to Catalonia. According to Li, the Tiens Group is studying what the best sector to invest in is, giving preference to those areas “that are necessary for consumers”. The son of the industrialist offered the fashion industry as an example, but did not specify any further details. Meanwhile, Li Zongmin reaffirmed the Tiens Group’s business with Eladiet, pledging to work on internationalising the Catalan brand products to new markets in Europe, Africa and America.
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