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Confucius Institute contributes to cultural exchange

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-03-03 10:43
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ISMAILIA, Egypt-Mohamed Abdel-Rahman, an engineer who works for a Chinese company operating in Egypt, was bursting with excitement when talking about the training program he has just joined at a Confucius Institute in Egypt's northeastern province of Ismailia.

"It is a good opportunity for skill and career development," he said.

Confucius Institute at the Suez Canal University has organized a training program for the Egyptian and Chinese employees of China's fiberglass giant Jushi which operates in the Suez Canal region to develop their administrative and leading skills and boost their knowledge of the Egyptian and the Chinese cultures.

The two-day program, which kicked off last Saturday, includes a series of lectures given by Egyptian and Chinese instructors, in addition to sports and mental exercises.

"The Jushi staff join this training program to develop their skills and learn how to deal with the different situations they face at work," Abdel-Rahman, who has been working for Jushi since 2012, told Xinhua at the Confucius Institute.

"The Chinese have old civilization but they did not only rely on that. They have now technology and development and they have become a world economic power," the Egyptian man said.

Jushi Egypt is a tenant company of China's TEDA corporation, one of the oldest and largest industrial developers of the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) in Ain Sokhna district in Ismailia.

Abdel-Rahman, who has become a deputy department chief in Jushi, said he learned a lot of skills in the company, such as leadership and making best use of available resources.

"They think outside of the box to turn difficult situations into favorable ones," he noted.

Jushi usually holds internal training programs for its staff, but the program at the Confucius Institute is the first external one for them.

"The Suez Canal region is the future of Egyptian economy. Through our communication with Chinese companies operating in the SCZone, we found their need to organize such a training program, the first of its kind to be held by Confucius Institute," said Hassan Ragab, the director of Confucius Institute at the Suez Canal University.

"The two-day program focuses on skill development of Jushi's Chinese and Egyptian staff. It also develops their skills in teamwork, leadership and alternative troubleshooting planning," the director told Xinhua.

According to Ragab, the program teaches both Chinese and Egyptians how to deal with each other and raise their awareness of Egyptian and Chinese civilizations "as they are close cultures and among the world's oldest civilizations."

"We will continue providing such training programs for about 20 Chinese companies operating in the SCZone. Jushi is just the beginning," Ragab said.

"Our program is a humble contribution to enhancing ties of Confucius Institute and the Suez Canal University with Chinese companies."

Ragab, who received his PhD in Chinese literature in China and lived in the giant Asian country for five years, explained that such programs are supported by Confucius Institute in Beijing which urges communication with overseas Chinese companies as representatives of the Chinese culture.

"China is the world's factory with a dominant and brilliant future in the 21st century," the Confucius Institute director concluded.

With the help of Jushi, Egypt has become the world's third largest producer of fiberglass after the United States and China.

Song Bo, the educational counselor at the Chinese embassy in Cairo, said such kind of training program will benefit both Chinese and Egyptian employees at Jushi for a better understanding of each other's cultures.

"The important lesson is that a multinational company should eliminate the cultural barriers within its employees to maximize their efficiency," Song said.

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