Day 4: The big presentation and more than a bit of drinking
We worked on preparing the presentation for a long time after returning from our lunch with the Deputy Mayor. At about 8:00pm we finally took a break to have something to eat. Food was brought in and unlike regular takeout, it was mostly prepared in our partner’s offices although I think bits and pieces of it were ordered in. For an office meal, it was pretty good (See slide 2)
We spent the morning working on the final aspects of the presentation in the development company’s board room and then after a brief lunch in the office, we headed over to YMCI offices. (The lunch, shown in slide 4, was pretty good, again having been mostly prepared by office staff.)
YMCI is the short form for YunNan Metropolitan Construction Investment Group, Ltd. This company is state owned and is the largest holder of land in Yunnan Province. It builds its own projects and sometimes leases or sells lands to developers based on the merits of a proposed project. It also sometimes co-invests with developers in projects. YMCI is huge and is now even involved in projects outside of China. If you have an interest in this company, you can take a look at this web site from Bloomberg. There were at least 30 YMCI management people at the presentation, including the CEO. The meeting ended up lasting for the rest of the day.
Once the session was finally over, we left to head to get something to eat. On the way, we passed a huge truck spraying mist into the air. (Slide 6.) Apparently, this was one of a fleet of misting trucks, which travel the city spraying a fine mist into the air to keep it fresh and clean. I had never seen anything like this before. Kunming’s air is very clean and fresh, if a little dry during the winter. However, it apparently can never be clean enough, so these trucks roam the streets spraying a fine mist of water to add some humidity and freshness. It’s not what I expected to see in China. These Kunming folks are clean freaks for sure. During the ride to the restaurant I noticed that almost every building was spotlessly clean. Again, it’s not what I had been used to seeing during my past travels in China.
The restaurant we headed to is apparently our partner’s favourite, the Chang Yuan, the same place we had been a couple of nights ago. There was the same huge round table and a meal that was amazing. However, this meal was apparently a bit of a celebratory one, because our partner felt that the presentation had gone very well. (We didn’t think so, but then we don’t understand Chinese.) Given the fact that this was a celebration or maybe a relief that the presentation was finally done, the Moutai was brought out and in between toasts some food was consumed. Some members of the team got very drunk while others of us were able to resist and stay sober. I am one of the sober ones which is why I am able to write this entry in a reasonably coherent way.
Tomorrow is apparently a planning day that will look at next steps. At least those of us who don’t have hangovers will be able to consider what needs to get done in the next phase of the project, assuming YMCI decides to sell the property to our group. We’ll see what happens.