On March 3o and 31, 2011 after nearly five years of successful operations, four events marked the end of the Managers Exchange and Training Program (METP) in Beijing. More than 700 guests attended the ceremony. One of them was the Dean of VU Prof. Dr. El Namaki. Many other representatives from different institutes were invited to be present; they expressed their appreciation for the program.
The ceremony kicked off on March 30 with a final workshop for METP 5 participants. The half-day event served a dual purpose: it allowed European and Chinese participants in METP’s final intake to reflect on and exchange their experiences during their work placements in Europe and China.
On March 31, the 100 METP 5 participants gathered for their graduation ceremony. Luo Yu of MOFCOM and Johan Cauwenbergh of the EU Delegation to China congratulated the participants to their achievements and encouraged them to put their acquired knowledge and experience to good use in EU-China business. Project Director Xu Liang then wished everyone well for his or her future ventures on behalf of METP before Ms. Luo and Mr. Cauwenbergh presented each of the 100 graduates with their diploma.
In the afternoon of March 31, Prof. Dr. El Namaki held his graduation speech for graduate students from METP Group 5. He highlighted how the group’s achievements can be applied to prepare future professionals for the challenging and rapidly developing global economy.
The series of final events culminated in the festive closing dinner on March 31. The evening was moderated by Alexandra Lehmann of the EU Delegation moderated the evening. She welcomed H.E. Yu Ping, Vice Chairman of CCPT, and Ms. Carmen Cano de Lasala, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation. Both expressed their appreciation for the program, which had achieved a high public profile for development cooperation projects. Dr. Stefan Hell, METP Team Leader, went on to present these achievements in detail. The formal part of the ceremony was concluded with addresses from representatives of the three parts of METP: Martin Jeglitza spoke on behalf of GOPA Consultants, which stood behind ETAT and the Beijing METP Office, Prof. Wang Fuming spoke on behalf of UIBE and Demos, and finally Dr. Sue Shaw spoke on behalf of the ESCP European Consortium.
These eventful two days in March 2011 will be memorable for many METP organizers and participants. The event provided a very appropriate closing of a memorable five-year journey in Europe and China. In a wider context of ever-developing Sino-European relations, the graduation ceremony showed how hundreds of individuals from two continents have created a unique community in intercultural business.