After almost two months of working in the Asia buying office in Hong Kong, I can say we are now part of the team. From being the 'AMFI students' we are now called colleagues and that's how I see them as well. Therefor it came as quite a shock for me when we were asked to all gather in the kitchen. The managing director of the Asia buying office, the two head PM's from the Netherlands and a company lawyer were there to make a huge announcement: by the end of june the office will be closed down.

Seven years ago the buying office was set up, the year in which China's production grew with 11.4% However, nowadays the additional value of the Hong Kong office is going down and it isn't profitable anymore. This is a general issue for more companies. Not only we will be leaving within 6 weeks, 2 weeks later the whole office will be closed down. The economic crisis strikes again. I feel bad for the workers who are all concerned about their families and houses. People are already searching for new jobs, which will be hard for them to find. The hard working motivated spirit has left the office at the moment we got the announcement. As soon as it's 6 o'clock the office is empty.

Production is shifting to countries as Myanmar, Vietnam, Indonesia and Cambodia. Today they're still producing 50 - 60% of their total orders in China but this is going to change. However, production will always be present in China since they're specialized in flat knits. So, a lot is going on now here!

For me it is a valuable experience. It might occur that people are not coming back to work anymore and those gaps need to be filled. That's where we come up. It is also interesting to do research on which production countries are suitable, what are the weaknesses and strengths and so on. Enough to work on these last few weeks, although it is also weird to notice that the people who we were working with the past few weeks aren't coming back to the office anymore.

To give it a bit of a joyfull twist, it was also mimi's birthday yesterday. This means - cake number 10! I never had so many cakes within such a short amount of time. I thought I had all the flavors already but they are getting better and better. Although I promised myself not to eat cake anymore, it was ofcourse really rude to say no to mimi..

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