Reflection by Dalton R
On our first day in Shanghai, we visited WestRock, a packaging business with presences in Richmond and in Shanghai. We heard a presentation about how the company operates, and how their business differs in the Asian market. I found that this opportunity was incredibly educational and valuable. In the past, I have studied economics both inside and outside the classroom, and I plan to major in the subject at the university level. However, I had never had the opportunity before to truly study economics or business outside the United States. In WestRock’s presentation, we learned how the Chinese market was different, and how the Chinese economy has acted in recent years. We discussed how the Chinese economy is currently undergoing a change. Previously, much of the Chinese GOP was created by government spending on infrastructure and manufacturing, in an effort to propel China to the top of the world economy. However, now, with China’s economy now a world power, the country’s economy is transforming into a consumer economy, where domestic consumer products will drive the country’s GOP. It was fascinating to learn about this change, and to see how a business was adapting to changing times.
The purpose of our trip to China was to learn about the relationships between the United States and China. Our visit to WestRock in the beginning of the trip acted as a building block for the educational opportunities throughout the rest of our visit. Whether driving through Shanghai, observing a class, or walking through a Chinese market, I was able to connect what we learned about the Chinese business and their economy.