Deep-sea oil developer draws on the well of goodwill
By LIU XIANGRUI (China Daily)
Peter Quiatkowski (second from right) with his colleagues at Cosl-Expro Testing Services, a Sino-UK joint venture. [Photo provided to China Daily]
Apart from meeting China's top leaders during the awards ceremony, he was invited as a high-level foreign expert to join the parade celebrating the 70th anniversary of China's victory in the War against Japanese Aggression (1937-45) in Beijing in October last year.
Quiatkowski first visited China in 1985, when he spent about a week in Shenzhen, an experimental area for the country's economic reforms. He recalls the city being packed with bicycles and that it had no proper roads.
"It's unbelievable it could have changed so much in just 20 years," says Quiatkowski, who revisited the city 10 years ago.
Over the years he has had the chance to travel extensively in China for his work thanks to the company's many branches. Quiatkowski, who has also traveled privately in the country, says traveling has helped him to understand more about the country.
"China was very much a closed book for a long time. When I came here I was surprised by how wonderful China's history is and how far back it goes," he says.
While in China, Quiatkowski is keenly interested not only in his work, but also in local life and current issues, such as pollution.
China is going through the same challenges he experienced in Britain when he was young, he says.
"I think it has to be acknowledged and changed. But I get a bit angry sometimes when people (outside China) are overcritical of Chinese pollution.
"We are not so special ourselves. We changed, and I also think China can change. It's great that the government has acknowledged the problem and is taking steps quickly to do something about it."
Quiatkowski is also engaged in charitable efforts. He made donations after an earthquake hit Sichuan province in 2008, and has also sponsored more than 10 college students from poor families.
He has recently become senior country manager in China for Expro Group, his focus now being to support the joint venture through its next stage of development.
"The Chinese side has been very open and enthusiastic. They are always hungry for more technology and knowledge, while my company fully recognizes that and wants to feed them."
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SAFEA is responsible for certifying foreign experts to work in the Chinese mainland and organizing overseas training for Chinese technical and managerial professionals.