Last night I was a guest of EGA – Emirates Global Aluminium – at a lavish dinner to celebrate the opening of a new office in China.
EGA President and CEO Abdulla Kalban told the 40-50 people present that the new office will be charged with the task of selling bauxite to China. Using their base in Guinea, EGA will produce far more than they need, and will sell the surplus to China.
The new office will also have a focus on sourcing consumables, raw materials and capital items from China. China is already a major source of many items, Mr Kalban said in his speech, and establishing the office will allow EGA to maximize opportunities from Chinese suppliers.
EGA will also use their new presence in China for metal arbitrage opportunities, though this was clearly the least important of the three priorities..
Almost as soon as we entered the Rose Ballroom at the Peninsula Hotel, we were taken to the Middle East. Starters were mezze, flat breads, humus and other Arabian delights. Scallop carpaccio was definitely not Chinese either, and the soup with mushrooms and black truffles has no counterpart in any Chinese cuisine. I had the Australian Wagyu beef, which was amazing. In keeping with other EGA events, the evening was “dry”, with coke, water and orange juice available.
A trio of musicians entertained us during the evening, but what was unusual about them was that they were 3 individuals who came together for the evening.
An Arabian guitar player joined a Chinese guy playing what looked like a Pipa and a woman from Morocco who played guitar and percussion. For three individuals from very different backgrounds, their performance really enhanced the evening.
Possibly the only disappointing part of the evening was that there were a couple of no-shows from the guest list – they missed a great night. I had to leave for the airport before the event was over, but in the time that I was there it was a delightful evening, full of class and sophistication and style, which EGA is so well known for.
My thanks to Mr Kalban and his team for inviting me, and for a great evening.
Thanks also to Tian, who shared his photos with me.