Whether we're in politics, diplomacy or business, we all know that risk and opportunity are two sides of the same coin. Some commentators are sounding the alarm about the Chinese economic slowdown, and the impact this might have on other economies in the region and further afield. This does not change the fundamental fact that Asia is now - and will remain - a major engine for global growth, and one with which we must continue to engage.
Being in Europe makes Britain stronger in international trade talks. By being part of the world's largest market, standing with 500 million people, Britain is a more important trade partner for countries around the world than we would be on our own. This has been demonstrated vividly today with the signing of a new free trade agreement between the EU and Vietnam.
I had read some horror stories regarding the overnight trains; a quick internet search and you'll find them too, but both of the journeys we made were nothing but pleasant. Yeah, the train was a little bumpy and for a 'sleeper' train the sleeping was minimal, but the most important thing I found was that we felt safe.