THIRTY-four university students from China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan showed their business ambitions in the China market and the will to form a ''Greater China'' in a recent competition. The ''Greater China: Business Opportunities and Strategies for International Companies'' contest was the final event of the Business Orientation Programme (BOP), organised by the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong (AmCham). After visiting selected firms, which represented a variety of businesses, students were divided into teams for a project in strategic business planning. The team project for Hongkong Telecom won the championship for its ''ability to define challenge and practicability proposal'', while that of NUTS Technologies gained the highest mark in ''creativity and team effort''. The chairman of the BOP sub-committee, Mr Lee G. Lam, said the programme was aimed at training future leaders of ''Greater China'' and introducing Hong Kong as a business centre. ''The students were just excellent,'' said Mr Lam. ''I am surprised by their energy, motivation and strong intellectual curiosity.'' As one of the team advisers, Mr David Savelson of ASTEC Components said the students were ''extremely hard-working and eager to learn''. ''I think they are all well-trained and prepared to be international-based experts of the future,'' Mr Savelson said. Although coming from varied academic and cultural backgrounds, they enjoyed the programme and would recommend it to colleagues next year. ''I have made a lot of good and nice friends,'' said Yao Dong, 25, a postgraduate student in Management Engineering of Qinghua University in Beijing. Group leader Lucy Tan Wai-man, 21, a third year Business Administration student at the University of Hong Kong, said there was no difficulty in co-operation as members were motivated. But another member, Choi Kuan, from the University of Macau, said the group faced communication problems in the beginning. ''We used English, Cantonese and Mandarin in our conversations and some members had to act as translators,'' Choi Kuan said. Choi Kuan said they often presented the same idea in different ways, which doubled their time in communication. But members soon learned to be patient listeners and were willing to explain, express and discuss matters positively. ''I now know that it is important to understand each other for teamwork to succeed,'' said Choi Kuan. ''And also, one must never give up no matter how bad the situation is,'' Lucy added. On international business trends, students were agreed that a ''Greater China'' would take shape in the 21st century. ''I think the Chinese have to unite in all aspects, not just economics,'' said Yao Dong. ''The more the Chinese co-operate, the greater China would be; and the greater China is, the smaller the world,'' Lucy said.