WE'VE already bought the big suitcases and ordered the live goat. The only thing missing is the fake letter from Peter Sutch, chairman of Swire Group. The reason is that Dragonair, everyone's favourite way into China, is running something called Operation Hands-on, when the people at the top spend a day watching how the people at the bottom do things. We've got all the stuff together for April 21, the day when Dragonair boss Phillip Chen will be spending the day at the check-in counter at Kai Tak. We plan to turn up with 100 kilograms of luggage and the aforementioned goat, and when Phillip says we can't take them all as hand luggage we were going to hand him a fake letter of introduction from overall boss Peter Sutch and see how he copes. When he asks for our passport we're going to hand him one from a country with an Eastern European-sounding name that actually doesn't exist. All this to convince him that he should double the number of check-in desks. It could be worse. How would he cope with Han Dongfang turning up on the flight to Beijing? Actually, Dragonair is surely to be congratulated on this effort, which will involve a total of 55 senior managers. Other airlines, indeed other businesses, have found similar exercises most useful, for all involved. There are plenty of managers in other companies who don't even know how it feels to be a customer of their own business, never mind an employee. Wing On DRAGONAIR was, however, most keen to point out that none of Operation Hands-On will be taking place in the air. The bosses aren't even going to be in-flight toilet cleaners, never mind pilots, - presumably for safety reasons. This is probably just as well. We learned about Operation Hands-On while chatting with a crowd of Dragonair bosses over lunch, and our eyes were grabbed by a strange table decoration in the shape of a model TriStar. Strange because the jet engines were perched above the wings, instead of in the more normal sub-alar position. The reason: the wings had been attached upside-down. Cashing in SEMI-TECH Microelectronics has become somewhat cash rich, these days. Normally, getting cash is a good idea. But Semi-Tech's James Ting is proving so adept at the game that the folks at the stock exchange are getting just a little edgy. ''It is the concept of the Hong Kong stock exchange that every company has a business to follow,'' were the words of one official last year when World Trade Centre Group was looking pretty cash rich. He added that companies must not consist ''principally of cash''. Semi-Tech's annual results issued yesterday stated ''cash and liquid funds'' plus ''guaranteed deferred income'' totalled $14.80 per share, against last night's share price of $15.60. The stated net asset value is $25.14, and some brokers put it above $30. James has provided the Hong Kong stock exchange with some fascinating incidents over the past few years, but there's quite a few analysts around who reckon that he may be about to give up his Hong Kong listing. If he does privatise Semi-Tech to concentrate on his other listed vehicles in Canada, the US and elsewhere, it's hardly going to knock a hole in our Government's finances. Despite profits of $2.2 billion and turnover of $6.5 billion, the tiny size of its local operations meant Semi-Tech's total tax bill here came to $1 million. Bondage OUR report today says mainlanders are proving receptive to their Government's new bond issue, and may therefore not need to have it rammed down their throats as in previous years. They've bought US$2 billion worth in nine days. We're not surprised. The bonds pay at least 13 per cent, and the longer ones pay nearly 14 per cent. If you believe that Beijing can prevent currency devaluation you should sell your Swiss franc bonds and switch into yuan - you'll double your return. And this return is guaranteed by the Government - unlike the return on the dozens of China funds launched over the last few years. IT figures EVERY month, the Government sends out figures for external trade. If it compiles data on external trade, presumably it must also compile data on internal trade too. But, mysteriously, the internal figures are never released. Is Hong Kong island running a trade deficit with Kowloon? What about Discovery Bay's re-exports? The public has a right to know. Once again, Chris Patten, your promises on open government have proved empty.