ACSME Roundtable March 2019

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Our ACSME Roundtable in March was, according to all participants, one of the best ever! There was no speaker, theme or topic. Instead, everyone was invited to introduce themselves and their business and tell the group about their greatest challenge in relation to doing business in or with China. Over one hour later we had covered a diverse and fascinating range of topics, issues and challenges. Here are some of the highlights:

  • It’s difficult to convince Chinese companies operating in Australia to take out insurance to cover their business risks. Australia is a complex regulatory and business environment and insurance is necessary to protect business owners and/or operators from significant financial risk (eg Directors and Officers Liability Insurance). It can be challenging to communicate these needs to Chinese companies

  • Language and cultural differences make communication difficult. It’s not enough to just translate everything into Chinese. You have to remember to observe cultural differences and spend time understanding, observing and learning

  • The University of Sydney have a full time Industry Engagement Officer (Dennis Inho Seo (email responsible for connecting Chinese international students with Australian companies for internships, work experience and job opportunities. This would be particularly beneficial to Australian SMEs who deal with China and need access to students with Chinese language skills. Chinese students want to stay in Australia after they finish their studies but find it difficult to secure internships and full time positions. Dennis is a good resource for ACSME members and is available to anyone interested in hiring a Chinese intern.

  • Chinese people find it hard to use Google in Australia because its not available in China. So when they have to use Google for advertising in Australia, they need lots of help understanding Google’s algorithms and features.

  • Doing business in or with China requires access to the right skills, experience and capabilities. Australian companies find it difficult to recruit the right people, and the Australian Immigration Department are making it harder to recruit foreigners to fill skill gaps.

  • Chinese companies often “go it alone” in Australia and don’t seek out and pay for local advice, support and guidance. Compliance with local laws, regulations and business practice is particularly difficult for them to navigate. We need to get better at educating them about this and we also need to make things more transparent and simple for them.

  • Chinese investors are becoming less interested in Australia because (a) it’s very costly, (b) the returns available are too low and (c)They have lost patience in the process of engaging with local project owners and gaining approvals from Government. It takes a long time to get things done in Australia.

  • Its difficult for Chinese companies to recruit in Australia and they are usually unwilling to pay for recruiters to manage the process as they regard it as too expensive

Next ACSME Roundtable - 2nd April 2019

We look forward to running similar interactive meetings in 2019 and, to take part in these sessions, we encourage ACSME members and their guests to attend the next ACSME Roundtable, ‘Exporting to China’, on Tuesday, 2nd April at 12.30pm.

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