Sunday a working day in China – would never happen in Australia!


I arrived in Shanghai yesterday on Saturday 20th January 2017 to attend the Australian Chamber of Commerce (AustCham) Shanghai Australia Day Roast 2017, my second Aussie celebration coming from the AustCham Hong Kong Australian Day Lunch at the Island Shangri-La on Friday.

Australia Day_ShanghaiThe afternoon in Shanghai at the Kadadu Restaurant was fantastic with the local expat community coming together to mark Australia’s national day with an Aussie BBQ and Pavlova competition. Continue reading Sunday a working day in China – would never happen in Australia!

Exchange insights, network & do business at the AFF, Hong Kong

2015 Welcome dinner with VIP guests Josh Freyenberg, Assistant Treasurer and Austrade, HKTDC & AustCham HK.
2015 Welcome dinner with VIP guests Josh Freyenberg, Assistant Treasurer and Austrade, HKTDC & AustCham HK.

Why take part in an Australian business delegation?

According to David Thomas, Founder of Think Global and more recently the Australia China SME Association, having led the Australian mission to the Asian Financial Forum (AFF) over the last seven years, the benefits according to more than 200 delegates can be summarized into three key areas:


  1. Enormous value – instead of lying on the beach in January, attending the AFF is an inspiring start to the year. You get to hear from some incredible speakers you wouldn’t hear anywhere else such as the chairman of Wanda Group sharing his global vision.
  2. Making connections – coming back with a mountain of business cards, with almost 3,000 delegates from Asia and around the world. Many want to do business in Australia and are seeking out those who can build a bridge.
  3. Team Australia –  relationships with other delegates, looking out for each other and scouting opportunities, plus of initial and ongoing business opportunities.

You can download Davids latest ebook “My China Insights” here.

What is the Asian Financial Forum?

Hong Kong Trade and Development Corporation (HKTDC) host this global finance and business forum at the start of each year with world leaders, economic insights and business matching co-hosted with the  Hong Kong Venture Capital Association.

The 2016 event “Asia: Shaping the New Paradigm for Growth” shaping global business and finance included speakers such as Ben Bernanke, former Chairman of the US Fed and Stuart Gulliver, Group Chief Executive of HSBC, who said the conference was very important in focusing on Hong Kong as a leading Asia Pacific financial centre.

You can view the 2016 highlights video here.

For 2017 the theme is for the 10th Asian Financial Forum is “Asia: Driving Change, Innovation and Connectivity.” 

Day one includes speakers from the International Monetary Fund, S & P Global Ratings, Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund, Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance, Iran, China-ASEAN Investment Cooperation Fund and China UnionPay.

Day two sees topical and sector specific workshops covering payment technology and cyber security, Health Insurance and Technology, Insurance and Actuarial Regulatory Developments, Infrastructure Financing, Private Investment and Wealth Management, the ASEAN and Middle-East investment outlook and China-India economic partnership and integration.

You can view the 2017 promotional video here.

The event is supported by the Australian and Hong Kong governments

Australian Trade Commission


Bing Liu has recently returned from China and shared the key priorities for Austrade in terms of  the Financial Services sector:

  • RMB Internationalisation – Australia is now a hub for RMB clearing
  • Wealth Management – today we have the first generation experiencing a rapid increase in wealth, generating opportunities for Australias wealth management capabilities
  • Infrastructure investment –  the One Belt One Road project
  • Fintec – financial technology and disruption is a stong economic driver going forward.
Invest Hong Kong

Invest Hong Kong logo

Luca de Leonardis, passionate about Hong Kong explained, at historic Hong Kong House in Druitt St Sydney, the various government bodies available to help including setting up an office in Hong Kong and arranging business introductions.

Invest Hong Kong also runs StartmeupHK, an integrated one-stop initiative to bring global entrepreneurs to Hong Kong, including government incentive and incubation schemes, accelerators, angels and VCs.

Hong Kong Trade and Development Council

HKTDC_logo for aff

Bonnie Shek shared some key stats on Hong Kong and the AFF:

  • Financial Centre – world’s top IPO market, Asia’s second largest private equity centre, leading fund and asset management in Asia  with US$2.27 trillion combined business, 70% of which are from non-Hong Kong investors, and gateway to 4.7 million high net worth individuals.
  • Foreign Direct Investment – cumulative outward FDI reached US$880 billion Chinese  Mainland Close to 60 % of  Chinese investments directed to or channeled through Hong Kong
  • Top-notch Speakers – including leading global financial institutions and corporates, governments, world renowned institutions and academia.
  • Attendees – 38% financial services, 36% corporates with the balance chambers and associations, government, regulators and academia.

You can see more insights from the HKTC AFF presentation here

But what do previous delegates have to say?
  • Ben Weeding, despite having lived and worked in Singapore and Japan thought he knew Asia. Speaking to those on the ground and presenting at mission event to expats in Macau re-shaped his focus at Buyside on the needs of property investors and commercial opportunities.
  • Jennifer Fong, having helped more than 10,000 inbound migrants got to meet key influencers, took “selfies” whilst positioning Visacorp and Migration Alliance.
  • Peter Black, whilst having no commercial objective gained insights on doing business in China, how to navigate technology and today can offer constructive input to his business and executive clients via Alchmey Group who are looking to do business with the Chinese.


You can read Peter’s blog from the 2015 mission including  a review of “Inside the Chinese Mind” here and view other delegate testimonials from January 2015 here and January 2016 here.

How to participate

If you have or are exploring an Asia growth strategy, are seeking distribution or referral partners or capital for projects and would like to connect with Chinese investors you should consider attending the delegation.

Contact Stacey Martin on +61 413 127 677 or email: to discuss whether the AFF Forum, deal flow and range of sessions being planned can support your business objectives.

You can complete the on-line registration here or download the flyer and booking-form_final booking-form_final form. 

About Stacey Martin


Having attended the last four business missions hosted by Think Global, Stacey Martin is delighted to take the reigns from David Thomas in leading this year’s delegation.

Stacey is an Aus-China Consultant and founder of the Expat Advisors Community network. With an extensive career in financial services and private wealth management, Stacey consults with SMEs wanting to do business in China, drawing on her experience working with Chinese investors. This includes market entry strategies, facilitating strategic business connections and professional services introductions and navigating culture. 


SME Radio: Aus-China Business Channel with Stacey Martin

SME radio - old logo

As a medium for accessing niche information and stories, podcasts have seen an explosion over the last few years. You can listen, learn and be entertained whilst driving, going for a walk or taking time out to relax.

SME Radio is producing shows “by SMEs for SMEs” designed to help small business owners reach their potential. Topics including sales and growth strategies, human resources, business succession and doing business with China which I’m delighted to be hosting.

About Aus-China Business Channel 

China has seen unprecedented growth over the last three decades and Australia has benefited from the demand for our resources however with strong growth in household wealth, there is increasing demand for a range of services which Australia is well positioned to deliver.

The Aus-China Business Channel (ACBC) will provide SMEs with insights on how to position Australia’s world-class capabilities, providing practical information to help navigate these growth opportunities.

Interview with CT Johnson, General Manager, Basis Point Consulting

In the first of the weekly SME Radio programs I interview CT Johnson, author of “Riding The Dragon – managing your Chinese investors, partners and employees.”


CT is the General Manager of Basis Point Consulting, founded in 1996 by David Chin, which provides business intelligence and networking opportunities for participants in the investment and financial markets in Australia and Asia.

In this podcast, CT tells us about his career journey from the US to Russia and working for global company Huawei in China before moving to Australia. He shares insights on the importance of building relationships or guanxi, the do’s and don’ts for business interactions and that a contract is just the start of the negotiations with your new Chinese business partner.

  • Listen to the Podcast – you can listen to the interview here.
  • Read the Book – you can access a copy of “Riding the Dragon – managing your Chinese Investors, Partners & Employees” click here.
  • Sign up for market intel and events on the latest trends – For market intelligence from HMW in China, to property development, investment migration and a range of events on the latest hot topics register your details at the Basis Point website here.

Interview with Cynthia Dearin, Dearin Associates

Have you ever gone to work wearing a bullet-proof vest? Cynthia Dearin has during her career as a diplomat and management consultant in the Middle East! Cynthia is the author or Camels, Shiekhs and Billionaires and in this interview she discusses how she came to be advising SME’s looking to enter into fast-growing markets across the MENA region and now China.


In this episode of Cynthia highlights the differences between market entry strategies for marketing products versus marketing services. She also explains how tools like the Market Entry Strategy Stress Test can help identify areas that may require attention.

  • Listen to the Podcast – you can listen to the interview here.
  • Read the Book if you would like to get hold of a copy of “Camels, Sheikhs and Billionaires “ click here.
  • Find out about theInternationall Business Accelerator – and other great programs here.

About the Host

Stacey Martin is the founder of Expat Advisors Community network for professionals with internationally connected clients. With an extensive career in financial services and private wealth management, today Stacey consults with SMEs wanting to do business in China, drawing on her experience working with Chinese investors. This includes market entry strategies, facilitating strategic business connections, professional services introductions, and navigating business culture.