Many talk about the “third cup of tea” when it comes to building relationships in China. In planning for my fourth annual trip with David Thomas and the Think Global team to the Asian Financial Forum (AFF), I have been reflecting on my journey in building relationships in Asia over the last few years.
First mission in 2013 – “Welcome”
My first business trip to Asia, despite having worked with Australian expatriates for almost 20 years. I felt overwhelmed by the sheer scale and amplification of what I thought I knew, particularly in relation to Australian expatriates and getting caught up in the expat lifestyle.
Having spent time in the Hong Kong office, appreciating the capabilities and licensing environment, meeting local counterparts of business and professional partners and networking on the ground, I knew there would be tremendous opportunities to tap in to!
Key insights were:
- The financial services industry is similar to Australia 20 years ago with commission based product
- Regulators keen to catch up, although may take at least 5 years
- Meanwhile the expats are living like it’s still the 1980’s!
It was following this trip that my White Paper: “How to maximise offshore assignments” for Aussie expats was published, which you can download here.
Second mission in 2014 – “You’re back!”
Appreciating the format of the AFF conference, networking events and delegation activities I was able to be more discerning in relation to key areas of focus for my own expertise and broader business objectives.
I was able to target relevant sessions for learning and connecting, particularly preparing for the AFF Deal Flow business matching, and explore how my professional network could engage with Austcham, Hong Kong and Macau, particularly the Financial, Legal and Tax committee.
John Brogden, then CEO of the Financial Services Council (FSC) was part of the 2014 mission group, and outlined the potential for exporting our financial services capabilities. He also attended the Prime Ministers Australia Week in China (AWIC) and shared his insights with Expat Advisors Community here.
Third mission in 2015 – “You’re serious!”
Had a clear strategy of areas where I can add value personally and through broader networks in relation to Significant Investor Visa (SIV) and Australian Expatriates working in Asia.
Armed with my just published SIV educational booklet “Smooth Road to Travel: China to Australia” was able to articulate a clear proposition and identify business partners across migration and other financial services with similar values to support clients needs.
Having attended the Australia China Business Week May 2014 delegation to Guangzhou (GZ) and Shanghai, was able to arrange a number of follow-up meetings in GZ to continue to build relationships.
2016 – Fourth Annual Mission to the Asian Financial Forum
This year I am taking my networks with me and arranging specific events for those serving the needs of Australian Expatriates and looking to build relationships on the ground for intermediaries working with inbound investment migrants under the Significant Investor Visa program.
To augment the Think Global “Invest in Australia” program, my Expat Advisors Community for professionals with internationally connected clients, is holding two special events for relationship managers and their clients in Asia.
1. Expat Seminar – Wednesday 20th January, 4.30 pm in Macau
Focusing on trends and opportunities in Australian residential real estate, tax planning, retirement and repatriation strategies.
More details on topics and speakers here.
2. SIV Showcase and seminar – Thursday 21st January at 9.15 am in Hong Kong
Focusing on the Significant Investor Visa program, in particular demystifying the venture capital component, along with other services and solutions for potential investment migrants and their advisors.
More details on topics and speakers here.
So, what are you waiting for?
January is traditionally a quiet time for business in Australia, and in the third week many are just coming off the beach or preparing for a new school year. This is a great time to be inspired, energised and develop a focus to tap into business opportunities in Asia for 2016.
Don’t make excuses or leave it another year, check out the 2015 delegate testimonials here.