International Finance Week in Hong Kong saw around 40 delegates from Australia attend the Asian Financial Forum (AFF), the Asian Private Equity Forum and the Family Office Solutions Showcase.
The official delegation, let by Stacey Martin, Expat Advisors Community and AustCham Hong Kong member, was delighted to lead the official mission on behalf of Hong Kong Trade and Development Council (HKTDC) the organisers of the conference which attracted 3,000 delegates from around the world.
Kelly O’Dwyer, Australian Minister for Financial Services, was amongst the world leaders sharing their views on Day 1. A follow-up interview at the Invest in Australia stand with Consulate General Michaela Browning discussed the progress and impact of the Regional Funds Passport.
In addition, Adam Goern, who’s business matching platform was trialed at last year’s AFF, launched “The Milk Road” as a metaphor for the growing demand for Australia’s clean and green produce.
The weeks activities included Welcome drinks at the Grand Hyatt Waterfall Bar, with VIPs including Murray Davis, NSW Trade Commissioner. A briefing by Sam Guthrie, Austrade and Carolyn Butler, Hong Kong Trust Company was followed by a relaxing Junk Cruise.
This year was the first time Australia was represented at the Family Office Solutions Showcase with panel discussions from delegates and sponsors plus a keynote by Victor Jiang of Sapien Ventures which was widely reported. Delegates also showcased their services including investor migration, education, Australian property and agriculture to the local market, sponsored by KPMG (thanks Darren Bowdern).
Tony Dormer, Director Tricor ChewandDormers and Ambassador for AustCham Vietnam, a second time participant in Ms. Martins mission, highlighted the comradery of other delegates and the tremendous value from the additional activities. Those interested in joining next year’s delegation or providing event support can express their interest here.
For more highlights and to view the delegate profiles click here.
Building relationships is critical for doing business. Not just locally, but especially when taking your product or service overseas. There’s a lot of information around about HOW to do business, particularly with a country like China, but WHO can you reach out to for internationalising your business?
For many, finding the right connections is not easy. Especially for smaller businesses, who may not have the strength of big brand to open doors. Many SMEs don’t have high level business connections, and are unsure how to access government support.
If you are looking to take your business international, it’s just like setting up locally, but there are so many more factors to consider. Many of these, particularly for Asia, you may not even be aware of. This is why it is important to work with those who have relevant expertise, or have trodden the path before.
Where do you Start?
The first step is to research, research, research! Then armed with knowledge of how your product or service may fit into your chosen market, start developing your strategy for going international.
Having partners on the ground is often quoted as the key to success. So should you look for an investor, distribution channels or a Joint Venture relationship?
In considering your marketing strategy how should you position your message and what delivery channels should you use. There are-on-line channels including WeChat and off-line such as conferences and expos. So, based on your strategy, the client opportunity and the ideal partners who may be able to help, how can you find them?
Depending on what connections you are looking for, there are a range of options for seeking out introductions.
In China, government officials are held in high regard, so is essential to build strong relationships. This is where Australian government agencies can assist. Once you have a clear strategy and have made some progress on your plan, you can seek support from agencies such as the Australian Trade and Investment commission (Austrade) and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
Depending on your strategy and target market, it is important to find the right consultant, noting there are so many aspects to consider. Livia Wang from AccessCN has built a reputation for the Diagou market for getting your brand know in China, Cynthia Dearin has experience in the MENA region and has recently launched the International Business Accelerator coaching program, and Simon Kaiyu Li provides China Marketing and Cross Cultural support.
4. Corporates and Institutions
A lot of large Australian corporates have businesses or representative offices overseas. They may be able to assist or could even be interested in your specialist expertise.
Most banks have international departments and many have Asia Business Specialists. They assist their clients not just with inbound and outbound transactions but also to help facilitate business growth in supporting their customers. Banks are also good sources of contacts through their overseas branches or correspondent banks.
6. Accountants, lawyers and other professionals
Many professionals such as accountants and lawyers have assisted their clients with market entry strategies already. Start with your own relationships, and also seek out specialists in your industry. Many firms have offices on the ground, or are part of global networks, so can make local introductions.
7. Centres of Influence
With the internet and social media, it is not difficult to find industry thought leaders and those active in the sectors and countries you are interested in.
A directly targeted message via platforms such as LinkedIn, can help identify thought leaders and experts you can reach out to for assistance.
8. Friends and Business Colleagues
With today’s globally mobile workforce, many of our friends and colleagues have worked overseas. They are a good place to start for building international connections. Just ask them “Who do you know?”
There is no shortage of content today and it has never been easier to share successful strategies, tips and insights.
1. Articles & Blogs
The Expat Advisors Community website has a range of articles from developing your networking strategy, creating an elevator pitch, making the most of attending networking events and conferences including capturing your notes and how to exit a conversation gracefully.
You can download our networking tips here and access blog posts here.
2. Listen to Experts
My Aus-Asia Business Program features a range of experts sharing their own Aus-Asia journeys and providing their top tips for going international.
As mission leader for the last two years, my role is to understand delegates business strategies, market their messages, arrange opportunities to network, meet relevant connections and provide tools to promote their expertise including business matching both on-line and off-line. Plus, the comradery that comes from being in-country with like-minded business people, promoting each other’s expertise as brand Australia!
Watch this Space
I am currently working on a book entitled “Who do you know? Building networks locally and globally.” This will include interviews with leading global networkers and connectors.
It will be supported by a range of tools from how-to guides, keynotes and seminars as well as individual coaching and consulting to help fast-track those looking to connect across jurisdictions to expand their business internationally.
Today with the internet for research, social media for connecting with experts, and access to networking consultants, it has never been easier to grow your network locally and globally.
Stacey Martin has a financial services background working with expatriates and investor migrants. Founder of the Expat Advisors Community, today Stacey consults with those looking to do business in Asia. This article is an extract from Stacey’s 2017 AsiaLink Leaders project. graduation speech. A year long program, the mandate for AsiaLink is to develop an Asia Capable workforce. For details on the 2018 course go to the link here.
New Zealand, like Australia, has grown their population through skills migration with the objective of adding to economic prosperity. Many countries also seek out investment migrants for much needed capital, particularly were relatively low populations don’t have sufficient resources to meet infrastructure needs.
The number of Applications granted under the SIV2 program now stands at 229 vs 1,639 under SIV1. Recent interest in NSW has increased, and there is growing awareness from countries such as South Africa and Vietnam.
New Zealand, like Australia, has grown their population through migration with the objective to adding to economic prosperity. In New Zealand’s case, this population growth has put increased pressure on infrastructure which has struggled to keep up.