SERIES: Connecting Australia and China
Expanding your business can be a nerve-wracking process regardless of the country you’re looking to expand to, especially if you don’t speak the language. When we were opening our office in Shanghai, we needed to know everything about licenses, regulations, Chinese business culture, social networking, etc. We were lucky in that China is part of our DNA but we know how overwhelming it can be to face such a massive task.
The ‘Connecting Australia and China’ series will cover a range of topics that will be useful to Australian businesses doing or looking to do business with China. China being Australia’s biggest trading partner, there are tons of resources out there you can benefit from. The three organisations below should be your starting point.
One of the main goals of the Australian Trade and Investment Commission is to help businesses expand internationally and win foreign direct investment. The commission provides extensive resources through its global network of contacts and in-depth market research. They have dedicated landing pages for most countries Australian businesses are likely to do business with; you’ll find China’s here. Austrade also offers paid consulting services, including tailored business advice and financial assistance, and they hold a number of events (both paid and free) during the year allowing for several networking opportunities. They are in fact preparing a National Roadshow in 2017 for the tourism and trade industries, so keep an eye out for that.
Visit the Austrade website: https://www.austrade.gov.au/
Australia China Business Council
Also called ‘ACBC’, the Australia China Business Council is a membership-based, non-profit, non-governmental organisation. Founded in 1973, the council encourages two-way trade, investment, and economic cooperation between businesses in Australia and China. You must pay to become a member however membership gives you have access to a number of resources and connections that will make doing business with China that much easier. Other benefits include discounts to attend ACBC events across Australia and direct access to more than 1000 representatives of member companies through the ACBC official website.
Visit the ACBC website: http://www.acbc.com.au/overview
The Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (or MOFCOM) was formerly known as the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation. It is an executive agency of the State Council of China and is responsible for a lot of the policies regarding foreign trade, export and import regulations, foreign direct investments, etc. To put it simply, it is the Chinese version of Austrade. MOFCOM holds several events throughout China, helping businesses create local communities across China and providing networking opportunities.
Visit the MOFCOM website: http://english.mofcom.gov.cn/
The offerings of these organisations just scratch the surface of the wealth of resources at your fingertips. In both China and Australia, there are local organisations, like the Victoria Chamber of Commerce, for each state, province and sometimes even city that work to bring businesses together and make international expansion that much easier.
Image attribution: Hong Kong Skyline - Diliff - CCBY3.0 - Wikimedia Commons