Publisher’s Letter: Why not a ‘united’ Australian business community in China?

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When I introduced Australia China Connections into China in 2005 my first initiative was to establish a productive relationship with the Australian Chamber of Commerce in China. Being the only business magazine for the Australia-China business community, it was imperative to have that relationship.

To my great surprise, there was no AustCham China. There was AustCham Beijing, AustCham Shanghai and AustCham Hong Kong & Macau, all with their own membership, committees and even logos.
Now you add to it AustCham South China, AustCham Fujian and AustCham Shenzen.

Instead of one supportive association promoting and presenting the success of Australian companies and business within China, there are competing associations, who barely acknowledge each other.

Do we have to copy in China with the same problems national associations create for themselves in Australia, when state rivalry is unnecessarily taking prime position?

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I believe there is some hope and serious intentions by the AustChams to change that situation.

In March, a regional forum was held in Hong Kong to bring all the AustChams from across Asia together. Since then there has been a concerted effort from AustCham Beijing, AustCham Shanghai and AustCham Hong Kong & Macau to have a more united front in Greater China including the signing in April, an agreement between the three committing each one to work more closely together towards greater unity and co-operation.

AustCham Beijing and Shanghai at their recent AGMs elected new presidents and some new committee members, and I congratulate David Olsson in Beijing and David Keir in Shanghai on their new positions as Chairs of their respective organisations.

It is of great value to note, that the recent committees have made it one of their priorities to make a serious attempt in unifying the various Australian Chambers.

It was pleasing to see last year, as a first step towards greater unity, that after 17 years of calling Hong Kong home, the Australia China Business Awards were hosted for the first time in Beijing and now this year in November, will be held in Shanghai.

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What would be even more advantageous to the Australia-China business community, would be to see greater affiliation between the AustChams in Greater China and the Australia China Business Council in Australia in respect to building a more supportive bridge for the Australian business community for and in China.

austcham_shanghai_beijing_hk__pavilion_event_july_10_webThere are far more benefits from working together as one big family with the same interests rather then acting as distant relatives.

Our newly elected government too, will need better educating and advice relating to Australian business success in China, and for this, we will need strength in numbers to be heard.

Carl Jetter,
Publisher.

*Picture: Greater China AustCham Event at the Australian Pavilion in August with Deb Biber & Clement Chan (AustCham Hong Kong & Macau), David Olsson and Dalwyn Bateson (AustCham Beijing) and David Keir and Kim Gilliland (AustCham Shanghai).
 

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