By Invitation Only - Patrick Stringer, Commissioner to Greater China

30 May 2012

For ACBC members only, Victoria’s Commissioner to Greater China, Patrick Stringer led a concise and informative discussion on the latest developments in China.

His extensive working knowledge and understanding of business practices in the region has been formed over 25 years working with some of the world's leading corporations, including Qantas, Volvo and BAE Systems.

His ‘behind-the-scenes’ perspective addressed a number of current issues at play on the Australia-China landscape including:

• The Victorian Government’s overall approach to China, noting current high-level visits from China related to resources.

• Wider impacts of a boost in economic reforms for China’s key industries.

• Identification of the core factors and motivators for Chinese investment in Australia.

• Lessons to be learnt from China’s approach to business relationships, being a commitment to longevity and sustaining ongoing relationships when doing business.

• The importance of carefully developing and implementing a sound IP strategy when dealing with China and the extent to which IP is likely at some point to be compromised.

• Varying business models with case studies of companies currently ‘breaking the mould’ in terms of their approach to investment in the China market.
• Industries currently enjoying growth and increasing opportunity in China, the importance of companies in these emerging industries to ‘tread carefully’, accelerating at a steady pace, in order to ‘learn by doing’ for long term benefits.

• The current state of Australia’s international education industry and our need to consolidate and promote “Brand Victoria” - defined by Stringer as a state that offers quality and a sense of tradition to the global education market.

The consequent positive feedback was testament to Patrick Stringer’s wealth of experience in both the private and public sectors and use of case studies to provide an ‘inside-line’ perspective.

Overall, a broad range of key issues were discussed in great detail, much to the appreciation of ACBC members and attendees, many of whom could apply outcomes of the event to their current Australia-China initiatives.

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