Whether or not the mining boom is over, it is clear that
while China monopolised our iron ore they are now diversifying
supply. The result - another fundamental shift in Australia's
economy and there's no going back to manufacturing or the
Those sectors are still important but business must recognise
this is the Asian Century and our geography is critical. The
looming challenge for Australian business is to compete within Asia
and to look beyond resources to do so; now they need our
With a burgeoning middle-class comes increasing demand for the
trappings of middle-class life; recreation, education, professional
services and healthcare. Australia, politically stable with strong
social and financial infrastructure is well placed to compete in
this market. The challenge for business leaders is to determine
It's not as simple as marketing the ANZ in Chinese.
Australian business needs to capture the hearts and minds of the
Asian audience. That means investing in understanding the
And it must happen at all levels of business. Graduates, middle
management and executives should all immerse themselves in Asian
lifestyle and business culture.
I once checked into a flight from Dar es Salaam to Johannesburg
next to an American. Dressed from head-to-toe in University of
Tennessee paraphernalia he looked every bit the ignorant American
traveller. Then I realised he was chatting to the employee on the
desk in fluent Swahili. Intrigued, I quizzed him about this. How,
and why, did he speak the language so well? It turned out he ran a
program to place US basketball coaches into Tanzanian schools. That
was interesting, but what stuck with me was the requirement for the
candidates to spend three months just living with a Zanzibari
family to learn the culture, language and customs. It was only then
that they could be considered for a placement.
Australian business must mimic that approach to engage with
Asia. It's insufficient to know that the language and culture
are different; we must understand the culture and language. Then we
will be able to exploit our regional advantage and create
The other piece of the puzzle is to understand how our product
fits the market. My friend from Tennessee understood his product
very well; undeniably the US is a world-leader in basketball. The
challenge for Australian business is to identify our strengths and
leverage that. It is Business Strategy-101 but that doesn't
make it less valuable.
Australians have been good at growing wool or mining and the
economy has thrived. But, natural resources can take you only so
far. There needs to be something else to sell. Australian business
must figure out what that "something else" is. High
political stability and established infrastructure is a good place
Business must take a lead and engage at non-official levels. Get
back to basics; understand our regional market, identify strengths
and opportunities and leverage all that to compete successfully in
the Asian century.
Following the announcement by the International Atomic Energy Association that Iran has met its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal, Australia has suspended all nuclear-related sanctions against Iran.
PNG has domestic arbitration legislation, but does not provide for the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards.
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).