30 million in Chongqing – Australia’s largest delegation made its mark. How can you make

30 million in Chongqing – Australia’s largest delegation made its mark. How can you make from Chin Communications

By: Chin Communications  03-Nov-2011
Keywords: Chinese Translation, Chinese Translator, Chinese Interpreter

Australia sent the largest ever trade mission to China to visit emerging regions and cities inland – the so-called second tier cities. These cities, including China’s largest – Chongqing with 32 million inhabitants – are some of China’s fastest growing centres – 15% or more in 2010 and destined to go higher. They also include Changsha, Wuhan and Chengdu. Around 100 businesspeople were whisked around these cities on chartered planes and buses on a very well put together program of activities by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

We’re seeing the program through the eyes of our Managing Director, Charles Qin, who accompanied Trade Minister Craig Emerson as his interpreter. There was a focus on urbanisation, sustainability, science and technology, transport and logistics and financial services with forums, meetings and one-on-ones with the key leaders in each area. Tourism and education, which are so important to Australia, were also on the agenda. Education in these inland areas is not of the same high standard as Beijing, so ought to be an important area for attracting students to high-quality Australian institutions – some of which were represented in the Mission. Residents, likewise, are wanting to catch up with the same services and standard of living seen in the so called first tier cities like Beijing and Shanghai.

Financial markets might be tumbling around the world and Europe and the US in the doldrums – but in China it’s full steam ahead as evidenced by the scale of activity in these important centres. Flush with funds, China is able to afford the best technology and drive rapid transformation like no other country.

China introduced a Go West plan about ten years ago and there are plenty of tax incentives to attract foreign businesses as these inland areas strive to catch up to the east coast. Over 200 of the top 500 companies in the world are located in Sichuan Province alone. Chongqing itself became a municipality at the level of a province in 1997 and ranks with Beiijing, Shanghai and Tianjin alone at this level. More incentives have been announced to encourage development in the 12 Five Year Plan.

Every year about 14 million people are moving to cities requiring housing, transport and services. In fact over the last 30 years 450 million people have urbanised. The marketplace in cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou is especially crowded with competitors from all around the world and where it is much harder to reach decision makers. This means second and third tier cities are significantly more attractive options where you’ll be given a hearing if you have something good on offer.  Not only that,  a report I read a few years ago put the cost of setting up in a first tier city at 40 – 60% more than the west – that has to be a big plus, doesn’t it!

As Foreign Minister Rudd said when he sold the mission in his roadshow around Australia: “If we think the changes of the last 30 years have been dramatic, this I believe is only a foretaste of what is to come.”

How to get in there?

A mission like this is a great platform to gain access to key decision makers, or to hang off the Minister and Department’s credentials to make you look good. Failing that, you can wait for the next one as well as try and establish linkages in the areas you are targeting  and those connections must include Chinese Government officials (Australian Government offices can be a good source of potential contacts). Develop a proposition to show what you can bring to the Chinese economy and remember they are keen on technology, training and employment for Chinese. Show how your product/service can help China achieve its objectives – say for example in the latest Five Year Plan in Sustainability. Of course, your proposition must be in Chinese – well translated – we can help you there.

It is important to be mindful of different legal and business systems too.  Good legal advice is vital and an understanding that culturally, Chinese do business differently. A Chinese interpreter can be your eyes and ears and cultural ‘interpreter’ as well when having discussions or negotiations with Chinese.

So as the Mission winds up today in Shanghai, participants will return to Australia much better informed and ready to tackle this new frontier, and as Victoria’s Premier Ted Baillieu said at an ACBC Gala Dinner in August: ” We’ve only just scratched the surface.” Let’s get scratching and make that mark!

Keywords: Business Cards in Foreign Languages, Chinese Business Card Design, Chinese Interpreter, Chinese Interpreters, Chinese Interpreting, Chinese Translation, Chinese Translator, Chinese Translators

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