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The Australian Chamber of Commerce Hong Kong and Macau 香港及澳門澳洲商會

After 25 years of growth, how much longer can Australia retain its claim to being the lucky country?


Special Feature Women in Business Network Leadership Series delivers key insights into Australian boardrooms and business


Hong Kong Focus The Belt and Road Initiative: Promoting Economic Co-operation


austcham news issue 187 03 Chamber Chatter 06 Cover Story After 25 years of growth, how much longer can Australia retain its claim to being the lucky country?

08 Special Feature Women in Business Network Leadership Series delivers key insights

into Australian boardrooms and business

11 Membership eCard Benefit

12 Hong Kong Focus The Belt and Road Initiative: Promoting Economic Co-operation

15 Events Update

20 Jan - The AustCham National Australia Bank Australia Day Lunch

16 AustCham Mentor Programme

18 Committees in Action

19 Book Review

20 Feature Profile Innovation You Can Bet On

21 Corporate Profile

- Griffith Business School, Griffith University

Published By: The Australian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and Macau Room 301-302, 3/F, Lucky Building 39 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong Tel: +852 2522 5054 Email: Editorial Committee: Drew Waters Karen Wu Advertising: Karen Wu Email:

CONNEC T • ENGAGE • REPRESENT The Australian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and Macau has more than 1,500 members from some 500 companies doing business here. It’s the largest Australian business grouping outside the country and the second largest of 28 International Chambers of Commerce in Hong Kong. The AustCham mission is: To promote & represent Australian business & values while enabling members to connect, engage & grow bilateral relationships.

23 On The Scene Disclaimer:

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austcham news Online version

The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and Macau, its members or officers. The Australian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and Macau takes no responsibility for the contents of any article or advertisement, makes no representation as to its accuracy or completeness, and expressly disclaims and liability for any loss however arising from or in reliance upon the whole or any part of this publication. Copyright © 2016 The Australian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and Macau

2 • austcham news | issue 187

Chamber Chatter

Chairman's Column Australia’s hold on the title given it by Donald Horne as the “Lucky Country” is the focus of the cover story in this month’s AustCham News. In recent years, Australia has clearly outperformed most other OECD countries in terms of growth and in its ability to generate a high standard of living for its residents. GDP growth has been relatively high, unemployment low, workforce participation up, and inflation manageable. Questions have rightly been raised about Australia’s productivity performance, but some of that is due to the specifics of how productivity is measured. While other economies in the Asia-Pacific region have been growing faster than Australia, and in some cases have been showing faster productivity growth, Australia’s per capita incomes and other measures of standard of living have been well beyond those of most of its regional neighbours. International assessments of Australia’s competitiveness for the most part tell a similar story, regardless of whether the focus is aggregate competitiveness, ease of doing business, state of the knowledge economy, economic freedom, city competitiveness, or measures of transparency and corporate governance. The story is one of a country that is in the upper echelon of nations, but not on par with the world’s best, and in many cases a strong performer that is well ahead of most Asia-Pacific economies, but behind the leaders in the region. In the main, Australia does well in assessments of quality of life, political and social stability, institutions, ease of starting businesses, education, and some measures of capabilities. On the other hand, it does not compare well in terms of links to the global economy, infrastructure, complexity of taxes and regulations, brain drain, tendency of companies and corporate activities to leave the nation, city competitiveness, and some dimensions of costs. On these drivers, it tends to lag behind the global leaders, as well as a limited number of economies in the Asia-Pacific. Australia tends to do well in drivers that might be called “threshold drivers.” That means that once a certain level is achieved in terms of quality of life, social stability, political stability, etc., industries are not helped that much by making them incrementally better. They are important, but they are not direct inputs into most industries. What is needed to take Australia from being the “lucky country” to being the “competitive and sustainably prosperous country” is action on innovation, new industry development, and a unwavering focus on jobs, growth, and, crucially, on engaging more quickly and more broadly with Asia. Hopefully, in this regard, 2017 will be a year of enlightenment, focus, and action. ….................. AustCham is turning 30 in 2017. It will be a big year for the Chamber. Plans are being made to celebrate in various ways throughout the year and all ideas on how to make it a special birthday for the Chamber are most welcome. ….................. I hope that you will connect with the Chamber this month in some way, and that you will continue to share your views on how best the Chamber can serve you. Richard Petty

issue 187 | austcham news


Chamber Chatter

Across My Desk


had a conversation with a friend some months ago, and she stated it was only "80 Shopping Days till Christmas!" 80 days? It usually takes me all of 2! It had me wondering what it was she was expecting on the big day that required so much notice. I hope you are all prepared for Christmas wherever you will be enjoying the day, and that it's a happy, merry celebration. As we look at Aleppo, the European refugee crisis, and the terrible earthquakes in New Zealand, I pause to consider how those people affected will fare over the normally festive season. I'm sure human nature will shine through, and the spirit of the season will triumph, but I send my hopes and my very best wishes to them all. What a great Christmas Mix we had at Yum Char! A bright and vibrant evening with some of the best people in Hong Kong enjoying a glass of cheer and some good conversation. Thanks to everyone who came along, and congratulations to our prize winners Tony Happell for the Qantas flight tickets, Lee Anderson and Lisa Huang for the great Australian Open tickets. My thanks to Qantas for their continuing support of the large Australian community in Hong Kong, and to Ben Slack and his team at Tennis Australia.

Congra t u la

! tions to all Lucky Draw Winners

The past year would not have been so great without the support of our Platinum Patrons; ANZ, Australia Plus, CBA, CPA Australia, Flight Centre, KPMG, Macquarie, NAB, Telstra, and Westpac, and our newest Platinum Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings. Thank you also to the array of members who supported our events and activities with sponsorship, venues, or attendance over 2016, and our dedicated and energetic Board of Directors. The Australia-China Business Awards are hosted by Beijing in 2017, and nominations are open now. Please consider your entry to this prestigious process, and feel free to contact me for any information. Our Australia Day is on 20th January (yes, a little early to avoid Chinese New Year), and I am looking forward to another good day of celebrations and conversations. Table bookings are open now. I don't get the chance to do so often, so being a bit soft over Christmas allows me to thank the small and vibrant team in the Secretariat. Cloudia, Jason, Elaine, Vicentia, Chloe, Iris, Sam, and Karen plus the various volunteers who contribute such as Tanya and Liz from Speak, thank you for your help and your work over the past year. Mostly though, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year as the Chamber moves into it's 30th year. Have a great Christmas everyone. Drew Waters, Chief Executive

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A Letter from Canberra


t the end of every year, I tour local schools to hand out awards to students who’ve done amazing things in the last 12 months.

And every time the awards season rolls around, I find it hard to believe it’s already been a year. Not this time. Nobody could call 2016 uneventful. It’s been a year of surprises. Brexit shocked global markets, Trump shocked US election watchers and Leicester City shocked sports fans by winning the English Premier League, despite 5,000 to 1 odds against it. Australia’s had its own surprises to contend with. The Prime Minister’s efforts to use his majority to sweep away the Senate crossbench of the 44th Parliament ended up with a reduced majority and an increased Senate crossbench. Depending on who you ask, Canberra’s either had a year of political exhaustion or exhilaration. We’ve been through not one but two elections, which means twice the amount of volunteering, twice as much knocking on doors, twice as many corflutes hammered into the ground, twice as many phone calls and letterbox drops

and all the other parts that go into a modern campaign. And now that schools have broken for the holidays, I’ve given out the last of 2016 school awards. They’ve gone to students who are quiet achievers, having overcome tremendous personal challenges to achieve their goals this year. But right now in Canberra, the cicadas are getting louder and the traffic is getting quieter. It’s a sure sign it’s Christmas, and more than a few Canberrans will be heading to the coast in pursuit of a beach and a barbeque. But before I get started on my packing, I want to thank you for reading this year. I wish you and your family a merry Christmas, and a peaceful and prosperous new year. Gai Brodtmann MP, Federal Member for Canberra and Co-Convenor of Parliamentary Hong Kong Friendship Group

Seasons Greeting from The Hub Hong Kong


hanks to AustCham member’s efforts, over 100 children at The HUB Hong Kong received Christmas presents to warm their hearts. This marks the second year Christmas gifts have been received by The HUB’s kids, many whose families are living at or near poverty levels, a Christmas gift is a big unexpected boon bringing joy over the festive season.

On hand at Mix at Six were The HUB HK Chairman, Mr. David Boehm; Finance Director, Mr. Kevin O’Shaughnessy, and Executive Director of Fundraising and Communications, Mr. Rodney Heng, to receive the gifts and to express thanks on behalf of the children to AustCham Chief Executive Drew Waters and all who contributed to the initiative.

Community Corner

issue 187 | austcham news


Cover Story

After 25 years of growth, how much longer can Australia retain its claim to being the lucky country? - Ingrid Piper


fter more than two decades of growth, National Australia Bank Group Chief Economist Alan Oster predicts Australia will continue to maintain its claim to being the lucky country in the short term, although the nation’s economic future faces uncertain times ahead.

Oster suggests the Federal government should be looking at infrastructure spending to reduce congestion.

During a National Australia Bank (NAB) presentation in Hong Kong last month, introduced by Drew Waters, Chief Executive, AustCham Hong Kong and Macau, Oster’s economic overview spanned short and long-term outlooks for Australian and Chinese business, as well as scenarios for the U.S. with Donald Trump as president.

Education is another area he believes would benefit from government spending.

Taking an optimistic view, Oster was reassuring about Australia’s outlook.

Not if, but when

“There is zero chance of a serious recession in Australia in the next 12 to 18 months. As I’ve already said to Drew Waters, if I knew exactly what the currency was going to do, I wouldn’t be working! But we believe the Australian dollar will stay where it is, moving lower next year.” “In the short term, we’ve got growth of around 3 per cent. We have unemployment staying roughly where it is, and so by international standards, it’s pretty good. The main problem I have, is that it’s very patchy by industry and by region,” Oster says.

“Getting around the road system in Sydney and Melbourne is pretty ridiculous,” he says.

“You spend more money on education, not because you want to spend more money. It’s got to be effective and increase the actual outcomes of the school system.”

Oster believes the RBA’s decision to cuts rates could occur as early as May and again in September 2017. “The timing is going to depend on when you start to see some concern about what’s actually going to happen in 2018. This is not a rate cut because the economy is falling over. This is a rate cut because, in a couple of year’s time, we can see the economy softening and probably needing it. We have the Aussie dollar going from around 75 cents today, down to a touch below 70 cents, probably around the end of next year and a little bit lower by the end of 2018,” Oster says.

NAB analysts are more concerned in the medium term with predictions the economy will slow towards the end of 2018. “We think we probably will need a bit more stimulus which the government can afford, and if they don’t do it in terms of infrastructure spending, then maybe the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has to do some more rate cuts.”

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There is zero chance of a serious recession in Australia in the next 12 to 18 months …

This is not a rate cut because the economy is falling over. This is a rate cut because in a couple of year’s time, we can see the economy softening and probably needing it…

a little bit, not as much, become income distribution effects are nowhere near as much of a problem. “If you look at some of the studies about income distribution across the globe, what you see is the bottom 50 per cent of the world has got fairly big increases in wages, think China and India. The top 1 per cent or so have done fine. But the rest of them, what you might call the old world or the OECD world, unless you are in the top income distribution over the past 20 years, you’ve effectively got no real wage increase,” Oster says. Brexit, Fairness and Geo-political unrest China and the U.S. As the repercussions of the U.K.’s Brexit referendum and the U.S. presidential election are analysed, one common theme that’s emerging is that of fairness. It’s also something Oster says needs to be looked at more closely especially with much political change likely to occur in Europe. “I think what’s out there is a feeling that these politicians don’t do anything for me, so why should I elect them. “One of the things that worries me most about Europe is geopolitical risk. In the next 12 months you’ve got the Italian referendum and Austrian elections in December. You’ve got the Dutch elections early March, the French election and you’ve got the German elections towards the end of the year. All those things say to me that this is a geo-political issue that’s important and you don’t want to be the archetypical politician. In Australia we see it

Oster believes world growth will remain flat and despite a slowdown, China’s growth of around 6.5 per cent is not of immediate concern. “I’m much more worried about China 10-15 years down the track but in the short term I’m not worried.” “The NAB’s view of the U.S. at this stage, is to wait and see but one thing already seems clear. I think the TPP is dead. I didn’t think the Democrats were going to pass the TPP either. “At this stage what we’re really doing is we’re not changing our forecasts much. There’s a long way away to go before you know exactly what’s going to be implemented in the U.S. and who’s going to do it and how much is going to get through,” Oster says.

issue 187 | austcham news


Special Feature

Women in Business Network Leadership Series delivers key insights into Australian boardrooms and business - Ingrid Piper


wo of Australia’s most dynamic and distinguished company directors, Elizabeth Proust and Nicola Wakefield Evans shared their experience and insights at a recent AustCham Hong Kong and Macau’s Women in Business Network event. With this dynamic duo’s wealth of knowledge and breadth of understanding about doing business in this region, topics covered during the event spanned Australia’s business environment, the demands and opportunities facing boards, as well as practical advice for women executives planning to make the move to boardrooms. Both women are key contributors to Australian and global business interests. Board veteran Elizabeth Proust AO, is Chairman of the Board, Bank of Melbourne, Chairman of the Board, Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and Chairman, Nestle Australia. With a background in equity capital markets and M&A, lawyer Nicola Wakefield Evans is the newest appointee to the AICD board. Her other appointments include Non-Executive Director, Macquarie Group, Non-Executive Director, Lend Lease, NonExecutive Director, Toll Holdings, Non-Executive Director, BUPA Australia and Non-Executive Director, Asialink. From executive to board rooms Proust and Wakefield Evans created illustrious careers with the support of mentors and sponsors. However, they caution women to think carefully before moving from executive to board level. “One of the mistakes young women make in their late 30s and early 40s is wanting to leave executive life, often for flexibility (family) reasons. I think it’s too early. Firstly, because you don’t set yourself up financially, the money’s to be made in professional services and executive life, and secondly, and equality important, is the issue of wisdom. Having had a track record of both success and failure and learning from it, requires people to be in their late 40s and 50s before they have enough life skills and experiences to bring to boards,” Proust says. Wakefield Evens says executive women need to understand that a directorship is not a part time job. “You need to approach it as another career. I see too many executive women leaving roles too early and not getting quality experience under their belts.”

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Thank you to our panel speake

rs and moderator!

She advises executives wanting to step up to boards to be strategic and gain experience with not-for-profit boards or subsidiary boards, if they work within a large organisation. Currently, 23.8 per cent of Australian board members are women (including a 43 per cent rate of appointment this year alone). In the U.K., women make up 26.5 per cent, the U.S. at 17 per cent with Hong Kong at around 11 per cent. Increasing the number of women on boards benefits a company’s bottom line and makes good business sense. Wakefield Evans says companies still need to also take diversity into account to get more women into executive roles. “Women are seen as being more ethical, we’re living lives as nurturers; as mothers, wives, daughters and sisters, attributes that men don’t have,” Wakefield Evans says.

Women are seen as being more ethical, we’re living lives as nurturers; as mothers, wives, daughters and sisters, attributes that men don’t have …

Most Australian businesses are pragmatic enough to know you just have to get on and do what you can…

Moderator: Farhan Faruqui, Group Executive, International for ANZ’s Institutional business in Asia, Europe and America.

It’s a skill that is increasingly in demand particularly with the growing strength of stakeholders and activists demanding that companies be more engaged. “Good companies engage with stakeholders, if you are only just engaging with them, it’s probably too late,” Proust says. Stakeholders today are savvy, ready to challenge and demand change. “Climate change is a the big topic du jour. At this year’s Macquarie AGM, one hour was spent talking about climate change. We were asked about coal assets and what was the board’s strategy. The answer is you have to engage with stakeholders and be very aware that the number of activists is increasing,” Wakefield Evans says. Balancing increasing demands means board members need to be more engaged. Proust for example, routinely visits Nestle factories as a way of gathering knowledge from the ground up. According to Wakefield Evans, another significant issue with Australian companies is that a huge disconnect exists between the expectations of Australian investors and financial media, who demand high returns, and the returns being delivered by companies. This is exacerbated by a trend towards long-term board appointments and short-term management. Wakefield Evans says the average appointment of directors to a board in Australia is 12 years but the average CEO’s term is just 4.5 years, a disconnect that effectively handicaps business growth.

Elizabeth Proust, Chairman of the Board, Bank of Melbourne; Chairman of the Board, Australian Institute of Company Directors and Chairman of Nestle Australia.

Nicola Wakefield Evans, Non-Executive Director of Macquarie Group, Lend Lease, Toll Holdings Limited, BUPA Australia and New Zealand, and Asialink.

Australia’s ready to adapt Given 2016 has been a tumultuous year in Hong Kong, Britain and more recently with the U.S. election, Proust feels Australians are uniquely adaptable to change. “Australians are uniquely qualified to handle uncertainty having had five prime ministers in five years, if you count having Kevin Rudd twice,” she quips. But, she warns there is a real need for government and business to demonstrate that they are listening to the electorate, given the lessons to be learnt from the U.S. election as well as political upheaval resulting from Brexit. Proust says the Federal Government has disappointed Australian business. “We had high expectations and these haven’t been delivered but most businesses are pragmatic enough to know you just have to get on and do what you can,” Proust says. The latest Leadership Series event was hosted by ANZ and expertly moderated by Farhan Faruqui, Group Executive, International for ANZ’s Institutional business in Asia, Europe and America. “One of the Women in Business Network’s committee focus is to showcase leadership and diversity in Australia and Asia. Events like this, are a terrific way to build networks and are a great learning experience. I’d like to thank our Women in Business Network sponsor Ambition, and event partners the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Chief Executive Women and ANZ for supporting this important series,” Fiona Nott, Deputy Chair AustCham Hong Kong and Macau said.

issue 187 | austcham news


Special Feature





Thank you to the sponsor of the Women in Business Network:

Our Event Partners:





AustCham’s Women in Business Network (WIBN) leadership series ‘An insight into Australia’s boardrooms and the path to the C-suite’ had invited two of Australia’s most distinguished and experienced company directors to discuss the challenges and opportunities for women seeking paths to the boardroom. The event was hosted by WIBN, in conjunction with the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Chief Executive Women. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

WIBN member Simone Wheeler welcomes all. WIBN Chair Fiona Nott thanks the panel, moderator and guests. Carli Renzi of ANZ and AustCham Chief Executive Drew Waters. WIBN Chair Fiona Nott, moderator Farhan Faruqui, panel speakers Elizabeth Proust and Nicola Wakefield Evans, Simone Wheeler of CLSA and AustCham Chief Executive Drew Waters. Nicole Denholder of Next Chapter and Karen See of embrace Worldwide. Emma Davine of ANZ and Chris Aukland of Ambition. Elsie Yung of Aseop and Megan Haas of PwC. Matina Papathanasiou of QIC and Michael Ling of CLP Holdings Ltd. Christina Madsen, Marcel Mol of AICD and Cassandra Lister.

10 • austcham news | issue 187


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issue 187 | austcham news

• 11

Hong Kong Focus

The Belt and Road Initiative: Promoting Economic Co-operation


hina’s Belt and Road Initiative is designed to promote economic co-operation both among and beyond the countries and regions along the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. Together, the two routes traverse more than 60 countries and territories spanning from Asia to Europe via Southeast Asia, South Asia, Central Asia, West Asia and the Middle East. With these regions collectively accounting for around 30 per cent of global GDP and more than 30 per cent of the world’s merchandise trade, closer connectivity among the Belt and Road economies offers companies unparalleled opportunities. According to McKinsey’s research report “Bridging Global Infrastructure Gaps” published this June, the infrastructure investment in Belt and Road countries would reach USD28 trillion by 2030, where China alone would take up USD14 trillion, some 30% of the world’s total. The Belt and Road Initiative aims to promote connectivity in infrastructure, enhance trade relations and industrial co-operation, while fostering greater integration in the financial and other sectors among the countries along the Belt and Road. Given the globally dispersed investment projects and trade networks envisioned as part of the Initiative, Hong Kong is well placed to help companies seize these new opportunities and manage any related investment projects and business activities.

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Hong Kong is a ‘key link’ to China’s Belt and Road Initiative Zhang Dejiang, Chairman, China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee

Hong Kong Advantages


ong Kong is a “key link” to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, says Zhang Dejiang, Chairman of China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee.

Knowledgeable, experienced and well-connected, Hong Kong has a unique combination of advantages to partner with investors, intermediaries and project owners worldwide to take advantage of Belt and Road opportunities.

• Proximity to the Chinese mainland Located on the southeast coast of China with easy access to all major mainland cities, Hong Kong is the gateway to the mainland for global businesses, as well as the springboard for mainland enterprises to reach international markets.

• Connectivity to Asia and beyond Hong Kong can reach half the world’s population within a five-hour flight. It is an international logistics hub with world-class infrastructure and one of the world’s busiest and most efficient container ports. As a regional transport and communications hub, Hong Kong has an award-winning international airport and state-of-the-art information and telecommunication networks.

• Synergy Hong Kong’s “super-connector” role with the Chinese mainland mirrors its separate, value-added function as an international financial centre and the two could merge, said Laura Cha, Chairman of the Hong Kong Financial Services Development Council. As Asia’s secondlargest private equity centre, the largest source of foreign direct investment for the Chinese mainland and the world’s second-largest source of foreign direct investment, Hong Kong is also a regional fund and asset management centre, and a one-stop shop for a range of professional services to meet project needs.

• Efficiency and flexibility Hong Kong ranked the world’s freest economy and the fifth-easiest place in the world to do business. It has an efficient business environment supported by a stable and fully convertible currency, the absence of exchange controls, low tax rates and a simple tax structure, and the free flow of information, capital and talents.

• Quality and diversity of services Hong Kong is the world’s most services-oriented economy, with a vibrant capital offering diversified fund raising channels. The city is the global offshore renminbi trade settlement, financing and asset management service centre connecting regions along the Belt and Road. It is experienced in assisting Chinese mainland enterprises, project sponsors, lenders and private equity funds in structuring and financing public-private partnership projects. Hong Kong will play a very positive role in mainland China’s Belt and Road Initiative, says Vincent HS Lo, Chairman of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. He believes the plan “will change the face of the world” – and the fact that Hong Kong is home to many multinational companies, a strong services sector and an established platform for investment will project its “global city” credentials.

• Internationality With its international professional services expertise Hong Kong will play an important role in China’s Belt and Road Initiative says YK Pang, former Chief Executive of Hongkong Land. Hong Kong ranked among the top performers globally in “international experience” and availability of a skilled global workforce. It is home to a large professional services cluster, a preferred base for multinationals, international chambers of commerce, global organisations and media companies, as well as a regional hub for legal services and dispute resolution underpinned by a trusted common law system and an independent judiciary. Source: Hong Kong Trade Development Council

issue 187 | austcham news

• 13

Hong Kong Focus

The Belt and Road Summit 2017 The HKTDC, with 28 of its 46 offices along the Belt and Road, will play a facilitator role for those opportunities related to the Initiative. In 2016, the HKTDC joined forces with the HKSAR Government, as well as the People’s Republic of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Commerce, and the People’s Bank of China to host the inaugural Belt and Road Summit. Building on the overwhelming response to the inaugural Belt and Road Summit, the second edition is scheduled on 11 September 2017. The summit will bring together senior government officials, representatives of international institutions, business leaders and industry experts from countries and regions along and beyond the Belt and Road to exchange their views on multilateral co-operation and to explore business opportunities arising from the Belt and Road Initiative. Date: 11 September 2017 (Monday) Time: 8:30am−6pm Venue: Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1 Expo Drive, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

HKTDC Belt and Road Portal Information Superhighway for the Belt and Road Ready for Belt and Road success? This dedicated Portal with multimedia elements can help you to: • Stay ahead on the Belt and Road with News, Analyses, Case References and Insights from business leaders • Make informed decisions with Profiles of the 60+ Belt and Road economies and the latest information on Investment Projects • Get connected with the right partners with a database of Hong Kong Services Professionals at a glance and Advisory Service provided by leading firms Register now to receive exclusive intelligence and investment project details for free!

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Events Update

EVENTS UPDATE JANUARY AT A GLANCE… Tue, 17 Jan , 6:00pm – 9:00pm Mix at Six Tamarind, 2/F, Sun Hung Kai Centre, 30 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong Fri, 20 Jan, 12:00nn – 2:30pm The AustCham National Australia Bank Australia Day Lunch Ballroom, 5/F, Island Shangri-La Hong Kong, Pacific Place, Supreme Court Road, Hong Kong Thur, 26 Jan, 11:50am – 2:00pm Joint Business Community Luncheon with Chief Executive of HKSAR, The Hon. CY Leung Grand Hall, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre

FEBRUARY AT A GLANCE… Thur, 9 Feb, 12:30pm – 2:00pm Buying property in Australia AustCham Business Centre, 3/F, Lucky Building, 39 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong

Connect with AustCham on social! austchamhk austchamhk austchamhk The Australian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong & Macau (AustCham)



REPRESENT issue 187 | austcham news

• 15

Mentor Programme

A Chat with mentors and protégés James Carlile (Mentee of Class 2016) What was your main reason/purpose for joining the 2016 AustCham Mentorship Programme? A journey of both personal and professional development, taken with a group of like-minded Australians, was the driving factor behind joining the 2016 AustCham Mentorship Programme. The opportunity to be involved in this process with some of Hong Kong's most well-respected leaders and captains of industry only added to the appeal. How frequently are you catching up with your Mentor?   Geoffrey and I have built a solid relationship around our mutual interest in direct-sourced, small batch Australian wine (, The Movember Foundation, and the AustCham Mentorship program itself. These activities have meant that we have been in contact most days, and met in person two or three times a week.  

Geoffrey O’Connell (James’ Mentor) What was your main reason for joining the 2016 AustCham Mentorship Programme? It had been recommended to me and being new to HK was a good way to expand my network…I’d also had a few good mentors during my career and found myself reaching a point now where I’m in a position to ‘give back’ and share my experiences both good and bad…

What have you found most beneficial about being a part of this programme? Having the guidance of Geoffrey and a number of the other mentors has allowed me to take on ambitious projects with confidence and well-founded advice. In the four months that Geoffrey has been directly helping Wine Brothers we have grown sales threefold, become ambassadors and key partners of The Movember Foundation, and expanded from a team of two to a team of four. We now look towards 2017 with an increased level of professionalism in our business process and enthusiasm in our expansion plans, and this is largely due to the work of Geoffrey.

What experience have you had that qualifies you to be a great mentor? I think it’s not so much what you think of yourself but what others think of you…I’m at a stage in my career where I often get asked for advice, given I have a broad business background with experience gained in North America, Europe, and Australasia, inside private, public companies and charities from board/CEO level down I feel I have something to offer… How are you ensuring that the needs/goals of your mentee are reached? James and I meet regularly are in contact several times a week from me checking things are going ok or James asking for feedback and keeping me abreast of a project or issue. What have you enjoyed the most so far being a part of this programme? Being part of a very successful team, enjoying the feedback James has given me and learning a few things myself…it’s been most rewarding experience for me…

16 • austcham news | issue 187

How have you found each event when attended? Each individual session has offered unique opportunities throughout the year-long calendar of events, there has been structured learning that lends itself to both personal and professional development. In addition, the positive movement and enthusiasm behind the program (from both mentors and mentee's) has created a number of valuable relationships.  The end goal once you have completed the programme is...? The success of this program will not be defined at the completion of the scheduled events - the acquired knowledge and relationships formed will continue to pay dividends in the months and years to come. From a business perspective, Geoffrey and I will carry on building momentum and creating cultural change as Wine Brothers converts the value-deprived consumers of Hong Kong to the wonderful world of direct-sourced, small batch Australian wine.

Mentor Programme

Young Executive on Boards


he panel discussed the key issues on facing boardrooms today and how Young Executives can make the transition into Board roles in coming years. Thank you panel experts who joined us on the day: Andrew Tsui, Chairman of AICD and Senior Client Partner at Korn Ferry, Mark Devadason, Senior Advisor Asia at BSR, Andrew Macintosh, Managing Partner at Hong Kong Delta Capita and Deirdre Lander, Director of Willis Towers Watson.




- it’s a loaded word. It means: ‘the action of leading a group of people or an organisation, or the ability to do this’, as well as ‘the state or position of being a leader’. So you can ‘do’ leadership or be appointed in a leadership position, but neither guarantees that people will actually follow you. Individuals recognise and respond to different leaders and leadership qualities depending on their personal experiences, expectations and the broader environment. If you think of a leader - famous or someone who you have worked with - what was it about them that made you see them as a leader? Their vision, how respected they were, or an inspirational speech they gave? Perhaps you recall a leader you were fearful of who provided a safe environment for questions, or someone who was warm, shared credit among colleagues and bought people together. Or was it was a leader who was innovative, with the strength to stand up for their convictions and ideas that had the most lasting impact on you? With leadership can come influence and the ability to influence others to their will is a hallmark of strong leadership. Earning that power takes an emotional connection, - followers need to believe in something bigger than their individual efforts and contribute their efforts to deliver on the leader’s vision. An authentic leader - someone who resonates with people and has a seemingly innate leadership ability will usually garner more support and have more impact than someone

Andrew Tsui, Mark Devadason, Moderator Alex Oxford, Deirdre Lander and Andrew Macintosh.




who is considered a ‘responsible leader’ - focused on the triple bottom line and making the hard decisions for the good of the whole. In today’s multi-generational workplace, the traditional pathway to a leadership position - ‘earning your stripes’ - is being eroded. Opinion leaders can build large followings through social media networks and exert influence over employees, customers and shareholders. Disruption arising from the application of technologies and the startup culture means that for Millennials, the type of leader they look for and wish to become is very different from that of their Baby Boomer bosses. Gone is the reverence towards tenure and experience climbing the company ladder - people are looking for leaders who will take bold choices and engage with their stakeholders in ways they relate to. Our emerging leaders in the Mentor Programme, they ask their leaders to build trust, share their vision, have courage of their convictions, embrace change and have fun. In our careers, some will seek out leadership, while others will have it thrust upon them. How prepared are you to truly lead? To understand how to inspire, motivate and mobilise people to do what you need them to do? It takes personal examination and consideration of the needs of your team, organisation and society to deliver true leadership - it’s not a title, it’s a state of being. What would make people follow you?

- Stefanie Myers, Mentor of Class 2016

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Committees in Action

Unconscious Bias in Organisations


ustCham People Forum and Women in Business Network held a joint breakfast event in late November called “Seeing the Invisible - Recognising and Addressing the Threats of Unconscious Bias in Organisations”. Scientific research has demonstrated that biases thought to be absent or extinguished remain as "mental residue" in most of us, with a growing number of studies showing a link between hidden biases and actual behaviour. Our unconscious bias is our blueprint throughout life - we ALL have some degree of bias, no matter how open minded we think we are. The problem with Unconscious Bias is that unconsciously, we divide everything into the world of “US” and the world of “THEM”, distancing others that are different from us, just because they fit into a certain category that exists only in our minds. The speakers addressed the impact subconscious decisions make on workplace culture, productivity and engagement, as well as describing the initiatives their organisations have taken to create unbiased, inclusive workplaces for their employees and clients. The panel consisted of: Joanna Chin, Executive Coach & Facilitator, Principal of M4W Group. Originally from New Zealand, Joanna began her career as a corporate lawyer over 20 years ago working principally in M&A. She retrained as a coach and has facilitated leadership programs as well as coached senior executives in Asia, Europe and the United

States. Joanna Chin spoke of her experiences starting up as one of the first Asian female lawyers in New Zealand. Robert Ronneberger, Associate, Corporate Strategy & Development, BlackRock. Robert, CFA, is responsible for defining corporate-level strategic priorities and is a board member on the advisory council of the Hong Kong LGBT Interbank Forum.” Ronald shared his insights of how he has set up the LGBT network at Blackrock in Hong Kong, influenced leaders and his colleagues to be more inclusive and raised awareness of the LGBT community. Susannah Yule, Head, YSC Hong Kong. Susannah is a Chartered Psychologist and Head of YSC Hong Kong, a global leadership assessment and development firm. She has assessed and coached senior leaders and teams in the Pharmaceutical, Oil and Gas and Financial Services sectors across cultures including South Africa, India, Europe and Asia. Suzannah gave some fascinating insights into how our biases are formed from a brain based, neuroscience perspective. The Moderator was Trish Meecham, Director, Talent and Development at Talent Gap. Trish has 16-years of experience in corporate training and development in Asia, working with multinationals to build and sustain inclusive, high performing corporate cultures. Trish is a recognised champion for inclusion and gender equity and is actively involved with The Womens' Foundation as a past mentor and alumni. The panel discussion was followed by many questions on disability, pregnancy, LGBT, gender, race, personality types and how to engage others in the inclusive leadership and unconscious bias discussion. The session, held at Mayer Brown, was attended by over 40 people. It was sponsored by Ambition, through Women in Business Network.

Guest speakers Susannah Yule, Joanna Chin, Robert Ronneberger, and moderator Trish Meecham.

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If you want to check your own biases on areas such as gender, race, age, weight, please go online to the Harvard Research, Implicit Association Tests (IAT) takeatest.html and take the tests. - Madeleine Price, AustCham People Forum

Construction, Property and Infrastructure Committee: Big Infrastructure and the Real Role of AIIB


he Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a financial institution headquartered in Beijing with an initial investment backing of US$100b from 57 participating countries. Australia is the sixth largest shareholder in the new bank and currently holds a board seat through senior Australian government official, Chris Legg.   The Committee recently hosted a session and invited this AIIB board member and senior Australian government figure to talk on how the AIIB will transform infrastructure investment in Asia.

AustCham Board Director Paul Scroggie, CPI Committee Chair Paul Scott, Guest speaker Chris Legg and CPI Committee Vice-Chair Peter Weiley.


ok Review

During the session, Chris also shared with members update on the establishment of this giant bank, its initial areas of focus, as well as what the AIIB might mean for Australian businesses, the role for Hong Kong and for Hong Kong-based companies may play.

5 books to rock your Christmas


ULES FOR MODERN LIFE by Sir David Tang. The twenty-first century is an age of innumerable social conundrums. Around every corner lies a potential faux pas waiting to happen. In Rules for Modern Life, Sir David Tang delivers a satirical masterclass in navigating the social niceties of modern life. Make sure you read this book before Christmas celebrations start to shine in society! A LIFE WELL PLAYED: MY STORIES by Arnold Palmer. This book is Palmer’s gift to the world – a treasure trove of entertaining anecdotes and timeless wisdom that readers, golfers and non-golfers alike will celebrate and cherish. LIFE ON INSTAGRAM. A must-have for Instagram addicts! Life on Instagram is the first and only annual of its kind. Celebrating everyday moments of beauty, joy and imagination and uniting countless people from all over the globe, this book shows us who we are and how we live. ON READING by Steve McCurry. A celebration of the timeless act of reading - as seen through the lens of one of the world’s most beloved photographers. McCurry’s mesmerizing images of the universal human act of reading are an acknowledgement of and a tribute to - the overwhelming power of the written word. GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS 2017. The world’s best-selling annual is back and bursting with thousands of amazing new records, never-before-seen images, fact-packed infographics and mind-boggling trivia. A great present for curious minds!

Available from Bookazine, issue 187 | austcham news

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Feature Profile

Innovation You Can Bet On F or his innovative and disruptive approach to the hospitality sector, Ovolo Group’s CEO & Founder Girish Jhunjhnuwala was recently awarded the 2016 EY Entrepreneur of the Year (Hong Kong and Macau). The company he established in 2002 has grown to become one of Hong Kong’s largest independent, owner-operator hospitality firms, running five hotels and a service apartment property in Hong Kong, and three Australian hotels across Sydney and Melbourne.

What made you decide to start Ovolo? I started Ovolo because I felt hotels of today had too many short-comings in their offerings. Things like nickel & diming guests for amenities that should be inclusive with a booking for example – you’ve already paid for your room, so why should you fork out extra cash for a bottle of water? I wanted to make the accommodation experience effortless. Everything from the in-room minibar, breakfast, happy hour, selflaundry and even super-speed Wi-Fi, are all free at Ovolo. We didn’t start out with a goal of being disruptive, but to my pleasant surprise, that’s exactly what Ovolo became. Why Australia for your first overseas expansion? When looking at our Hong Kong guest’s profile, we made an amazing discovery – Aussies loved Ovolo! They were making up many our overseas and repeat guests. We also found Australia’s Foreign Direct Investment promotion schemes very attractive. In the end, it was virtually a no-brainer, and a decision we’ve enjoyed every step of the way!

And the role of Hong Kong? I LOVE Hong Kong. It’s where I was born and raised, and will always be home for me at the end of the day. This city has an entrepreneurial spirit you can’t find anywhere else! The speed, vibrancy and cosmopolitan way of thinking is what makes Hong Kong stand out for me. But the greatest part about Hong Kong for me it’s levelled playing field. Have an idea? You can truly make it a reality here! Do you have further expansion plans? We really are just getting started at Ovolo. I often tell my people, we’re still a start-up, and the energy of our office and hotels reflects that. We want to grow more in Australia – there are so many cities in the country perfect for an Ovolo! And from Australia, we want to target Europe and possibly North America. We are hoping to open at least another four or five hotels in Australia over the next two years, and concurrently we will start exploring Europe.

What role has innovation played in your business success? Innovation is the most important thing to a business’ success. What we realised at Ovolo is, when you do things from the customer’s perspective, you don’t realise it’s innovative until it starts to be warmly accepted by customers. Take our approach to music as an example. Ovolo guests love the music played at our hotels – a funky mix of the best of the 80s and 90s. So we wanted them to have access to the tunes 24 hours a day, where ever they were, and so we created our own digital radio station, radiovolo. What does winning EY Entrepreneur of the Year mean to you? If I was an actor, I’d say it’s like winning an Oscar! It’s assured that what we’ve done at Ovolo was right. And that hard work, patience and perseverance really does pay off. As an ethnic minority, winning this award for the Hong Kong / Macau region carries extra significance. And you better believe there’s greater things to come from Ovolo!

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Related links:

Corporate Profile

Griffith Business School, Griffith University 170 Kessels Road, Nathan, QLD 4111

Associate Professor Alan Blackman Director, Work Integrated Learning

Griffith Business School is one Australia’s leading business educators, with degrees spanning Asian studies, government and international relations, tourism, commerce, event and sport management. Griffith Business School delivers outstanding education and research in, and through, strategic engagement with business, government and the social communities that we serve and we strive to do so in ways that contribute to a prosperous, equitable and environmentally sustainable future.  

What’s the most unusual thing you have had to do as part of your job? Work with people from all levels of academia, industry, and government

We aim to develop the next generation of responsible business leaders and professionals who will graduate with the right set of skills for the 21st Century and make meaningful contributions to their chosen professions.

What’s something most people don’t know about your company? Griffith is ranked in the top 3% of universities globally.

What are the main skills of your job? 1. Communication 2. Personal: patience, perseverance, tolerance, a high tolerance for ambiguity, and a dominant internal locus of control 3. Managing expectations.

How would you describe your workplace and colleagues? Collegial, highly intelligent, friendly, persistent, and very busy.

What does your company do really well? Teach, research and build relationships What is the vision of your company in 10 years? It is our vision to advance innovative, socially responsible business practice and scholarship in Australia and our region.

What’s your company’s connection to Australia? Formed and based in Queensland.

What’s your favourite place to go on the week-end? Home.

AustCham Platinum Patrons

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On The Scene













It’s the season of giving! This year, near 150 members and friends joined the Christmas Mix at Yam Cha Central and brought over 100 gifts for The HUB’s kids. 5



1 Emily Trusler of EY and Jeffrey de Varga of Diadem Ltd. 2 Australian Deputy Consul-General Ken Gordon with Luke Mitchell of Varian Medical Systems. 3 Anthony Burling and AustCham Financial, Legal and Tax Committee Vice-Chair Ross Smith. 4 Deborah Biber of Blue Moon, Annie Meyer of Transtar International and Nichola Salmond of Optimal Family Health. 5 Brett Rohrsheim, AustCham Small Business Network Co-Chair Mark Sims and Construction, Property and Infrastructure Committee Chair Paul Scott. 6 Mei Hoong Lai of Affinity and Patrick Liu of EY. 7 Rodney Heng of The Hub HK and Ashley Alcock. 8 John Benito de Valle and Deirdre Lander of Willis Towers Watson. 9 AustCham Deputy Chair Fiona Nott and Board Directors Melanie Nutbeam and Sam Guthrie. 10 AustCham Treasurer Darren Bowdern, Douglas Lecocq of Prudential Corporate Asia and Brett Cooper of Philip Morris Asia. 11 Liz West of Speak and Kate Dunstan of Clifford Chance. 12 Selena Tsang and Lisa Huang of Kroll. 13 Rick Lee and Justin Lam of Colliers International. 14 Andrew Steadson of Madepartners Ltd and Maree Higgins. 15 David Murray and Christopher Cowley of KPMG.

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Every best wishes for the festive season from AustCham We are turning 30 in 2017!

austcham news Issue 187  

The Australian Chamber of Commerce Hong Kong and Macau monthly publication.

austcham news Issue 187  

The Australian Chamber of Commerce Hong Kong and Macau monthly publication.