Issuu on Google+

E x p o r t C o u n c i l o f A u s t r a l i a | w w w. e x p o r t . o r g . a u | S P R I N G 2 0 1 5



Expanding your Business? We can help. Optimizing Operations Accross Borders?

We will be there.

Company Registration & Hosting

People & Local Partners Sourcing & Selection

Payroll & Back-Office Outsourcing

Solutions Delivered in Your Language

Helping Businesses Grow Globally for 20 Years

CONTENTS International Business Today SPRING 2015

Export House Level 2, 22 Pitt Street Sydney NSW 2000 Toll free: 1300 361 526 Phone: 02 8243 7400 E-mail:

FOREWORD Minister’s column


CEO’s report


Editor’s letter


FEATURES Are you ready to be disrupted?


India is the new China


Fax: 02 9251 6492

REGULAR COLUMNS News 6 Published by:

People 14 Spotlight on…Taiwan

Phone: 1800 222 757 Fax: 1800 063 151


Government 30 Staff profiles


Tim’s tips


Calendar and programs


Email: Website:

Sales: Trish Riley Studio manager: Byron Bailey

Courses 40

Design team: Andrew Crabb and Michelle Triana Editor: Jessica McCabe Production controller: Yvonne Okseniuk Printed by: Newstyle

All rights reserved © 2014 ISSN: 2202-2236

DOING BUSINESS Issues to consider when going global


Out of Africa: business opportunities abound


Top ten tips for managing freight costs



No part of this work covered by the publisher’s copyright may be reproduced in any form by any means, graphic, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or information storage and retrieval, without the written permission of the publisher. Any unauthorised use of this publication will result in immediate legal proceedings.

Delivering local medical expertise globally


A household name in sailing


Publisher’s Note: Although every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information contained within this publication, neither the publishers, authors nor their employers can be held liable for any inaccuracies, errors or omissions. Readers are strongly advised to contact their professional advisor before entering into any contract to buy or sell any security.

PLACES The Philippines: a young and fast growing country


Postcard from… Manila






Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb n the last edition of International Business Today, I highlighted the need to provide information to firms on how to make the best use of our recently concluded trade agreements with Japan and Korea.

Information sessions organised by Austrade and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade continue to be held throughout the country. I encourage company representatives to attend these events in their local region. In June, China’s Minister for Commerce, Gao Hucheng and I were signatories to another historic agreement, the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA). All indications are that it will enter into force by the end of the year. This agreement will have a transformative effect and will result in greater economic growth through expanded access to a large and fast growing consumer market as well as assisting innovation and competiveness. It also affords unprecedented levels of access to China for a wide range of Australian services, in areas including aged care, hospitality, financial and legal services. ChAFTA will create thousands of jobs in Australia and add around $17 billion to our economy over the years ahead and support higher living standards. The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement will also bring substantial benefit to our economy.This is a trade agreement that takes in 12 nations and almost 40 per cent of the world’s GDP. Along with these agreements, I am also giving high priority to progressing what we are calling the Australia-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA). During my visit to India in June, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and I reaffirmed our commitment to concluding CECA this year. The results of the recent Australia’s International Business Survey 2015 (AIBS) coordinated by Austrade, Efic and the Export Council of Australia have just been released. We know from this survey that business believe a free trade agreement with India should be a priority. However, we also know that ease of doing business in that market was perceived by a majority of respondents to be significantly harder than Australia. 2 |


And this is one of the reasons why an agreement is so important. The benefits to our business community are substantial. In 2013-14, total trade in goods and services with India was just under $15 billion. This amount pales against our other major trading partners such as China and is something we need to remedy. India needs the high quality products and services Australia can supply. For instance, there is a real opportunity for our firms to find new growth opportunities by participating in the value chains of India’s expanding multinationals. Health and medical, vocational skills training and agribusiness sectors such as dairy management are all potential areas for collaboration. In turn, there is great scope for increased Indian investment in some of our key industry sectors including resources and energy, agribusiness, tourism infrastructure, advanced manufacturing and information technologies. In January this year I led the biggest ever Australian trade mission to India. Over 450 business leaders joined me at Australia Week in India, a comprehensive program of business meetings and events held in eight cities. The reception we received from our Indian hosts and the real business that has been generated from the mission in the months following are proof the opportunities for collaboration are there. But it will require continued effort to establish relationships and an environment conducive to getting on with business. Like any partnership or business relationship, it requires trust. As our companies undertaking international business know, establish trust and the business will follow. Our efforts to reach a comprehensive trade agreement with India are very much aimed at establishing this trust and providing the right environment for business to flourish. This will lead to increased growth and prosperity for both our nations for decades to come. More information on timings of events for business is available from:


WE’VE GOT YOUR BACK. Exporters with the right intellectual property advice are more likely to succeed. Talk to AJ Park today. Coffee’s on us.

Joe Seisdedos 02 9235 7631



rade is a key driver of jobs, innovation and long-term prosperity for Australia. So increasing trade and investment is absolutely crucial to unlocking Australia’s future economic growth.

This is why just over 18 months ago we embarked on a study to examine the exportoriented trade promotion services offered by public agencies in 10 of the world’s largest exporting nations. The Advancing Trade Development report is a study into the international trade programs of 10 of the world’s largest exporting nations. The report highlights programs offered in these countries and the contributions they make to international best practice.

Lisa McAuley

We selected a broad range of countries based on their: • Export prowess. • The strong trade promotion services they offer their local businesses. • The lessons they have for trade promotion organisations (TPOs) in Australia and around the world. While not a complete evaluation of all TPOs, this report does provide a solid foundation for understanding best practice and illustrates that the case for TPOs has never been stronger.

The Advancing Trade Development report has been developed for the benefit of those engaged in any activity related to international business and will be of particular interest to: • Government and industry bodies engaged in providing trade promotion services. • Students undertaking study into international business, commerce or related international trade courses. The ECA also recommends this publication for any business engaged in international business, as it provides: • A useful overview of the type of trade promotion services accessed by your international competitors. • A useful overview of the type of trade promotion services available in overseas markets you might be able to access in addition to the services available here in Australia. Please visit our website for information on how to download the e-publication or purchase the print copy.

4 |


It is imperative that Australia looks at investing in long-term strategies that leverage best practice in trade promotion and create value for Australia. In doing so, Australia will be creating the opportunities that support future growth for the economy and expanding our business connections in the region. The publication features the following case studies: • Singapore: a model state for the discussion of trade promotion activities and the degree to which they can mesh with and serve national economic goals, as well as support successful innovation. • Hong Kong: one of the world’s freest economies. Its TPOs reflect this with their lighthanded touch to trade promotion and strong focus on facilitation. • Taiwan: an integral cog in international supply chains, which offers trade support that is highly focused on market development and business matching. • Germany: home to world-beating exporters and a well-developed trade promotion network offering a breadth and depth of services. • UK: recognises the integral role small businesses play in export success. Its TPOs offer a range of services to support their growth. • United States: one of the world’s most competitive economies and a case study in fostering partnerships to drive export growth. • Canada: its TPOs enjoy close collaboration with businesses, as well as the all-ofgovernment approach taken to trade promotion. • Brazil and Chile: good examples of sector-based approaches to trade promotion, developing targeted international industries where domestic firms may enjoy a competitive advantage. • New Zealand: a very trade-dependent economy with a unique take on capability and international market development.



Alexandra Cain

hina will remain one of Australia’s most important trading partners for the foreseeable future. But there’s another Asian economic powerhouse emerging that is really starting to capture the attentions of local exporters.

  I’m talking about India. This vast, complex and exciting country is undergoing a period of rapid development. There is extensive investment happening at the moment in infrastructure, including in roads, ports and railways networks. Plus, India is looking to the rest of the world for expertise and guidance when it comes to improving its capabilities in areas such as agriculture, hospitality and tourism, among many others. Restrictions of foreign direct investment have also been relaxed. All this bodes well for the many Australian businesses keen to gain a foothold in this market, as you can read about in this issue.   We also explore an important new trend that is shaking up business as we know it. Known as ‘digital disruption’, every industry across the planet is being transformed by emerging business models based on new technologies that allow entire industries to provide their services quicker, cheaper and better.   The recent entrance of Netflix in Australia is one example. Consumers are turning in droves to this business, which allows people to watch entire TV series and movies ad-free, at a time of their choosing. It’s a confronting eventuality for free-to-air and pay TV stations.   But for exporters, the main message from the digital disruption trend is now is the time to consider how new technologies can make their businesses more efficient and competitive on global markets.   In this issue we also profile Glenn Keys, the co-founder of Aspen Medical, a real Australian export success story.   The company provides medical services to some of the most remote and challenging locations in the world. For instance, it delivered services in Africa during the recent Ebola outbreak for both the Australian and US governments.   Another exporter we profile in this issue in Ronstan, one of the leading suppliers of hardware to the boating industry. It’s just another example of how Australian businesses are dominating in such a diverse range of fields internationally.   There are also plenty of articles in our spring edition that deliver practical knowledge for exporters. For instance, Kim Mauch from CargoHound shares tips for keeping freight costs down. And Tea Dietterich has some great advice about trading conditions in Africa. Our resident Airport Economist Tim Harcourt also has the inside running on doing business in China. Enjoy.






he ECA’s new FTA tool is now live. The resource is a website that is designed to help Australian exporters navigate the basics of Australia’s free trade agreements quickly and easily. Exporters can use the tool to search for information either by country or by industry. The site also provides a quick and easy reference to FTAs in general and to doing business overseas. Go to: to find out more.



he US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has recently re-evaluated Australia’s air cargo security arrangements for exports to the US. The TSA has determined that Australia’s current arrangements do not meet US Government security requirements. To meet US requirements, Australia will be obliged to examine 100 per cent of our export cargo at piece-level, if it is carried on a passenger aircraft to the US. The Australian and US Governments have now agreed a strategy for the transition to the new security arrangements. Under this agreement, Australian industry will have until 31 July 2017 to reconfigure their operations to ensure they are meeting the US requirement of 100 per cent piece-level examination.



rade Minister Andrew Robb has confirmed that Australia has applied to join the World Trade Organisation’s Agreement on Government Procurement.

Should the deal go ahead, it would give Australian exporters access to a US$1.7 trillion market to procure government contracts. Signatories to the deal must offer suppliers from other markets that are also signatories the same treatment as local companies bidding for government contracts. The move further liberalises trade between global nations. So far 43 countries have signed up to the deal, with negotiations presently continuing with New Zealand, Montenegro and China.




rogress is being made on a mutually-beneficial Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement between Australia and India, with Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb making his third visit to India in 2015 in June. It is hoped the agreement will be finalised by the end of the year.

6 |


t time of writing, the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement was still under negotiation, after a series of high level meetings between the 12 nations involved in the deal, including Australia.   A key step forward was US Senate approval of the legislation, which was required to move the deal forward.   There have been several subsequent meetings to bed down the details of the agreement.   Should the deal go ahead, it will cover 40 per cent of the global economy and raise the value of annual international trade by at least US$300 billion.




he trade finance organisation Efic’s review of the global trading environment, World Risk Developments June 2015, has recently been released, highlighting key concerns, and also improvements, in some of the world’s less stable political environments.



he ground breaking free trade agreement (FTA) between China and Australia was officially signed in June and it is hoped that it will enter into force by the end of the year. The agreement is great news for a range of sectors. • Tariffs will be progressively abolished on Australian dairy, beef, sheep and horticultural products sold to China. • Tariffs will be immediately eliminated on aluminium oxide sold to China, as well as coking coal, with tariffs removed over a two-year period on thermal coal. • Tariffs are also being removed on products such as pharmaceutical goods and car engines. Australian trade to China in 2013/2014 was worth $160 billion, making it our largest trading partner. As a result of the agreement, 85 per cent of goods exported to China will have tariffs immediately removed, with this figure rising to 95 per cent when the agreement is in full force. To get an idea of the benefit this agreement will bring to Australian exporters, as a result of the recent FTAs signed with Korea and Japan, there has been a 26 per cent and 86 per cent respective increase in exports of frozen beef prime cuts to these markets. It’s hoped similar figures will be achieved across a range of Australian exports to China as a result of the agreement.

• The Justice and Development Party won the general election in Turkey, but lost its majority in parliament. Although the development could increase political instability in the near term, it’s likely to increase the robustness of the Turkish political system in the longerterm, making it more contestable. • In India, Prime Minister Modi continues to progress his reform agenda to liberalise labour flexibility, improve infrastructure and reduce red tape. For example, he has introduced an online system to help speed up government approvals. But progress has been slow given many reforms require the support of state governments and the judiciary. Modi is also introducing a system to rank state governments in terms of their openness to doing business, to increase competition between them. • Russia is facing a global backlash as fighting continues between Russian-backed separatists and Ukrainian forces. Further trade sanctions were raised at the recent G7 meeting as a result.



argaret Adamson has been named as Australia’s next High Commissioner to Pakistan, replacing Peter Heyward, who Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop thanked in a statement for his work in the sub-continental nation.  Pakistan and Australia are working together to grow trade and investment between the two nations in the areas of agriculture and agribusiness, water technologies, mining services and education. Previously Adamson held posts as the Ambassador to both Poland and Cambodia, most recently holding the position of Deputy High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea.




Are you ready to be

Alexandra Cain We’ve seen Uber transform the taxi sector, AirBnB challenge hotels and Netflix confront the entertainment market. If it hasn’t already been turned on its head, it’s likely your industry is next.


very single industry is being metamorphosed by new digital technologies that are altering forever the way business is conducted. But, while the digital disruption trend is certainly producing challenges for many businesses, exporters should also view it as an incredible opportunity. Mark Zawacki, founder of Silicone Valley firm 650 Labs, which helps established businesses become more innovative, says even industries one might assume are impervious to this trend such as mining and manufacturing are affected. “Non-traditional competitors are entering every sector…disrupters are challenging traditional assumptions of being in 8 |


business. That’s where they are able to apply their magic,” he says. For instance, it used to be standard practice to go to the counter on arrival at the airport when you wanted to rent a hire car in a new city. Now, it’s possible to rent a car or use a car sharing service in any suburb, booking everything online and activating the car using a code sent to a mobile device. “So now we’re seeing attributes that were once a business’s strengths become a weakness,” he explains. Applying this to the car analogy, it can be argued that maintaining expensive, staffed desks at airports is now a drawback, compared to car sharing businesses that

don’t require much labour and that don’t have to pay rent at multiple locations around the world. All they really need is a great web site and a vehicle fleet, which allows them to offer their services much cheaper than the established players in the market. “Business models in some sectors are decades old and what we’re seeing is start-ups coming in and showing a completely different way of doing business,” says Zawacki. A good example is 99designs, an Australian outfit that allows customers to cheaply crowdsource simple designs like logos for a fraction of the price a regular design business would charge. The company is a huge success and has clients around the world.

Making sense So what’s the significance of this for local exporters? One of the most important things to understand is that the pace of technological change is only going to increase. For instance, Zawacki points to Moore’s Law, which states that computing power doubles every two years. So technological innovation is only going to increase. The other thing to understand is that it’s never been cheaper or simpler to start a start-up. So if your business model has yet to be challenged, chances are it will be and it’s important to be ready for this – or be among the disruptive forces in your sector.

off protecting the business and think about how to grow it into the global supply chain. “You need to understand your customers and the value you offer them; many businesses don’t know their customer well enough and are only trying to solve a very narrow problem for them, rather than seeing the customer as a broader entity,” he says. Taking this approach allows exporters to view their business differently and find opportunities they may otherwise not have been able to address.

Pioneering disruption Australian exporters, however, have to recognise our market has relatively high labour costs, and we are far away from many of the major global markets. So it’s important to work out ways to be more cost competitive in the new digital world. “It’s really important to understand all the levers you need to pull to be globally competitive,” he says. Of course, not every business needs to compete on price: firms that focus on delivering a quality product won’t feel as much price pressure as those that do compete on this basis. But even if you’re not competing on price it is necessary to challenge all the underlying assumptions of the business and work out how you can be doing things better.

Getting started Sam Bucolo, professor of design innovation at the University of Technology, Sydney, says one of the best ways to get started is to make global connections. “Too many businesses have too much of a domestic focus. If you’re not yet globally connected, you’re on the back foot. It’s important to invest in this now,” he says. Bucolo’s other advice is to start getting very close to the customer base, especially to customers in other markets. Because becoming digitally connected to them is one of the best ways to develop export markets. “It’s important to take the focus

Freelancer’s chief technology officer Darren Williams is someone who understands disruption given the enterprise is a disruption pioneer. It connects people looking for freelancers with a worldwide network of people who want to meet that need. Many of its members are based in lowcost countries such as those in Eastern Europe and India. Businesses right around the world use the service to find low-cost solutions to business requirements. Williams says services such as those offered by Freelancer are part of the solution for exporters who want to address the digital disruption challenge. “We connect people in Australia to the developing world and to freelancers in the developed world. We help exporters access efficiencies they otherwise would not be able to,” he says. People use the site to find a range of skills. Many businesses use Freelancer to get access to tech talent – but you can also find quantum physicists, industrial designers and architects. It’s these sorts of services that exporters need to access to build global connections and also improve efficiencies.

the process of cannibalising their market because if they don’t someone else will,” Zawacki says. His advice to local exporters is not to delay this activity. “The biggest challenges are also the biggest opportunities so don’t view disruption as a negative. If you already have a brand and customers you’re at an advantage. The worst thing you can do is postpone working on your future.”

CARGOHOUND: A NEW FORCE IN FREIGHT FORWARDING One local business that is on the cusp of disruption in exporting and importing is CargoHound. Founder and CEO Ian Smith explains the firm is an online portal that connects businesses that require freight forwarding with firms that offer this service. “We aim to connect exporters with reliable service providers that fit their specific requirements and budget. This is not about driving prices down, it’s about giving exporters greater choice and more buying power,” he explains. Small businesses receive multiple quotes for a job, rather than having to individually ring a number of different firms to get a quote. They are able to compare quotes based on price, rating by other customers and transit time. “We’re trying to standardise the process; it’s about increasing competition and transparency. We’re not competing with freight forwarders, we just want to increase efficiencies in the industry and present them with clients they otherwise wouldn’t have,” he adds.

“Businesses need to be flexible about their future. Don’t focus on narrow opportunities. Most businesses are going to have to start INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TODAY – SPRING 2015 |


Enterprising Communications specialises in helping Australian companies succeed in the Indian market. We help you to: ■ Understand the Indian business culture ■ Prepare for trade shows, site visits and client meetings ■ Market your product /service to the Indian market


your international freight costs

Looking to do business in India?

Subscribe to our newsletter India Market Insights on our website Contact us today Telephone: 02 8757 3523

10 |



India is the new China Alexandra Cain





hen 450 Australian businesses formed a trade mission to India in February 2015 it sent a clear message that there is a groundswell of interest among local firms to find out more about how to do business in this diverse and fascinating country.

Some states, for instance Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan, have progressive chief ministers (our equivalent of premiers) and are focusing on labour reforms, building infrastructure and offer attractive incentives for businesses.

There’s a huge opportunity for Aussie exporters in this market, but it’s important to understand that doing business there is very different to the way commerce operates here.

Anything’s possible

“Also attend networking events hosted by the Export Council, Austrade and the Indian Chamber of Commerce. It’s really critical to invest time understanding the market,” she says.

Points of difference

Nicola Watkinson, Austrade’s senior trade and investment commissioner, South Asia, says the secret to understanding India is that it’s not just one market – it’s really a set of regionalised markets with their own nuances and points of difference. “If you’re a mining or resources business you might focus on Kolkata because most big companies have their headquarters there. IT is centred in Balgalore and Hyderabad, whereas finance and entertainment is in Mumbai,” she explains. Watkinson explains that there are three categories of opportunities for Australian businesses that want to do business in India. The first is helping India to build its capacity in areas such as freight and rail. The second is helping India grow its capabilities. “The average Indian cow produces five litres of milk a day, whereas the average Australian cow produces 25 litres a day. So it’s not so much about selling milk to India as it is about bringing in technology,” she adds. Watkinson notes the opportunities for Australian business in this regard are boundless. India is looking for assistance to develop better genetics in primary industries, nutrition and animal husbandry, among other skills. There’s even potential for Aussie businesses to help Indian businesses develop sustainable fisheries, and in training police and medical staff. The third opportunity is helping India move to a more consumerist society by contributing know-how to sectors including tourism, retail and hospitality. 12 |


There is extensive potential for local businesses to gain traction in the Indian market. But before a business can start operating in India it’s important to develop a good understanding of the market. Joan Dharamdas is principal of Enterprising Communications, a communication and marketing consultancy that specialises in the Indian market. She says doing research is vital to develop knowledge of India. “India’s cultural and religious sensitivities can greatly impact how a product or service is perceived, if it’s culturally accepted and ultimately if it succeeds,” she says. So it’s important to develop a strong understanding of the market and also become aware of the various market entry strategies available and the rules around foreign direct investment. Says Dharamdas: “Market research into who potential customers might be and where they are located is also important.” After this initial research making a trip to India is vital. “Regular visits are essential to make contacts and develop relationships with potential suppliers, distributors or partners,” she says. Attending industry-specific trade shows is also useful to gather market intelligence about similar products or services that exist and businesses already servicing the market. “Organisations will find that there is a trade show or exhibition in India for nearly every sector,” Dharamdas says. Vineet Aggarwal founder and managing director of business advisers Cerule Consulting says her advice to gain an appreciation of the Indian market is to talk to other businesses that are already doing business in India.

It’s important to appreciate there are many differences between the Australian and Indian ways of doing business “Indians like to develop a solid foundation of a personal relationship before they decide to do business with you. They will rarely if ever get straight into discussing business. Indians seek to establish the relationship through socialising with business associates and even inviting them to one’s home,” says Dharamdas. She explains this process cannot be rushed. “Australian organisations will do well to take the time and effort to establish trust and rapport with their Indian counterparts to have a greater chance of a long lasting and fulfilling business relationship.” According to Dharamdas, decision making in Indian organisations is usually centralised at the top, with many having an hierarchical management structure with clearly defined lines of authority. “The seniority of one’s position within the organisation, age and education are all factors that command respect and deference. Australian companies need to be mindful that even if they are dealing with a subject matter expert or the head of a company division, that top management will be consulted before any deal is finalised.” She explains that negotiations can be protracted as Indians see the process as a natural and necessary part of doing business. “Indians are astute negotiators who are skilled at the give and take of bargaining. The key here is to be patient, stay in the game, and focus on mutually beneficial outcomes, as this is more likely to lead to agreement.” Some other distinctions, says Aggarwal, include a predilection for multi-tasking – even

Unemployment is relatively low at 4.9 per cent and India’s share markets are riding high. Plus, people in cities are

Which is certainly good news for Austalian exporters.



Says Dharamdas: “Programs and policies to encourage foreign investment are propelling economic growth, helping to grow manufacturing, increase investment in infrastructure and digital technology and improve quality of life and standards of living.”

“Changes in the taxation system to introduce the GST and the removal of excise duties and other taxes will reduce complexity and make business transactions more uniform across the country. The government is also streamlining its processes, reducing bureaucratic layers and cutting red tape to make it easier to do business. The mood is optimistic and upbeat which is reflected in strong business and consumer confidence,” says Dharamdas.


India’s economy is on a high growth trajectory. According to the World Bank’s figures, it’s currently growing at a rate of 7.3 per cent and is predicted to accelerate to 8 per cent within two years.



Economic climate

becoming more affluent and increasing their spending on discretionary items. McKinsey estimates that discretionary spending is expected to reach 70 per cent of household income by 2025.



in meetings. “Meetings also rarely start on time, so it’s important to be flexible.”


INDIA FAST FACTS • Economic growth 7.3 per cent, rising to 8 per cent in two years. • Low unemployment at 4.9 per cent. • Discretionary spending to reach 70 per cent of household income in 10 years. “Indians like to develop a solid foundation of a personal relationship before they decide to do business with you.” INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TODAY – SPRING 2015 |



A registered training organisation, RedR Australia provides internationally-recognised training in Australia and overseas. Courses include humanitarian practice, safety, security and communication, logistics, protection, information management and negotiations.

THE DIPLOMATIC ADVANTAGE Leveraging international business leadership and commercial diplomacy to put Australia’s people and skills at the forefront of international emergency response. Kirsten Sayers, CEO, RedR Australia


y career started as a lawyer specialising in Asian laws. But I was soon recruited to government to inject greater private sector insights and commercial acumen, as well as Asian legal, business and language skills, into the primary commercial advocacy arm of the Australian government. I subsequently worked in senior diplomatic positions. For instance I was Australia’s trade commissioner to Taipei and Bangkok, and senior trade commissioner to Paris. My most recent diplomatic appointments were as Australia’s senior trade and investment commissioner to Singapore and investment commissioner to ASEAN. Since 2013 I have been the CEO of RedR Australia, a leading humanitarian agency for international emergency relief. RedR Australia is the only United Nations Standby Partner in the Asia Pacific, and part of the United Nations Standby Partnership Program based in Geneva. We provide surge support to UN agencies and front-line organisations in times of disaster. This year we’ve deployed more than 120 people to UN agencies as ‘experts on mission’. 14 |


My role as CEO is to build a bridge between the UN, government, business and international humanitarian responders. RedR Australia is better known in Geneva, London or New York than in Australia, but has a very strong heritage in the Australian engineering community, which founded it. The Australian and UK governments provide substantial funding to RedR Australia, and corporate partners and supporters also play an important role.

“I’m constantly inspired by the willingness of Australians to support people around the world during times of crisis.” Since I started in the role two years ago we have responded to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, the Syrian refugee crisis, Ebola in West Africa, Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu and now the earthquake in Nepal, to name a few disasters to which we have responded. More recently, we proactively positioned six experts on mission with UN agencies in the Pacific prior to the last cyclone season. When disaster struck Vanuatu in the form of Cyclone Pam we were already on the ground with functioning networks to make a difference.

Lessons learned As a diplomat, living and working in Asia, Europe and Australia, what I’ve learned is the power of relationships and the value of insights that can only come from such relationships. The government badge can translate into access and influence, to the benefit of individual companies as well as the collective value for Australia, whether in terms of the aggregate of trade and investment outcomes, or policy settings to enhance access and terms of trade.

The importance of communication, language and a smile, and the ability to navigate other cultures are other lessons I have learned. Knowing even a little about local languages and history and culture engenders respect. It also provides a richer understanding of value systems and how and why decisions are made and, in turn, how to negotiate more effectively for sustainable win-win outcomes.

Putting women on the agenda In 2009, I was Australia’s chief negotiator and delegation head to the APEC Women Leaders’ Network in Singapore, which fit with my role in Australia’s Women in Global Business program. The APEC Trade Ministers undertook to promote more inclusive growth, where the benefits of free trade and investment would be shared more broadly.

HOW LOCAL BUSINESSES CAN PLAY A ROLE There are many ways businesses can contribute. They can partner with organisations like RedR Australia and provide money, in-kind support or technical expertise. They can release their staff to provide specialist skills and expertise to an international crisis response. They could be civil engineers, water sanitation and hygiene specialists, or logisticians who coordinate the movement of food or medical aid across countries, as well as communication, genderbased violence, protection or IT specialists. Companies can derive a range of benefits from participating in RedR’s training programs. In the end, it all contributes to Australia’s collective capacity, competencies and preparedness.

My role, on Australia’s behalf, was to ensure this agenda included the perspectives and realities of the region’s women. During that time I delivered a keynote address, a call to action for women in business. Only by collective and individual action will women have a greater influence on the debates occurring within APEC and over the economic development and social transformation of APEC economies. This was similar to my work to help develop a strategic partnership framework in the Pacific. The purpose of this framework was to enhance private sector development through sustainable trade and investment by Pacific countries, complementing Australia’s international aid program.

Australia’s role Working in international business is rewarding because of the ability to open pathways to new markets and supply chains for Australian companies. Trade is a pathway to elevating communities out of poverty and building sustainable economies. Importantly, Australia has great resources, which can be leveraged to help our neighbours in ways that can materially assist the prosperity and security of the entire region. We have a competitive advantage in terms of our people and skills, geographic position, resources and influence as a middle power. And as a trusted neighbour, we’re an important source of ideas and innovation in the region.

KIRSTEN’S TOP TIPS 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Know thy self: know your strengths and weaknesses. Leverage and maintain your points of differentiation. Nurture relationships. Learn from mistakes. Do what you do well and don’t fuss. ‘Phone a friend’ – don’t try and do it all alone. There are plenty of others and resources to help, and clustering capability through collaboration often creates a more valuable, competitive and differentiated value proposition.





paddock to plate Richard Rains

Meet the man who pioneered Australian sales of beef into Korea. largest export market, which it remains today. In 1976 I joined the smaller international meat trading company Sanger Australia. I continued selling beef to Korean for Sanger, visiting the market monthly to participate in government tenders. While I was at the helm of Sanger, the business grew from revenue of $50 million a year to a business with revenue of $500 million a year. This was a reality that I could never have dreamt of when I was a kid collecting ‘dead wool’ or packing up newspapers to sell to the local butcher for pocket money and chasing rabbits in my spare time.

Significant achievements


grew up on a mixed farm at Dunedoo in the central west of NSW. As the youngest of a family of four I was told on completion of my final exam there was no room on the family farm for yet another mouth to feed. I will never forget my father’s advice, that I should try to develop a career ‘off farm’, but if that failed, there was always the option to return to the farm. That gave me great confidence to go on and have a go, as I always knew the safety net was there if needed.

Selling that first consignment of beef to Korea will stay in my memory for a long time. That was in the days of telex machines – faxes hadn’t been thought of, let alone emails – and the Australian dollar was fixed to the US dollar.

I gained a cadetship with Dalgety, a British wool company eventually acquired by Landmark, and by chance, ended up in its beef export division. It was a perfect fit for a boy from the bush.

Another achievement of which I remain proud was the sale to McDonald’s North America of the first imported meat they ever used. It was a process that took some 15 years and was as a result of tenacity. But importantly, it was also due to developing a relationship with someone who believed in what I was trying to achieve. Other burger chains in the US were using imported beef and getting significant benefits from it, yet McDonald’s was proud of its ‘all American burger’.

In 1974 I was successful in selling the first beef to Korea that Australia ever exported there. It was 500 tonnes of frozen bone in quarter beef from the Newcastle abattoir. The buyer was the Korean government and the market went on to become Australia’s third

McDonald’s is the largest user of protein in the world so it had significant potential if I could crack the nut. I eventually befriended Rick Landis who was then vice president of beef procurement for Keystone Foods, the largest suppliers of protein to McDonald’s globally.

16 |


Richard Rain’s top lessons for exporters • One of the very important lessons I learned was to be upfront and honest with people. • Include the banks in the business. They have a financial interest to ensure my business succeeds so they can at least get their money back or, better still, lend the business more. I only ever saw ‘my’ business but my banker was seeing multiple businesses every day so I would try and learn from my banker about what others were doing better than me. I would tell them everything about my business so they had confidence we knew what we were doing and so our business was always extremely well funded as a result. • Thirdly surround yourself with a great team, preferably smarter than you are.

Rick was the one who convinced McDonald’s Chicago it had to include imported beef in the mix and so after sending several hundred containers as trial shipments, we finally received approval and McDonald’s became Australia’s largest beef customer.

Steps to success The most important thing for me with export was that I was always in control of the money. If you sell to a local butcher or restaurateur, you wave goodbye to the meat and hope you will be paid in 20 or 30 days, but have no security. With export, I held the documents until the meat had been paid for, so the bank had confidence of receiving payment. Even if the customer didn’t pay, you still held control of the meat.

Future focus As the highest cost processor in the world Australia must produce a product that attracts a significant premium for which the consumer is prepared to pay. Look at Germany as an example. It too is a very high cost producer of lots of things from electronics to motor cars. But it has such a high name for quality consumers around the world are prepared to pay the higher price for that quality. We need to do the same with Aussie beef. We have a good reputation as a producer of a high-quality, disease-free product and that must be maintained and further built on. Being named as an Export Hero by Export Council of Australia was a nice recognition, and the icing on the cake for a blessed career in an amazing industry. I would do it all again tomorrow.

My team also gave me great joy. I employed all my key people as graduates, straight out of university. My graduates are all still in the business today, most with equity. INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TODAY – SPRING 2015 |



The Philippines: a young and fast growing country In 2016 Australia and the Philippines will mark seventy years of diplomatic relations. This is an exciting moment in the bilateral relationship, with growth prospects strong and the business environment improving. Now is a good time to be doing business in the Philippines. Matthew Proft, Austrade trade commissioner for the Philippines and Micronesia


ustralia and the Philippines have a strong trading relationship, with two-way trade now reaching more than $4.14 billion each year.

Like any nation, there are challenges doing business in the Philippines but also enormous potential. Consumer spending, the demand for new infrastructure and the need for education and training underpin these opportunities. Australian businesses have a great chance to partner in this market, with more than 200 companies already having a Filipino presence. Philippine companies have shown renewed interested in Australia, with more than $1 billion in new investments last year. There is a wide range of well-established sectors in the economy, with the fastest growing among them the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector. In the last 10 years, BPO-related exports have grown from less than USD$1 billion to approximately US$14 billion in 2014.

What’s driving economic growth? A number of underlying factors are driving the economy. The country is an exporter of labour, with more than 13 million people living and working overseas, including more than 220,000 in 18 |


Australia. The flow of remittances into the economy each year is approximately USD$25 billion, accounting for 8.5 per cent of GDP in 2014. This is one of the key reasons consumer spending is approximately 70 per cent of GDP growth. The civil and infrastructure construction sector is an important area of opportunity, fuelled by a buoyant real-estate market and a significant pipeline of public private partnership-supported infrastructure projects. The government has an infrastructure spending target of five per cent of GDP by 2016, which should further propel the pace of development. The consumer sector is driving construction, with the shopping mall giant SM expects to open another 20 malls over the next five years. Filipinos have a strong appetite for international brands and cuisines. Uniqlo, H&M, Sephora, Crate and Barrel, Topshop and Cotton On have all entered the market in recent years; the consumer is looking for good value international brands. The Filipino consumer also wants healthy eating options and there is a coordinated campaign between Austrade, the Victorian government, Horticulture Australia and the Australian Table Grape Association to brand Australian citrus, stone fruits and grapes in

local supermarkets under the ‘Australia, now in season’ tag line. A wide-reaching social media campaign, point of sale promotions and targeted sampling recently drove record sales of Australian table oranges in this market, to an audience unfamiliar with Australian fresh fruits. Australian engineering consulting companies have been long-term participants in the Philippines, with SMEC, GHD, Aurecon, Coffey, and Cardno all having sizable local teams. They service the market and also provide support to their affiliates around the world. The education connection is one of the brightest links between Australia and the Philippines. In 2014 a record 6,000-plus Filipino students started studying in Australia and the first Australian scholars, as part of the New Colombo Plan, have commenced education in the Philippines. Importantly we are seeing a growing number of partnerships and transnational delivery of Australian education, with more the 30 agreements in place providing skills training, certificates, degrees and MBAs as well as research collaboration. Given the population has a median age of 22.2, there is an acute demand for skills and student places that will continue to drive opportunities for Australian education providers.

Addressing challenges Like many other rapidly developing countries in the region, there are challenges in the Philippines. Australian enterprises doing business in the Philippines face operational risks from corruption and bureaucracy, especially at the local government level. Speed of approvals, poor and unreliable infrastructure and logistics and an overburdened judiciary and comparatively less stringent law enforcement are also issues. These challenges increase operating risk, however many Australian companies are successfully conducting business despite these problems.

The fast growing population is creating pressure on infrastructure and affordable housing. But the current administration has a significant pipeline of projects to begin addressing some of these challenges. But, with national elections due in May 2016 there is concern about the ability of the administration to implement the infrastructure pipeline, coupled with anxiety over the possible approach of the next administration. Despite this, now is the time to consider doing business in the Philippines. Strong growth, proximity to key Asian markets, a cost-effective labour force and strong consumer demand are key attributes. There are some challenges ahead, but given the country’s demographics, this is a great time for Australian companies to do business in the Philippines. As the tourist promotion says, ‘It’s more fun in the Philippines!’. The same could also be said of the business opportunity.

ALL ABOUT THE PHILIPPINES • Population of 100 million with more than 23 million concentrated in the metro Manila area. • A country of more than 7,000 islands of which only 1000 are inhabited. • A predominately observant Christian country. • More than 35 per cent of the population is under 15 and there is a fertility rate of three, compared to about 1.9 in Australia. • GDP of USD$285 billion in 2014. • Annual economic growth steady at six per cent over the last five years, with low inflation. • Recently achieved an investment grade debt rating.




Postcard from…

Matthew Proft, Austrade trade commissioner for the Philippines and Micronesia

Have you ever been overseas on business and had to take a client out to dinner, only to find you have no clue where to go, let alone what to order when you get there? Maybe you’ve had a few hours to spare and spent it watching BBC in your hotel room instead of seeing the sights because you didn’t know where to go. Each issue we focus on a different city from around the world, bringing you the latest on where to go and what to do. This issue, let’s explore busy and fascinating Manila. Where should you go if you have a few hours to spare in Manila? One of my favourite things to do is enjoy the growers markets that have emerged in Manila over the last few years. On Saturday and Sunday mornings in Salcedo and Legaspi Villages respectively there are very enjoyable local markets, bringing together the best of local produce, artisan foods, handicrafts and a lovely atmosphere. It’s something I do with my family most weekends to find a little souvenir of the city, sample some lovely fresh Filipino cuisine, or just go for a wander. Manila is also beginning to take coffee very seriously, with Toby’s Estate opening its doors here in Manila. There’s also a great batch of indigenous artisanal coffee houses doing cold filter, aeropress and even flat whites. New local players like Yardstick, The Curator or Commune are really bringing a wave of quality coffee and coffee culture to this city.

Any local specialities you can recommend? A dish I am very partial to is sinigang, a quintessentially Filipino meal. It’s a sour soup, with a tamarind basis, which is served with a range possible options including pork, prawns or fish. I recommend it with salmon. It’s a dish that can be found around the country, with variations across the 1000 inhabited islands that make up the Philippines. 20 |


Where do you suggest going if you’re taking a client out? The last few years have seen many great restaurants open in this city, but my favourite is Sala Bistro. It has a great internationallyinspired menu and does a good Australian grass fed beef steak. There is a really professional front of house team that make it conducive to dinners with clients.

Where would you suggest visitors go for nightlife? There is a wide array of nightlife available in Manila and Makati especially, to account for almost any taste. I have a penchant for smaller bars, being a relatively recent arrival. Located just a short walk from the shopping and dining hub of Greenbelt, hidden at the back of a café, with a door marked ‘exit’, is the simply named Exit Bar. Very much speakeasy in style with a well-priced cocktail list and your favourite liquors behind the bar and a quiet little room, it’s very much reflective of the new consumer in this city.

Any other advice for visitors in town for business? Like many fast growing cities in Asia, congestion can be a real issue, so be realistic when planning your day of meetings. During the day five kilometres can take an hour to travel, and at the peak of the wet and dry seasons Manila is not a great city for walking. So plan well ahead, don’t put too many meetings on your schedule and book a car and driver service.





Aspen Medical takes its expertise to the world’s frontline areas of need. Glenn Keys, co-founder and managing director, Aspen Medical around Australia. We recruit and manage work forces that deliver healthcare services to more than 80,000 military personnel at 52 sites across the country, to rural and remote indigenous communities in the Northern Territory through the company’s subsidiary, the Remote Area Health Corps, and to the Western Australian resources sector through the collaborative Western Australia Resources Aero Medical Evacuation initiative.


ounded in 2003, Aspen Medical is one of the leading medical businesses in Australia. We are renowned as an exporter of comprehensive solutions to areas where healthcare is difficult to deliver. For instance, we were first on the ground to provide medical services to the Australian Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI), and also assisted the international peace-keeping force in East Timor. During this time, Aspen Medical personnel provided life-saving surgery to President José Ramos-Horta following an assassination attempt in 2008, a highlight for the business. We are also a key player in the ACT’s burgeoning export industry. In 2013, for the third year running, we were named as the ACT Chief Minister’s Exporter of the Year, with annual healthcare exports amounting to $44 million. We were also awarded the National Exporter of the Year (Health and Biotechnology) Award in the same year. Today, Aspen Medical employs more than 2000 people, mainly clinicians and health professionals, in locations as far-reaching as the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, the US, the UK, Sierra Leone, Liberia and the United Arab Emirates. In one recent initiative, we provided medical training in the Middle East, for more than 10,000 people to support vital healthcare needs in the region. From November 2014 until April 2015, Aspen Medical established and ran an Ebola treatment centre in Sierra Leone on behalf of the federal government, while operating four similar centres for the US government in Liberia. No Aspen Medical employees contracted the Ebola virus despite a 10 per cent infection rate across healthcare workers in West Africa during the outbreak. Aspen Medical also has a strong local presence. From its humble beginnings in the ACT, we have exported the company’s model

22 |


Giving back Our ‘make it happen’ approach and commitment to service have been key factors in our success. A superior team and extensive networks in government and business help support our achievements, allowing us to deliver healthcare services on the front line quickly and professionally. An important motivation is the desire to give back to the community from which we have grown. So we have a commitment to social responsibility and encourage our employees to volunteer and contribute to not-for-profit businesses. We are actively involved in community organisations such as the Special Olympics, Legacy, indigenous rehabilitation programs and Pacific island nation disability support. We believe that business is part of the community and has a responsibility to give back. As such, we invest the profits from Aspen into the Aspen Foundation to tackle entrenched health issues such as scabies and trachoma within indigenous communities. We have also assisted Solomon Islanders to learn medical transport skills, trained nursing assistants and have been one of the first businesses to employ people with disabilities there. My current personal philanthropic passion is Project Independence, a partnership with the ACT government to provide home ownership options for people with an intellectual disability.


Taiwan is an important economic partner for Australia, given it’s our seventh largest merchant export market. At around half the size of Tasmania but with a population of around 23 million – roughly the same as Australia’s – it’s one of the most densely populated nations on earth. Closer ties between Australia and Taiwan are being developed through the Australia-Taiwan Business Council.

Value of major Australian exports to Taiwan (2013-14, $m)

Coal 2,816

Taiwan snapshot (2014 figures) GDP: US$505.5 billion

Fast facts

GDP per capita: US$21,572

Taiwan’s capital is Taipei

GDP growth: 3.5 per cent Population: 23.4 million Trade with Australia: $11.5 billion

Iron ores and concentrates 1,710

Value of major imports from Taiwan (2013-14, $m) Aluminium 466

Medicaments (incl vet) 283

Refined petroleum 534

Telecom equipment and parts 317

Motorcycles and Computers 127 cycles 164






on Allatt and Stan Lenepveu started Ronstan in 1953. The company began its life as a wooden boat builder and diversified into manufacturing the hardware used on those boats. But in the early 1960s the business stopped building boats and concentrated on equipment. The first exports were in the late 1960s to North America. Since then the company has developed export markets in 50 countries, exports 70 per cent of its production and is one of the two or three largest yacht fittings producers in the world.

Alistair Murray, CEO, Ronstan


24 |


Ronstan produces its very broad range of products in three company-owned factories in Melbourne, Denmark and Indonesia. Our market is very competitive, with domestic competition in most countries, and two substantial competitors in the US and UK.

Biggest customer Our largest customer is American retailer West Marine, which has its headquarters in California. In most countries we sell

to exclusive distributor/importers, who in turn sell to retailers, boat builders, riggers, architectural contractors and other customers. We have company-owned distribution in the US and in Denmark. We sell to more affluent and developed markets where sailing is popular, hence the focus on North America and Europe. In recent times there has been a greater realisation Asia is a growing market and represents a major opportunity. Ronstan’s products tend to be high value and compact in nature, and suitable for exporting. Virtually all exports are air freighted, with the freight representing a small proportion of the value of the goods. We face very few barriers to trade, either in Australia or in the countries we export to, although any appreciation of the Aussie dollar affects our business. In simple terms a third of Ronstan’s business is in North America, a third is in Europe and a third is in Australasia. We sell

to other markets such as South Africa, but this is a relatively small part of our business.

Touching base Our website is an important tool and we have become active on social media. It is important to stay with the times and communicate in all ways possible. We need the world talking about who we are and what we are doing. There are some things we may have done differently over the years, but they have tended to be operational rather than strategic. Mistakes cost you time and money. But if you make one you dust yourself off and move forward. In five to ten years’ time I would like to see Ronstan as a household name in sailing families around the world. I hope the company is profitable, growing and presenting exciting challenges and opportunities for everyone in the team.

GAINING WISDOM The three most important lessons we have learnt along the way have been: 1. Relationships are everything. We rely on our customers worldwide to be on our team and passionate about selling our products. For them to reach this level we need to listen to them, visit them and get to know them. 2. Service is king. Many of our European customers say they can get their gear from Ronstan in Australia faster than they can from our European competitors. We do everything in our power to delight our customers. 3. A brand commands a premium. Over many years we have built the Ronstan brand, to where it is one of the most respected and admired brands in sailing. This gives every product we develop a walk up start.




Issues to consider when going global WHAT ARE THE TOP THREE FACTORS EXPORTERS NEED TO CONSIDER WHEN TRADING ABROAD? Tony Nunes, senior client director, Kelly & Partners Chartered Accountants


xpanding abroad can contribute to significant growth and success for a business. But it can also trigger myriad complex commercial, legal and tax issues. Here are three of the main issues businesses need to consider when exporting.

1. Legal structure One of the first and most important steps will be to decide how to structure your offshore operations. The legal structure you choose can have enduring tax and legal consequences, so it is fundamental to get it right. Your legal structure can have a significant impact on the following: • How taxes will be assessed. • How often you need to file tax returns and other paperwork. • How you prepare and maintain your accounting records. • How easily you can repatriate profits. The key is to ensure your choice of structure supports your business activities and objectives, as well as ensure you are able to comply with the relevant legal and tax requirements.

2. Taxation Tax will be a significant consideration for any business expanding overseas. Direct taxes are typically levied on the profits or gains of an entity. When new clients come to us we typically find they have a high effective tax rate, most times it exceeds 65 per cent, that is, for every $100 profit, the owner is paying $65 tax. Also, you will need to be aware of your compliance obligations in relation to the indirect taxation system. Often clients fail to consider cross border transactions will often trigger withholding taxes in respect of certain payments including interest, dividends, rents and royalties. You should consider whether a double taxation agreement exists between Australia and the foreign country, which may provide a reduction or exemption of the amount of withholding tax payable. Your foreign business should be structured in a manner to ensure all taxes are legally minimised on a global level.

3. Staffing You may consider relocating existing employees to the foreign country since they already have a detailed understanding of the 26 |


business and its activities. On the other hand, they may lack local knowledge and can be more expensive to relocate and remunerate compared to local hires. You will also need to obtain an understanding of the obligations your business may have in relation to expatriates and local hires. This should include consideration of the following: • Labour pay and conditions. • Immigration and relocation laws. • Income tax obligations. Businesses today operate in a dynamic and fluid global environment, which can bear many rewards but can also present a variety of business issues and risks that need to be carefully managed. It is thus important to ensure you get professional advice as you navigate your business through the difficult and often complex legal and tax rules.

“The legal structure you choose can have enduring tax and legal consequences, so it is fundamental to get it right.”

Expanding overseas? Already a global firm? Ignorance can be expensive. Now that your business operates cross-border, things get more complicated. There are a myriad of cross-border issues that you need to consider. • What legal and tax factors are important to know when establishing your business in a new jurisdiction. • How do you repatriate profits back to Australia tax effectively? • The impact of how your global operations are funded. • Legal and tax considerations involved in staffing your offshore business. Kelly+Partners has worked with clients to help them navigate all of the key issues involved in going global. We’ve collected the best of our tips for you in 10 Issues To Consider When Going Global. This is available for download from our website:

Get your booklet now

We’ll also tell you the fundamental mistakes that companies make causing many to pay more than 60% of their profits in tax before speaking to us.

Crowther Blayne is an Australian leader in business-to-business online and print publications for a variety of industries worldwide. Crowther Blayne publications provide businesses with the broadest possible audience and target the most relevant decision-makers. By providing a platform of the highest quality, products and services are presented in the best possible light to the marketplace. If you have a specific enquiry about our services, or simply want to get in touch, please contact: Trish Riley | Business Development Manager | P: 1800 222 757 | |






hanks to its natural resources Africa has become an interesting export market for Australian mining companies and investors. However, governance and cultural aspects make it a challenging place to do business. Here’s a snapshot of Africa and some pointers on doing business there.   Africa comprises 54 countries with their own cultures and features, shaped for many by a colonial history. So know where you are heading before entering a market. The way business is done depends on the economic condition of the country. A wealthier country like Gabon will be more selective in its choice of overseas partners than the Central African Republic, which has a more pressing need to attract investors to help its fledgling economy.  The continent is on the threshold of a demographic explosion that will see its population double by 2030. In twenty years the African market will consist of one billion people with a large majority living in big cities. The consequence of this is the emergence of a middle class with sufficient means to afford consumer goods.

Showing respect Wherever you are it pays to heed cross-cultural differences. For instance, patience and trust is essential. In Africa professional relationships are built over time. Becoming impatient is inadvisable, even more so if a contact is surrounded by employees.   It’s important to develop an individual relationship with your contact. Do not hesitate to call them instead of sending emails, and invite them to visit you every time they are in your country. It is also important to take the time to ask about their family and friends.   Make an effort with your dress, even in the most remote regions. This is particularly true in Central Africa. Start by removing the dust from your shoes. This is a mark of respect and a way to establish your own credibility.  

28 |


The new frontier Africa is no longer a vanquished land, but one ripe with opportunity. It offers promising economic growth, both now and in the long-term. Investment, private investment in particular, has never been greater. This is significant enough to meet major needs such as transport and energy infrastructure, without which any true development would be impossible. It’s worth noting the number of junior Australian mining companies present in Africa is increasing.   But what Africa really needs is expertise and technical know-how. It requires trustworthy and reliable partners committed to long-term best practice, not short-term investors looking for a quick buck.   While geopolitical risk should be a consideration, in countries such as Cameroon, Senegal and the Ivory Coast the political environment is beginning to stabilise. This is creating improved macroeconomic and legal frameworks.   However, Africa needs better governance practices. Corruption is widespread, and political power is too personal and subject to influence. It is imperative good practices are extended across the continent so one day Africa emerges as a civil society capable of taking responsibility for its future. Africa is not looking for charity. It is merely hoping to take its rightful place in the global community.




nderstanding and managing freight and logistics costs is critical to enhancing competitiveness in global markets. Yet this is something to which exporters often pay little attention. Here are tips for building understanding in this area. 1.






Know your product Many companies waste money on additional charges that could have been avoided by doing homework up front. For instance, it’s essential to understand the Harmonised Tariff Code. If your products are classified as dangerous goods it’s essential to know the code. It’s also important to know if your goods require an import permit or government inspections at origin or destination. Packaging Don’t use worn or old cardboard boxes, use proper inner packing, do not over pack and re-enforce your boxes. Use standard size pallets and stacking sizes. Ensure boxes are secured on the pallet and don’t exceed the pallet edges. Calculate your weights and dimensions correctly and know the gross cargo weight of each item. Clear and accurate labelling Ensure the shipper, consignee, origin, destination and shipping marks/goods description are clearly marked on the packaging labels and secured to the goods for travel. What is the most cost efficient shipping method? Typically shipping by ocean is cheaper than shipping by air. To make the best decision, it is important to know how carriers charge for international shipping. Airlines bill by what is called a chargeable weight, which is calculated from a combination of the weight and size of a shipment. Ocean carriers charge per container rates for shipping in standard containers (FCL). If you are shipping less than a container load (LCL), your price is often determined by cubic metre or volumetric weight. Working out the most cost effective shipping method should also take into consideration transit/shipping time, budget and condition of shipment, for instance if it is perishable. Are you insured and do you have the correct policy? Shop around for marine cargo insurance for the loss or damage of goods while in transit. How will you pay for your freight costs? Consider your payment options and terms for goods and freight/clearance. Consider currency of payment, security of payment method and exchange rate margins/fees charged by banking institutions.


Hidden fees Custom duties and taxes can represent as much as 30 per cent of the total shipping fees, so it’s important to understand the terms and hidden fees involved. 8. Using cross docking versus container delivery It is often cheaper to use a load/destination port facility for packing and unpacking FCL containers rather than your own facility or factory. 9. Demurrage/storage and detention The key is to ensure your goods are cleared and ready for release prior to the goods’ arrival. Make sure port slots are booked for the “first available day” by your transport provider. 10. Choosing a service provider No one freight forwarder can be a specialist on every trade route or freight category so shop around to find a specialist with competitive pricing. Remember the best headline price is not always the most cost effective option.

Questions to ask new service providers include: • Do they have experience with your product/commodity type? • Do they have experience in shipping to/from your country/region of interest? • Can they provide references from companies that have used their services?






ajor shifts in relative international competitiveness, trade policy, technology and the structure of international trade have all had an important influence on how Australia’s internationally active businesses engage with the global economy.

The survey was done between October and December 2014 and captured the responses of 1,237 Australian companies involved in international business. Respondents came from 19 industry sectors and 93 sub-sectors and operate in 114 markets across the globe.

Australia’s International Business Survey (AIBS) offers one important source of insight into the profile and activities of Australia’s exporters and importers. Supported by Austrade, Efic and the Export Council of Australia and conducted by the University of Sydney, AIBS is one of Australia’s largest and most in-depth surveys of Australian international trade. AIBS 2015 is the second in the survey series and builds on the inaugural survey to deepen our understanding of Australia’s international business engagement.

Key findings: • Survey participants were involved in a broad range of international activities including exporting, importing, receiving and making international investments, undertaking international research and development activities and offshore manufacturing. • They earned international revenues from selling a mix of goods, services and intellectual property and accessed overseas markets

30 |


using a range of methods including direct sales and via the presence of foreign affiliates and joint ventures. • Target markets identified for the next two years included the US, China, Indonesia, the United Kingdom and India. The presence of strong future growth prospects was the most important factor determining future market attractiveness. • Visiting overseas customers in person was the single most important market development activity conducted by participants. Expanding a firm’s international sales and marketing team, overseas promotion campaigns and international trade shows also made important contributions. Respondents were more conservative in their use of digital marketing and e-commerce, however. • A relatively large proportion of survey participants had made use of the Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) scheme and the vast majority of grant recipients judged that it made an important contribution to their international marketing efforts. • Many respondents reported they were uncertain about how and whether Australia’s free trade agreements applied to their business and a smaller number were unaware of the existence of some agreements. • Information barriers in the form of local language, culture and/ or business practices were cited as the most important barrier in those overseas markets they considered both the most important and the most difficult.

• Survey participants relied overwhelmingly on retained earnings to finance international business. Where respondents had sought additional funding from a financial institution, around a third had failed. The share of failed funding attempts rose to 46 per cent for smaller businesses. Security issues were cited as the single most common reason for failing to clinch funding. • Almost half of all respondents said they found borrowing harder for international business opportunities than for domestic opportunities. Just six per cent found it easier. • The single most important Australia-based factor identified by participants as limiting their ability to take advantage of international opportunities was the level of the Australian dollar. For a free copy of the report go to:

“The presence of strong future growth prospects was the most important factor determining future market attractiveness.”




An interview with Gérald Bot, director at Polyglot Group Could you please introduce Polyglot Group and its services? Polyglot was founded in 1995, to recruit local executives, who were familiar with the French culture and language, for French subsidiaries in Australia. The business has grown successfully over the years. In addition to the head office in Sydney, we have offices in four major Australian cities (Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth), in Spain as well as in Buenos Aires and Toronto. Polyglot now employs around 50 staff members. While recruitment is still part of our core business, we initiated a diversification process many years ago. The company developed payroll outsourcing and HR services in Australia, NZ and other parts of Oceania, specifically targeted at supporting multinational companies. We manage all payroll aspects from data entry to payments and lodgments, adapted to each client’s processes and requirements, and ensuring compliance with local regulations. For HR outsourcing, we provide custom-made solutions, tailored to specific needs and budget constraints. Polyglot is now recognised as a local expert in the Oceanic region by clients ranging from large multinational companies (Rio Tinto, H&M, LinkedIn, DreamWorks, Universal Pictures) to smaller, more targeted international businesses such as, for example Cristal d’Arques, Imerys, Pierre Fabre, R. Stahl. You also support companies setting up their operations… We introduced a back-office service some years ago. It is a complete range of services designed for foreign companies that are not familiar with the Australian market and would like to do business here. It includes company incorporation, registration, the opening of a bank account, management of administrative issues (including insurance policies), expat relocation, local directorship, hosting of a small team. Essentially, we offer 25 years of local experience, a strong network of partners, and an understanding of what our clients might not know they should ask. For example, when a company has just won a large contract locally and needs to set up a representative office within a short time, we will manage all steps involved in the process and facilitate the structuring across all practical and human aspects (for instance visa, house-hunting, administrative tasks, phone/ internet connection, children’s education).

32 |


Our objective is to ensure that our clients are efficient as quickly as possible, so that they can grow and succeed locally. Considering that our core services are recruitment, HR services and payroll, it is obvious that we benefit directly from our clients’ success, so we have a strong motivation to make it happen. You mentioned hosting. What are you referring to? In our Australian offices we offer hosting services for overseas companies. Other than the typical offers in a serviced office or shared office space (reception, internet, meeting rooms), our clients will also benefit from our other solutions, according to their needs: HR, recruitment, payroll or language solutions. They will be operating in an environment where they can communicate with our team, for professional and personal subjects. This is particularly interesting for expats sent by an overseas company to set up a local operation. What is the competitive advantage of Polyglot Group? In fact, it is two-fold. Firstly, it relies on our method of operation. Our major goal is to identify our clients’ requirements. Then, we suggest a solution based on those specific needs. Ever since our creation, we have been focusing on providing high-quality and valuable services adapted to our clients’ needs. Secondly, we have developed a know-how of the Australian market and ways to succeed locally. We are now able to identify the pitfalls and mistakes that can be avoided because we have experienced them first-hand. We put all this experience to good use so as to benefit our clients. This way, we make it possible for them to avoid these mistakes, save a considerable amount of time, set up their business in the most optimal fashion, begin working within the shortest timeframe and start earning a profit as soon as possible. As a conclusion, do you wish to add anything about the Australian economy? Australia is a fast-growing, dynamic economy, with a low unemployment rate. There is a great potential, especially in the field of new technologies and innovation, which is appreciated by the Australians. It is also a gateway to Asia. Nevertheless, cultural differences should not be underestimated. Overseas companies coming to Australia are often lured by the dynamism and openness of the business community. It is important, however, to take some time to get to know the local business culture. For instance, contract or project negotiation may last longer than in Europe. Those who come to develop an appreciation of the Australian market are the ones who succeed the most.

Expanding your Business? We can help. Optimizing Operations Accross Borders?

We will be there.

Company Registration & Hosting

People & Local Partners Sourcing & Selection

Payroll & Back-Office Outsourcing

Solutions Delivered in Your Language

Helping Businesses Grow Globally for 20 Years


Gemma Kingsford-Smith

WELCOMING NEW STAFF This issue we introduce two staff members who we are delighted will be joining our talented team. 34 |


Angela Wright




Since completing her Master of Arts in International Studies with the University of Technology, Sydney in Colombia in 2010, she has dedicated her career to bridging cultural gaps and developing international partnerships and programs. Gemma has ten years’ experience managing commercial, government and trade projects across Latin America, Australia and Great Britain.

While completing bachelor studies in business and arts, Angela majored in international business and Japanese and was awarded two university exchange scholarships to study in Japan. She was also granted a placement at the National Farmers’ Federation through the Australian National University’s internships program, where she researched Australian agricultural export to China.

emma Kingsford-Smith has joined us as skills development and business manager. Gemma will work on the skills development side of the business and roll out some exciting projects planned over the next few months.

Most recently, her experience has focused on investment and export services at NSW Trade and Investment. Prior to this role, she worked as Latin American regional program officer at the British Embassy in Bogota, Colombia. Before this she was communication and new partnerships manager at the United Nations Development Programme’s Virtual School, also in Bogota. She brings with her significant marketing and communication experience having worked in public relations and marketing agencies and on campaigns for organisations such as the United Nations Development Programme, Western Union and the Australian government’s Department of Health and Ageing. Gemma is looking forward to working with the ECA’s new and existing members and stakeholders and to delivering great skills development programs. Please drop her a line to say g’day, hey or hola! at or 02 8243 7430.

ngela Wright has joined us as skills development coordinator and will work together with Gemma Kingsford-Smith to deliver programs that will boost skills and knowledge in import/export industries.

Realising the potential for growth in trade opportunities, Angela lived and worked in China after being accepted into the Australia China Young Business Leaders Program by youth leadership organisation AIESEC and the Australian Chamber of Commerce, Beijing. Her work experience also includes supporting the executive director of the Australian Multicultural Foundation, facilitating an international leadership program, as well as an international leadership and study abroad program at the University of Newcastle’s international office and working in small businesses in the tourism industry. In recent years Angela has worked on the federally funded programs Welcoming Chinese Visitors and Servicing Chinese Visitors, aimed at the Australian tourism industry. She also developed Engaging China Seminars for NSW Trade and Investment. She looks forward to bringing her training program experience to the role, and welcomes you to contact her about your skills development and import/export training goals. Contact Angela on or 02 8243 7490.




The Airport Economist Tim Harcourt looks at the importance of China to both the Australian and international economies. I

first visited China as a trade union official some years ago. The Australia trade union delegation, of which I was a member, was taken to a factory making watch components. While on the tour, I asked our hosts “Do you have workers’ compensation in China?” After much deliberation, the translator replied: “No. If the workers break anything, they don’t have to compensate us … straight away.” I’m not sure what was lost in translation, but our host’s reaction was not surprising given that at the time China had an almost endless reserve of labour But the labour market is turning. For many years there has been a structural imbalance in the global economy where the US had “too many shoppers and not enough shippers” and China “too many shippers and not enough shoppers.” That is, America had too much debt and was not competitive trade-wise, while China was exportdependent bolstered by an artificially low exchange rate and not doing enough domestically in terms of consumption and investment. But now China is moving out of export dependency and letting the exchange rate rise above its artificial level, which puts upward pressure on prices. It is also allowing Chinese workers to achieve higher wage rises in line with price rises. So what does this mean for Australia? China has become a happy hunting ground for small- and mediumsize enterprises. According to Sensis, more exporting small businesses do business with China and ASEAN than they do with Europe. Australian Bureau of Statistics’ data estimates more than

36 |


5600 Australian companies export goods to China with another 4977 selling to Hong Kong, mainly as a base for the Chinese market. So doing business in China is now as much about accessing its 1.3 billion consumers as it is about straight export and import transactions. Importantly, China’s environmental challenges have given Australian companies a chance to put the green back in the green and gold, particularly in terms of architecture and design. The Beijing Olympics was a great example of this with ‘rock star’ architect John Bilmon from architecture firm PTW designing the water cube swimming complex. Australian companies were also involved in the design of the ‘birds nest’ main stadium as well as the hockey pitches, sailing facilities and transport and logistics infrastructure. Even in second and third tier cities like Chengdu, the popularity of green design to the emerging Chinese urban middle class is providing great opportunities for Australian companies like Place Design. The company’s partner Clint Wood moved his business from Brisbane to Chengdu as that is where his future market is. “We design a range environmental-friendly structures and there is a real demand for landscape architecture in western China so business is booming here,” he says. China’s need to improve the environment has provided vast opportunities for Australians like Clint Wood to grow their businesses, particularly in the second and third tier cities of southern and western China.

Many Australians have never set foot in Chinatown in their own cities let alone visited China. But thousands of Australian businesses are now starting to ‘hug the Panda’, going in droves to the Middle Kingdom, so much so China has become our number one trading partner. There are endless business guides – particularly from the US – warning about insurmountable problems with doing business in China. But overall, Australian businesses have been successful there. It’s just a matter of being sensible, doing due diligence and getting government assistance from Austrade and using the Australian business chambers and associations. These ideas can also help in building a successful business in China: • Big may not be best. Don’t assume 1.3 billion consumers are all you need to succeed. Remember red may be lucky in China, but niche is the new black. • Try the second tier cities such as Chengdu, Wuhan and Chongqing. • Get good legal advice about joint ventures and wholly owned foreign enterprises. There are several good Australian legal firms in China to which AustCham can introduce local exporters. • It’s important to protect your intellectual property by getting legal advice. But remember sometimes imitation is the highest form of flattery and if you are innovative you’ll be putting out new designs and services quicker than the competition. • Don’t be shy about using the government badge. Australian government agencies such as the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Austrade have a great reputation in China.

China: just facts Capital: Beijing Population: 1.37 billion GDP US$10.38 billion Real GDP growth: 7.4% Australian exports to China $90.1 billion Australian imports from China $52.1. billion (2014, Source: DFAT)

Key contacts: Austrade: DFAT Smartraveller: AustCham: Australia China Business Council:



INTERNATIONAL CALENDAR SEPTEMBER 2-5 Food & Hotel Thailand Bangkok, Thailand

15-17 Oil & Gas Myanmar 2015 Yangon, Myanmar

9-12 Building & Infrastructure Indonesia 2015 Jakarta, Indonesia

16-19 Electric, Power & Renewable Energy Indonesia September 2015 Jakarta Jakarta, Indonesia

9-12 Construction Indonesia - September 2015, Jakarta Jakarta, Indonesia

27-29 Autumn Shows by Gulfood Dubai, United Arab Emirates

9-12 Electric Power & Renewable Energy Indonesia 2015 Jakarta, Indonesia

29-31 Building and Construction Myanmar 2015 Yangon, Myanmar

9-12 Mining Indonesia- September 2015, Jakarta Jakarta, Indonesia

29-31 Electric and Power Myanmar 2015 Yangon, Myanmar

14-17 Exposibram Minas Gerais, Brazil

31 Eco Expo Asia Hong Kong

16-19 Electric Power & Renewable Energy Indonesia 2015 Jakarta, Indonesia


19-20 AFU Education Exhibition Myanmar 2015 Yangon, Myanmar 20-23 Fine Food Australia trade show Sydney, Australia 21-25 Perumin - Extemin 2015 Arequipa, Peru 22-26 West Africa Education Exhibition 2015 Accra, Ghana; and Lagos, Nigeria

29-2 Food & Hotel Malaysia Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

OCTOBER 1-4 Australia Future Unlimited Education Exhibition Taiwan 2015 Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung, Taiwan

38 |


4-7 Oil & Gas Indonesia 2015 Jakarta, Indonesia 5-7 Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair 2015 Hong Kong 17-19 Communicast Myanmar – November 2015 Yangon, Myanmar 26-28 Building & Construction Myanmar – November 2015, Yangon Yangon, Myanmar 26-28 Mining Myanmar - November 2015, Yangon Yangon, Myanmar

DECEMBER 2-5 Machine Tool Indonesia 2015 Jakarta, Indonesia 3-6 Manufacturing Indonesia 2015 Jakarta, Indonesia

27-28 Electric, Power & Renewable Energy Myanmar - November 2015, Yangon Yangon, Myanmar


13 Doing Business Japan Brisbane, QLD 15 Agribusiness: Capitalising on Foreign Investment Melbourne, VIC

8-20 Doing Business in UAE Sydney, NSW

16 Western Australian Export and Industry Awards Perth, WA

24-26 Malaysian SME Exporters Program Sydney, NSW

22 ACT Chief Minister’s Export Awards Canberra, ACT


23 Business SA Export Awards Adelaide, SA

1 FTA’s 101: How to practically navigate Australia’s Free Trade Agreements Melbourne, VIC 3 Doing Business in Singapore Sydney, NSW 7 FTA’s 101: How to practically navigate Australia’s Free Trade Agreement Brisbane, QLD 16 FTA’s 101: How to practically navigate Australia’s Free Trade Agreement Sydney, NSW 30 Governor of Victoria’s Export Awards Melbourne, VIC


28 2015 Premier of NSW Export Awards Ceremony Sydney, NSW

NOVEMBER 5 FLEx -Planning for offshore expansion Melbourne, VIC

TRADE MISSIONS Ozmine 2015 - Mining for Growth When: 7-8 September Where: Jakarta, Indonesia Explore Philippines 2015 When: 14-18 September Where: Manila and Mabalacat City, Philippines

1 FLEx - Making the Web Work for You Melbourne, VIC

Kazakhstan Mining Mission 2015 When: 21-25 September Where: Astana, Karaganda, Almaty and Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan

2 Tasmanian Export Awards Hobart, TAS

Future Material and Advanced Manufacturing Mission to India 2015 When: 12-16 October Where: Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and Chennai , India

7 Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards Presentation Event Brisbane, QLD

Technology Mission to Brazil 2015 When: 26-29 October Where: Sao Paulo, Brazil




WANT TO UPDATE YOUR KNOWLEDGE IN THE NEW YEAR? Australian Institute of Export courses and publications can help you.


‌Face-to-Face Export Procedures Course ECA/AIEx Member price: $660 Non-member price: $760 Duration: Two days Face-to-face Import Procedures Course ECA/AIEx Member price: $540 Non-member price: $440 Duration: One day Face-to-face International Payments & Understanding Documentary Credits ECA/AIEx Member price: $540 Non-member price: $440 Duration: One day Online Export Procedures Course ECA/AIEx Member price:$250 Non-member price: $330 Delivery: Online Online Import Procedures Course ECA/AIEx Member price:$250 Non-member price: $330 Delivery: Online

PUBLICATIONS Export Handbook Cost: $137.50

Export Handbook E-Book Cost: $55 Import handbook Cost: $104.50 Import Handbook E-Book Cost: $44.00 International Trade Procedures Cost: $55.00

COURSE DATES 19 August International Payments & Understanding Documentary Credits Adelaide, SA 20 August International Payments & Understanding Documentary Credits Brisbane, QLD

India Cross-Cultural Intelligence Course Cultural On-line Courses ECA/AIEx Member price: $65 Non-member price: $80

27 August International Payments & Understanding Documentary Credits Melbourne, VIC 28 August Growing your Exports  Cooma, NSW 8-9 September Export Procedures Course Sydney, NSW

15-16 September Export Procedures Course Melbourne, VIC 16 September Import Procedures Course Adelaide, SA 16 September International Payments & Understanding Documentary Credits Perth, WA 6 October Import Procedures Course Perth, WA 6-7 October Export Procedures Course Brisbane, QLD 14 October Import Procedures Course Sydney, NSW 3 November International Payments & Understanding Documentary Credits Sydney, NSW 11 November Import Procedures Course Melbourne, VIC 18 November Import Procedures Course Brisbane, QLD

For more informaiton please visit or call 02 8243 7440 40 |



WE’VE GOT YOUR BACK. Exporters with the right intellectual property advice are more likely to succeed. Talk to AJ Park today. Coffee’s on us.

Joe Seisdedos 02 9235 7631

2015 ECA International Business Today Spring