Australian business in China: A view from the trenches - with Udo Doring

Guest: Udo Doring, Chief Executive Officer, AustCham Shanghai

Host: James Laurenceson, Deputy Director, Australia-China Relations Institute (ACRI), University of Technology Sydney

How successful has the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) been in promoting bilateral trade and investment, and how can the relationship be improved? How do developments in the strategic space impact business activities on the ground?

Udo Doring joins James Laurenceson to discuss some of the unique opportunities and challenges for Australian businesses in China. Udo Doring shares his insights into the evolution of the business environment in China, and the sectors in which Australia has a comparative advantage.

Australia’s business relationship with China is largely focused on trade, while European and American businesses have made substantial investments in China in industries in which Australia has not had a significant presence. Australian business therefore faces unique opportunities and challenges.

ChAFTA is a ‘gold standard’ trade agreement and has already resulted in many positive outcomes on both sides, including tariff reductions. The biggest benefit of ChAFTA was its being perceived as the Chinese Government’s seal of approval for Chinese companies to do business with Australia. However, ChAFTA should be considered the starting point rather than end point of bilateral trade and investment relations.

Developments in other areas of the bilateral relationship can impact Australian businesses on the ground in China. While Australia and China may have different overarching values, there are more commonalities between the two countries than observers may realise. Improved business relations can be facilitated as a result of more young Australians studying and working in China in order to gain first-hand experience and knowledge of the country’s cultural and business environment.

Theme music by Sam J Mitchell.

September 01 2017