Inside the China Free Trade Deal?

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I recently attended a breakfast event presented by WestBusiness Events and Curtin University, which was aimed at providing insight into doing business with China and how the recent FTA might improve things.  Any discussion regarding business with China is bound to have a resources flavour, and this event didn’t disappoint, with Dr David Sun of Sinosteel Australia present on the panel discussion.  However, the agricultural and education sectors were also well represented, ensuring that Australia’s major exporting sectors were heard.

The conclusions of the panel discussion can be summed up, as suggested by Ben Wyatt, WA’s shadow Treasurer amongst various other roles, as the “need to create pathways” for trade in both goods and services.  Some suggestions for achieving this include roles, potentially, for the SBDC and the CCI.  We’ll have to wait and see what appetite there may be for that or whether we simply end up with business as usual, which would be a missed opportunity in my view.  Of course, we shouldn’t sit back and simply wait for others to make it happen.  In many respects it is up to us to make the most of the opportunity.

Interesting observations from the discussion included that “young vibrant cultures drink beer”, made by CBH Group’s CEO Dr Andrew Crane with reference to selling of malting barley into Vietnam, and Dr Sun’s reference to Chinese rules for due diligence in harmonious joint ventures, “before joint venture open both eyes, during joint venture close both”.