As European companies extend their arms to tap into the booming Asian market, a latest survey reveals Australian Businesses are underprepared to do business in Asia. The survey of 1200 businesses by Australia’s International Business Survey (AIBS) shows cultural differences top the list of difficulties when doing business in Asia.
A third of those surveyed highlighted differences in local cultures, language and business practices as their biggest barriers. And more than 60 per cent of those businesses faced challenges with building long term relationships and having negotiation strategies. Mukund Narayanamurti, chief executive of the business consultancy firm Asialink Business, urged businesses to invest in building the skills needed to tap into opportunities in Asia. Narayanamurti says, “Many businesses still lack the knowledge and confidence needed to work effectively in culturally diverse teams and form productive relationships with Asian business partners and decision makers. “These findings align with independent research commissioned by Asialink Business in 2014 which found that the biggest gaps for Australian businesses included limited understanding of Asian business cultures.”
Survey participants identified China, Indonesia and India as key target markets, while Japan and Singapore were also important destinations. Narayanamurti says if Australian businesses act now, this growth could support more than 1 million new jobs and contribute more than $160bn to the economy by 2030. He says, “Australia needs to diversify its economy to secure better jobs for the future – leveraging growth in our services trade with Asia is a key way we can achieve this. “Business cannot ignore the urgent need to get Asia ready and seize the opportunities in our region.”
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