On Thursday the 15th March 2018 Austcham Beijing had the pleasure of launching the inaugural “Austcham Business in China Report”. The 2017 Business in China report surveyed members of the China-Australia Chamber of Commerce and the Australian China Business Council (ACBC) Victoria and was conducted in Q3 and Q4 2017. The report is a joint research initiative of AustCham China, KPMG and University of Melbourne. The respondents comprised Australian businesses operating in or doing business with China and responses were received from more than 100 companies across a range of sectors.
The launch included a presentation of the survey’s findings, a panel discussion by Elizabeth Peak, Minister Counsellor (Economic), Australian Embassy Beijing, Tony Jiang, Managing Director and Head of Financial Institutions Group Asia, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Geoff Raby, Chairman & CEO, Geoff Raby & Associates, and was moderated by Vaughn Barber, Global Chair KPMG Global China Practice and Chair, AustCham Beijing, followed by an open Q & A session.
The report concluded that despite ongoing challenges, Australian companies hold a strongly optimistic view of doing business in China. The rapid growth of China’s middle class and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) are cited as the prime drivers of growth. The 2015 China – Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) is seen as a catalyst for unlocking future business opportunities. A large majority of enterprises have experienced significant growth of revenues and profits during 2016 and 2017 in China, Australia’s largest trading partner. Companies have translated this optimism into intentions for increased headcounts and further investments in 2018.
Vaughn Barber, Chair of AustCham Beijing concludes: “these findings will serve as a useful reference for policymakers, businesses and communities to understand the opportunities and challenges of doing business with and operating in China and make decisions that will guide the evolution of the Australia-China relationship in a positive direction.”
The launch was followed by a networking event and drinks reception. AustCham Beijing looks forward to following up the report in the future to further consolidate the findings and provide greater insight to businesses.