Asialink Business, Australia’s national centre for Asia capability, today welcomed the release of Australia’s International Business Survey (AIBS) 2015 and called for business to urgently invest in building the skills needed to tap into lucrative opportunities in Asia.
“The results of this comprehensive survey highlight that a lack of capability is the number one reason holding business back from Asia,” Asialink Business CEO Mukund Narayanamurti said.
Commissioned by the Export Council of Australia, with support from Austrade, EFIC and the University of Sydney, the AIBS report is based on a survey of over 1200 internationally active Australian businesses.
The results revealed cultural differences topped the list of difficulties when doing business with Asia.
Around a third of participants highlighted differences in local cultures, language and business practices as their biggest barriers. Specifically, more than sixty percent of these businesses identified differences in building long-term business relationships and in negotiation strategies as the key challenges.
“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,” Narayanamurti said.
“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,” he said.
The survey participants identified China, Indonesia and India as key target markets, while Japan and Singapore were also important destinations. Businesses were optimistic about growth prospects for 2015, especially in the services sector.
“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” Narayanamurti said.
“If we act now, this growth could support over 1 million new jobs and contribute over $160 billion to the economy by 2030.
“Business cannot ignore the urgent need to get Asia ready and seize the opportunities in our region,” Narayanamurti said.
Asialink Business provides training and information to help businesses in all sectors enter and grow in Asian markets. Asialink Business offers public and in-house training in Asia capability and will shortly launch a suite of new and comprehensive information guides (called the Country Starter Packs).
Asialink Business works to build an Asia capable Australian workforce. We support businesses in all sectors to develop the critical skills, knowledge and networks needed to better understand and engage with Asia.