Case Studies of Australian Businesses in China
Perth based Surpac, a leading Australian developer of mining, engineering, geological modelling and environmental software, has been active in China since late 1999. More than half of Surpac's revenues come from its well established client base of over 3 000 users spread across 94 countries. To service these markets, Surpac has offices in Canada, Chile, India, South Africa and the United Kingdom.
Surpac entered China through a partnership with another Australian company with many years' experience operating in China. To date, Surpac has secured some early business in the gold industry and received expressions of interest from the coal, base metals and industrial minerals mining companies. Surpac's products also have attracted interest from authorities responsible for water resources, including those overseeing the Three Gorges Dam project.
Surpac finds China a reasonably challenging market in which to operate, requiring substantial investment in time and working capital for businesses to succeed. They find an important ingredient of any success is a company's ability to build strong relationships with key customers and industry partners. This in turn requires a very sound knowledge of the market, the differences in business culture and of the corporate framework in which foreign entities must operate. However, Surpac believes the mining sector's substantial restructuring and consolidation creates an exciting new market in which strong ongoing business appears very likely.
Source: Surpac, 2002.
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