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Business envoy

Asialink: Winning in Asia

A major report released by Asialink Business, the National Centre for Asia Capability, seeks to provide answers to many of the key questions about what it takes for Australian businesses to succeed in the competitive markets of our region.

Two years in the making, Winning in Asia: Creating long-term value was launched in August by Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Senator, the Hon. Simon Birmingham who said: “I commend the report’s comprehensive, strategic approach. It provides a roadmap for us all to work collaboratively to increase the dividends from working with Asia.”

International diversification

The report finds that the level of international diversification among Australian companies is increasing. Our largest companies now generate 34 per cent of their revenue from foreign sources, outstripping the UK (29 per cent) and US (26 per cent).

The Asia Pacific represents the largest share of foreign revenues generated by our major companies at 42 per cent – up from 35 per cent in 2014 – followed by the Americas at 28 per cent. The evidence also shows that internationally diversified companies create more value for shareholders than those domestically focused.

Asia capabilities

The report features an analysis of the Asia capabilities of 1,705 senior executives and board members across ASX 200 companies. It finds more than 90 per cent would not qualify as Asia-capable measured against a bespoke methodology.

The research does however find that most leaders had worked for companies that export goods and services internationally. Leaders on average were strongest in their knowledge of Asian markets, but weakest in their ability to adapt to Asian cultural contexts.

As Australia transitions more towards services-oriented trade, the relative importance of these capabilities will only increase. Consequently, Asia-capable senior leaders will be critical to successful offshore expansion.

Winning in Asia also examines a range of best practice business models for succeeding in Asian markets. Through 22 case studies, this includes analysis of non-Australian companies that have succeeded in both China and India as well as Australian companies from different sectors that have successfully entered Asian markets.

Winning in Asia concludes by outlining a comprehensive strategic approach to success, which includes strategies relevant to business, government, intermediaries, peak bodies, business councils and industry groups.

Asialink Business partnered on the project with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) and The Sid and Fiona Myer Family Foundation.

The report can be downloaded at: www.winninginasia.com.au

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