Peter Bennett, founder of London Translations Limited is used to travelling the world and has recently returned from Beijing. Here he offers some advice for anyone looking to trade with the expanding Asian economies.
A colleague once told me that a good indicator of economic confidence was the number of construction cranes on the skyline. If he’s correct, Beijing is feeling good about its prospects - very good.
According to figures recently published by the Associated Press, China’s economy grew at a blistering 9.4 percent in the first three quarters of 2005 alone. Yet a pan-European business poll by parcel firm UPS revealed that almost a third (31 percent) of UK business leaders do not consider Asia to be an important trading or production market. To ignore the headlines predicting the ‘awakening of the Dragon’ would be commercial suicide: the world economy is undergoing a revolution as a China-led Asia returns to its historic role at the centre of affairs, according to the Financial Times’ Martin Wolf.
Few of us receive emails in Chinese, but I saw one recently which translated into: “I’d like to spend a million pounds with you…”. Good thing I knew that, and a good excuse, I thought, to spend January in Beijing talking to business representative organisations and growing companies who want to trade with the UK. Perhaps this could be your firm in 2006 but not before you pay attention to the matter of communication – communication in tune with the local culture.
Guanxi - The first word in Chinese trade.
There were no berths available on the night train from Beijing to Xian but we soon found ourselves settling down to sleep as one suddenly came available. A few days later we dined in a restaurant which