I’m sure there are companies that come inon overnight successes.
But I’m not aware of any of them.
We think of China as the China market, butit’s not.
It’s many different markets.
There’s a north, there’s a coastal, there’sa south, and there’s a west.
The offices of the Trade Commissioner Serviceacross China are an excellent way to understand the local market.
It takes time to build the relationships tounderstand the market, to figure out your strategy, and then being able to push thatout and stick to it.
So persistence is really the key; also, notbeing over-confident; a willingness to learn from others, what they’ve done, even inother sectors.
I do remember years ago there was a storyof an Asian firm that was negotiating a partnership with a U.
In the middle of the negotiation, the U.
Firm sued the potential Asian partner in a U.
court, which was normal business practicein the U.
, but was found a bit unusual from the Asian firm’s perspective.
It’s a different business culture.
The culture element is important, but I personallythink it’s less weighty than it was when you were dealing on a more institutionalisedbasis with the government of China.
The private sector is moving so quickly, thedrive to a consumer society is really evident with each visit that I come back for.
If you’re interested in China and you comeand want to pursue it, the organisation that I’m the president of, the Canada China BusinessCouncil, which has been around for 40 years, membership in my organisation helps you sharestories with over 300 like-minded Canadian companies who are active in the China business.
I don’t find it much different than doingbusiness elsewhere in countries I’ve worked, Indonesia, or Spain, or Canada in my career.
Ultimately it’s the trust in the personacross the table, whether it’s internally in your organisation or in your partnershipabroad.
Because when there’s a bump in the road,you need to know the person at the other end is aligning with your interests and is tryingto solve the problem in the same way.
So the people aspect is absolutely critical.
Bottom line, lots of opportunities, and thereare lots of ways to mitigate the risks and take advantage of what is the world’s fastestgrowing middle class.