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Six critical elements for Asian trade success

Six critical elements for Asian trade success

Turning an Asian investment into a profitable business venture takes careful planning and a disciplined approach.


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Shanghai city at night

Despite the numerous challenges of operating in Asia, many foreign brands have achieved great results. They have been successful because they have been able to truly understand local consumer trends, align their brand for Asian consumers and navigate the numerous regulatory challenges.

Asia is tough and complex. The ability to grasp the entirety of a large number of challenges and conjure effective solutions takes time and experience.

Based on our experience and interviews conducted with senior executives from Australian companies succeeding in Asia, we have identified six critical elements that Australian businesses need to consider to execute a successful Asian market entry or expansion strategy.

  1. View China, Indonesia and India as comprising a number of unique markets within each country.
    Plan how to interact with each market separately, tailoring product specifications and delivery mechanisms that meet the needs of local customers within each distinct market.
  2. A high proportion of the Asian population will be classified as middle income earners by 2025 as regional economic growth seeds prosperity and the future of Asia’s market will be driven by these people with a propensity to spend. 
    Australian businesses must be ready to compete in a dynamic and fast-paced environment and interact with new consumers through various channels.
  3. Think about the successful marriage and exit options upfront, not just the honeymoon. Plan an approach that aligns to your long-term objectives.
    Businesses expecting to set-up as they have back in their home market and achieve overnight success have usually departed Asia quicker than they arrived.
  4. Whether it be future customers, suppliers or service providers, finding and incentivising the right trading partners is critical. You must really understand who you are dealing with and what motivates them to achieve the outcomes that you both desire.
  5. Understand the non-trade barriers relating to your product, supply chain and chosen markets so that you can navigate the many different local customs and unique country regulations effectively.
  6. Have a thorough stakeholder communication strategy. Be prepared on how and whom to communicate with should your business/supply chain/ products experience a critical incident.

KPMG demystifies the six factors for successful trade in China

The scale of China and the complexity of its bureaucracy can discourage companies from engaging in the market. Without a deep knowledge of the market the risks can seem ominously unpredictable.

We look to demystify the Chinese market and unlock value for new business ventures. For companies trading in China there are a number of key considerations for building a successful operation.

©2021 KPMG, an Australian partnership and a member firm of the KPMG global organisation of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Limited, a private English company limited by guarantee. All rights reserved. The KPMG name and logo are trademarks used under license by the independent member firms of the KPMG global organisation.

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