HunterNet in Asia: free trade agreement (Japan, China and Korea)
Over the past few weeks HunterNet – through our obligations to the grant we received from Austrade to deliver the Free Trade Agreement – has been lucky enough to travel to Vietnam, China and Korea. We commenced our travels in Vietnam where we were invited by the Ambassador to attend APEC’s CEO Summit. This was an opportunity not to be missed as it gave us the stage to promote HunterNet and unabashedly our region and all the good things that go on here to CEO’s from some of the major companies as well as politicians from various countries, including the Prime Minister of Australia. To be honest, it gave us free rein to promote our members to anyone that would listen.
During the summit we were lucky enough to be interviewed by a number of media outlets, which we duly provided a synopsis to showing what a great region we come from. The summit also indulged us with another opportunity to listen to keynote speakers, namely Donald Trump, the leader of the free world, and Xi Jinping, the ruler of the Communist Party of China, which is also the biggest trading partner of most countries around the world. President Xi Jinping gave an extraordinary speech, which echoed all the positives of a free market and shared the opportunities of a number of continents in regards to the Belt and Road Initiative. Mr Trump yelled at the audience and (in my opinion) was not the oracle of free market values.
We then moved onto China where in previous visits we have had a bit of a scatter gun approach. We have learned from every visit and continue to develop our network within China. It’s easy to be seduced by the banquets, the formalities and the sense of importance they bestow on you when you visit China. However, underlying that is a genuine need to connect. We have reset our strategy in China and are focusing on areas that have reached out to our region in a genuine spirit of collaboration and engagement. The two second tier cities we have engaged with together have a population of twelve million people. These cities are on the up and have needs that can be satisfied by the connection between HunterNet and the region.
We then moved onto Korea and (with help from our friends at Austrade, who organised a series of meetings covering food and beverage and defence industry discussions) came out of these meetings with a lot of positives. In the food and beverage arena, our region has the potential to be an export powerhouse through dairy, beef, lamb, wine and beer (craft) and a number of our niche food houses are of particular interest. In defence, the Korean yearly budget dwarfs our own and they are excited about a number of things, including hyperbaric chambers, submersible vehicles, ballistic and military headgear and clothing.
HunterNet has done some outstanding work with Austrade over a number of years now within the China and ASEAN region. Our colleagues here at HunterNet have laid the foundations for a number of companies to advance their products and services into these markets. The China and ASEAN markets which we have continually concentrated on consist of over two billion people. The market potential is enormous if you can get the right doors opened for you. We have consistently tried to open those doors for our members and, in some cases, other companies from Australia.
We strive to do our best for our members and our region and we are extremely grateful for that opportunity.
Wayne H Diemar
Senior Project Director – HunterNet
On behalf of CEO Tony Cade
IMAGE | CEO of HunterNet, Tony Cade at APEC’s CEO Summit.
HunterNet is a dynamic business development network focused on opening doors to the global marketplace. They champion the combined capability of their members and promote the Hunter region as an international centre of manufacturing and engineering excellence.