Sydney businesses have only scratched the surface of potential opportunities in Asia, according to one of Australia’s leading social and business commentators, Bernard Salt.
Speaking ahead of the free City of Sydney Future Asia Business Summit on Tuesday 29 May, Mr Salt said Sydney’s business, aviation and heritage connections means we are ideally placed to explore a wealth of opportunities.
“Sydney has a strong Asian population base and it’s a preferred city for Asian students, visitors and investors who are attracted to the city’s premier business and cultural facilities,” Mr Salt, managing director of The Demographics Group, said.
“Sydney is a global city and Australia’s portal into the international economy and especially the Asian markets, but Sydney is just scratching the surface of its engagement opportunities with Asia. It’s time to dig deeper and explore the huge potential.
“There are 53 cities in China with a population larger than Adelaide, yet Sydney only has flights to 19 of these cities. There’s clearly a long way to go yet.”
Mr Salt is keynote speaker at the Sydney conference that will bring together industry experts and business leaders from across Asia to provide insights, knowledge sharing and networking opportunities to support businesses.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the Future Asia Business Summit will further strengthen Sydney’s economic relationships within Asia.
“Sydney is ranked in the top 10 most connected cities worldwide, it’s the number one business events destination in Australia and has the country’s biggest tech startup ecosystem. But there is strong interstate and international competition and we cannot be complacent,” the Lord Mayor said.
“We have a unique opportunity to build on our multicultural connections, especially the strong cultural, economic and civic ties we have established with our Asian neighbours over many decades.
“Events like this help ensure Sydney continues to develop as a globally competitive and innovative city in key sectors, such as international education, tourism, the Indigenous economy, tech startups, the green economy, and creative and digital services.”
The Future Asia Business Summit will include presentations, case studies and panel discussions from local and international business and industry leaders, including:
- Bernard Salt AM – managing director of Demographics Group and adjunct professor at Curtin University Business School
- Alan Chan – chairman of the Land Transport Authority in Singapore
- Bonnie Shek – director of the Australia & New Zealand Hong Kong Trade Development Council
- Dr Marlene Kanga AM – non-executive director of Asialink Business, president of the World Federation of Engineering Organizations, advisor of Innovation and Science Australia, director of iOmniscient, and board member of BESydney
- Elena Kirillova – state director NSW/ACT at the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade)
- Simon Henry – entrepreneur and co-founder of China startup, UWAI.com
Shanghai-based Australian entrepreneur Simon Henry will share his insights on tailoring businesses to tap into the billion dollar Chinese tourism industry.
“International tourism is the greatest opportunity for the Australian economy, jobs and security since the mining boom,” Mr Henry said.
“Chinese tourists spend more than three times that of local customers and have a larger discretionary budget for food and beverage, accommodation and retail than other consumers, yet it’s hard for local businesses to engage this segment.
“Our approach is not how can we make money from the Chinese market, rather, how can we help create relationships and trust between people who don’t speak the same language.”
Future Asia Business Summit
Date: Tuesday 29 May
Time: 10:30am to 1:30pm
Location: Sydney Town Hall
Cost: free but attendance is by invitation
Register interest here: cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/learn/about-sydney/global-sydney/future-asia-business-summit
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