UNSW Business School is to host a keynote event focusing on people management knowledge and skills crucial for firms setting up or expanding their operations in China.

Titled ‘Strategic HR Solutions for Australian Firms in China’, the ‘Business in China’ forum addresses issues from the basis of current, high quality research and expert professional experience, in an environment that gives participants the opportunity to engage, discuss and share.

The event is being organised by UNSW Australia’s Professor Peter Sheldon, who says this is a significant event, and at the right time.

“Australia’s new free trade agreement with China opens a greater opportunities for Australian firms to go into or expand in China, particularly in the financial services, management services, high tech sectors and in the health sector. Start-up ‘born-global’ firms are also interested.”

However he says there is a lack of understanding of particular challenges of employing managers and other staff in China. This makes company due diligence of these matters more difficult, increasing risks and potential costs. Many companies are unsure as to how to make operational decisions about how to make a move into China, particularly about managing and recruiting local staff.

“Among the challenges that Australian firms will confront, and which this event will highlight, relate to the great diversity of labour market conditions that firms find in different parts of China. This includes localised skills shortages for particular categories of managers or technical and professional workers,” he says.

He adds that when it comes to the economy and employment, there are ‘many Chinas’. For example, “different provinces and cities have separate legislative and regulatory regimes and provide quite different access to support services,” he says. “And there are particularly challenges in understanding and managing younger employees who were raised as their family’s single child. Plus there is an uneven spread of managers who have had a contemporary management education.”

Chris Styles, Dean of the UNSW Business School will open the forum, and discussions are moderated by Professor Karin Sanders from the UNSW Business School.

The keynote speakers are China-experienced high-level executives, entrepreneurs and academic experts with deep knowledge of the contemporary Chinese business environment.

Keynote speakers include:

  • Ms Bing Liu, Senior China Adviser, Australian Trade and Investment Commission
  • Mr Joseph Healy, Former Group Executive NAB, Global Business Banking
  • Mr Benjamin Sun, Managing Director, Think China

Visit Business in China Forum for further details, or contact Peter Sheldon on 02 9385 7177 or p.sheldon@unsw.edu.au

Media contact: Julian Lorkin: 02 9385 9887