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IQE Consultant reports back on China acitvity

Posted on in IQE Isle of Man

After a successful period of business development and market research in Shanghai, IQE’s International Consultant for the Asia region, Sam Critchley, is back in the Isle of Man to report on progress and advise IQE’s strategy for Asia going forward.
While working for IQE, Sam was also completing his international MBA course at East China University, which focused his research on the challenges facing Chinese businesses.  This is an area he feels particularly relates to Chinese operations in Europe and could be a potential source of interest linking Chinese businesses with IQE.
He says
China is in a paradoxical situation at the moment whereby inflation and currency appreciation have taken its toll on manufacturing and exports – and the Chinese Government is actively encouraging companies to internationalise in order to ease these pressures while delivering new growth.  For Chinese companies the challenge is to use their increased international purchasing power to grow their business into alien environments, at a time of reduced demand and while they are suffering from precisely these fears of wage inflation and currency appreciation, domestically.
Chinese companies will really need all the help they can get, while keeping costs down is also obviously vital.  This is where the Isle of Man could be really useful and some of the solutions available are great examples of what can be done in support of Chinese businesses.
Sam also attended meetings with Chinese Government agencies alongside the Isle of Man’s Department of Economic Development in Shanghai, as well as travelling to meet different businesses and departments in Beijing and Hangzhou.
Despite the Government’s recent efforts, there is little awareness of the Isle of Man as a jurisdiction, while Guernsey and Jersey are also practically unheard of.  This is despite the fact that the offshore market is surprisingly developed, with the majority of China’s wealthier citizens already having BVI or Cayman companies.
The challenge for the Isle of Man is converting some of the business which is currently with BVI and Cayman and changing the trend towards the Isle of Man.  We certainly feel we have the edge in terms of reputation, service levels and expertise so I think it’s a case of putting ourselves in the right place at the right time as the market matures and consumer sophistication increases.
Regarding the culture of business in China, Sam found that there was an overt divergence between the “old money” establishment and the more recent generation of entrepreneurial businessmen. 
There’s definitely a growing sense of ambition in China, although the Chinese are culturally very conservative and traditionally risk averse.  I think this is going to be a really important change as you definitely need a positive attitude if you want to do things differently in China.  Among the expats living in Shanghai, we all agree that China is a place where “Nothing is impossible, but everything is difficult.

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