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.
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.
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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