COSBOA welcomes the release of The Asian Century White Paper today by the Prime Minister Julia Gillard. This paper is comprehensive and contains many challenges for the whole of the Australian community not just business. The White Paper provides the genesis of a blue print for our growing interaction with our closest neighbours.
Peter Strong, help Executive Director of COSBOA said today “history has shown time and time again that it is the smaller business people, thumb the traders and dealers, who make for peaceful cooperation between nations. We are the ones who deal directly with the common everyday person in other countries and from that develop long lasting friendships and businesses. We also are the key to breaking down cultural differences and learning to achieve results that benefits everyone, not just one country or one group of people. We have provided on our website one example of small businesses getting in first in the Philippines through the endeavours of Phil Jaquillard and David Minns of Jaquillard Minns Chartered Accountants. They established an office in Manila in 2007 and have grown to 40 staff and have assisted many other Australian small business people start up and be successful in that country. This includes pharmacy groups, a dental laboratory, graphic designers and others.”
COSBOA recognises the many, small business people who have paved the way for the rest of the country. We also recognise that we must get our own competition laws and processes right before we can really take advantage of these emerging markets. Businesses in our major supply chains are under pressure from the demands of Coles and Woolworths and we must remove the protection from competition and litigation that is afforded these two, and others, through poor competition policy and poor contract law. If we are to provide food and other commodities to this market we must free up competition here at home first so that the great number of small business people can be free of unnecessary stress and innovate and do what they do best in communication and engagement with Asia.
Mr Strong also added “we need to now use the knowledge of experienced small business people to create faster ways to connect to this expanding market and faster ways to convert good ideas into good business. This can be achieved for small business through innovative use of the internet and websites and also, importantly, through partnerships with and support from the larger businesses including mining companies and banks who can provide information and build access points for our smaller companies. We congratulate the government on this white paper and look forward to contributing to the debate and assisting in the undoubted development of new websites and apps that will be needed to convert the white paper into reality.”