Demand for foreign brands gathers pace

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 September, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 20 September, 2011, 12:00am


The global influence of developing countries is increasing. As their economies grow, their currencies appreciate and their populations develop a thirst for luxury goods and services.

On the mainland, for instance, Ferrari recently sold its 999th car, a remarkable feat given that its official network only opened there six years ago.

With sales increasing at 50 per cent a year, its Chinese market will soon match its mature markets.

'With the appreciation of the yuan, the demand for foreign brands in China can only accelerate,' says Dr Willy Lam, who will deliver a keynote speech on the mainland's new generation of political leaders at the CPA Congress on October 14.

'China is also playing a more significant role in the global financial and political arenas, with representation in the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, and enhanced engagement with the OECD [Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development].'

The mainland's growth rate could reach 8 to 9 per cent over the next few years, with the burgeoning economy presenting many investment opportunities for overseas companies, adds Lam, who is an adjunct professor in Chinese University's history department and master of global political economy programme.

Eddie Wang, senior adviser for the Asia-Pacific region at McKinsey, says mainland companies need to understand the importance of building and maintaining a brand name that represents international recognition, quality, consumer desire and competitor envy.

He also believes that potential investors need to understand the rules and regulations that govern specific sectors and be aware of the differences in corporate cultures.

Wang will speak about mainland market access and the key success factors at the CPA Congress.

With such rapid business growth and consumer demand on the mainland, the demand for accountants will also continue to grow rapidly, says Dr Sebastian Bombaci, a forum chairman at the CPA Congress.

He says there are 4 to 5 million small to medium-sized enterprises on the mainland and their number is increasing by 30 per cent a year.

Businesses will look for accountants with an internationally recognised qualification, such as one obtained from CPA Australia, and international experience in managing domestic sales and services.