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China and Australia - doing business bilaterally

19 May 2015

Andrea Miles CAMP And Damien Mccrae

The inaugural summit for CAMP (China Australia Millennial Project), which was launched in Shanghai in 2014 by NSW Premier Mike Baird, is being staged as part of Sydney’s Vivid Ideas 2015. Aside from the delegates’ summit, there will be two major public events: the CAMP Summit Opening: ‘Leading Innovation in the Asian Century’ on June 1, and the CAMP gala dinner on June 5.

Andrea Myles (pictured above with Westpac's Damien Macrae) is the CEO of CAMP, and an Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence winner. She’s “looking out for the gala dinner where industry and government leaders from both countries will be in attendance and there is the chance to vote for one of CAMP's top four Think-Tanks in a final pitch off.”

CAMP unites young leaders (18-35) from China with Australian peers for a 12-week bilateral business incubator project across a broad range of industries, including banking and financial innovation, health, communications, law, technology, culture and education. The program has an online mentored component and finishes with the intensive five-day face-to-face summit.

According to Andrea, if you want to see what the future of a bilateral relationship could look like, then come along to the panel discussion - June 1 at the Town Hall from 11am-12:30pm. (Ruby Connection members and colleagues are welcome to attend for free using discount code VIPFREE10.)

Featuring Spark Corporation Managing Director Jean Dong; Pozible CEO Rick Chen; Jack Zhang of Chinese tech community Geek Park; Andrew Whitford, Head of Greater China, Westpac; CAMP CEO Andrea Myles, it is moderated by Holly Ransom, G20 Youth Summit Chair and global strategist.

The dinner on June 5 will showcase the ventures conceived by the 130 CAMP delegates. (Tickets available online at http://www.australiachina.org/events)

At the recent annual Westpac Federal Budget dinner to “celebrate and commiserate” over what the Federal Budget brings to the table for the year, Andrea joined Women’s Markets as a guest.

A self-professed Sinophile, Andrea explained her history of interest and business dealings with China.

“I was from regional Australia and travelled to China when I finishedUni. I fell in love with the country, the people, the culture, the language,” she explains, going on to confess her choice to study Mandarin was about creating opportunities for herself by setting herself apart from what was on offer.

Andrea’s previous positions include heading up the Australia China Business Council and co-founding the Engaging China Project, an award wining China engagement initiative in Australian high schools.

CAMP, she explained above the din of knives and forks on plates, “fosters mutual cultural understanding,” as well as providing delegates with “a professional development program.”

It’s also, she says, about “getting the public to participate in the exciting future of the Australia-China relationship, widening the scope of engagement beyond short term transactional bilateral trade to broader shared value and social issues.”

What attracts Andrea about China when it comes to what’s on offer to Australian business, innovators and entrepreneurs?

She can sum that up in one word: “Scale”.

“You’re talking about 500 million people lifted out of poverty since economic reforms since 1978. This massive scale of impact is something that can be extremely attractive to Australian enterprises, which might be struggling with scalability here because of population and market size.”

What about from the Chinese perspective?

“For China to modernise, it needs a diversification of perceptions about China overseas. Chinese entrepreneurs in Australia have a fantastic role to play in terms of helping the average Aussie understand how diverse and rapidly changing China is. Every Chinese company is not a state-owned enterprise, or super massive. Their market impact is fantastic.”

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