• AustChamShanghai
  • StateoftheChamber
  • 2019

State of the Chamber


Dear Members and Friends,

The Year of the Pig is upon us and we’re now well and truly into 2019. I wanted to give you a quick update as we approach the close of the first quarter and share a peak at what’s to come.

I am looking forward to the release of our 2019 Westpac Australia-China Business Sentiment Survey next Tuesday. The report will include a number of case studies featuring Australian companies operating in-market, discuss important trends in the bilateral economic relationship as well as the real challenges and opportunities faced by Australian businesses in China. I will be in Australia next week alongside Westpac and our research partner China Skinny, at events across the country, to meet members and the next wave of Australian businesses getting ready to access the market. Stay tuned for the drop in your inbox on Tuesday morning. For those based in Shanghai I hope to see you at our launch event here on April 18. Finally, thank you to Westpac as our naming partner and their long-term support for the Australia-China relationship, and Stephanie Smith, our Senior Partnerships and Projects Manager for bringing it altogether.

Events and Programming

In case you had a long holiday and missed out, we hosted our Australia Day BBQ in late January at the Camel Sports Bar & Kitchen with over 150 adults and children enjoying live music, buffet BBQ, CSR raffle, silent auction, fun and games, and our celebrated pavlova competition. Importantly we raised almost 30,000 RMB for our Corporate Social Responsibility Partners on the day. In a more recent highlight, we held a fantastic event on the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan this week which, each year, sends the best and brightest young Australians into Asia for valuable work and learning experiences. I would encourage all member companies to sign up to join the program and provide opportunities for young Australians in China.

I am also pleased to announce that we have partnered with the Camel to host Friday Night Footy through the year. We will be promoting key fixtures across the year and will have specials and discounts for members to soak up some top sporting events. It all kicks off tonight with the start of the AFL season!

As many know, Shanghai will again be the city in the crown of the Australia-China relationship with a major week of activity planned in May around the third AFL match for premiership points in China between Port Adelaide Power and St. Kilda Saints on Sunday 2 June. Momentum is building and our push for this to be recognised as a dedicated time to promote all things Australia in China, a ‘G’Day China’ model, is gaining traction. Finalists for the Australia China Business Awards will be announced shortly ahead of the Gala Dinner in Hong Kong in that week on May 28. We also have some spots left on our Engage China delegation running across three cities that week. Toby Graham, our Senior Marketing and Relationship Manager, is pulling together some excellent content for those looking for fascinating briefings and typically closed off site visits to some of the most innovative Chinese companies.

Congratulations to the AFL for continuing to bring an iconic Australian sport to mainland China for the third year in a row. For more information about the activities on that weekend, and for ticketing packages and registration, please visit their website here. We have also partnered with the AFL to bring all AustCham Shanghai members a 10% discount on tickets. Please reach out to your Relationship Manager for your unique code.

As part of that week, AustCham Shanghai will also be holding the 2019 Australia-China Sports Summit on Thursday 30 May, bringing together industry professionals and experts from China and Australia to talk about the future of sport in both countries and the opportunities to collaborate and learn. This Summit has grown in prestige over the past two years and we are thrilled to align it with this week of activity. We will also be hosting some business content and a major Aussie Drinks on Friday 31 May (the weekend of the match), providing a platform for members to network with players, industry representatives and officials alike. I look forward to announcing these details in coming weeks.

Finally, it wouldn’t be Shanghai without a major summit, conference or fair to add to the mix. SIAL, Asia’s largest and the 3rd biggest food innovation exhibition in the world, will also return to Shanghai in May. The exhibition will showcase the latest in food and agribusiness from countries around the world, and we will continue our tradition of hosting a panel discussion and networking night for members and the sizeable visiting Australian contingent interested in tapping into China’s F&B market.


As our community continues to evolve, I am pleased to let you know that we will be holding more events in Chinese language this year, working more closely with the alumni community who have studied in our great universities and retuned to China, and taking our members on exclusive site visits to Chinese businesses. We would love your feedback and thoughts as to what is relevant for you and your organisation as we seek to provide more targeted information and networking opportunities for members in Chinese language and with our Chinese community.

Elsewhere the AustCham Shanghai’s Board of Directors has approved a 6% increase in membership dues across categories that will take effect for new and renewing members as of April 1 2019. The new membership pricing will allow us to continue to develop and strengthen our Relationship Manager model of member services, industry forums, calendar of events, thought leadership projects, advocacy, government relations, and overall support of the business community. We have a strong membership team that is your dedicated resource for information and connectivity for all manner of business issues. Thank you for your continued participation and membership with AustCham Shanghai.

Our Industry Forums and Committees are your place to drive and influence the activity and direction of the Chamber. Each of these Forums is member led and responsible for planning content and events. Please reach out to your Industry Forum Chair – Joburt Betadam, who leads our Built Environment Industry Forum; Joanne Warrin, lead of our women in business Elevate Forum; Cameron Hume, lead of our Financial Services Industry Forum; Terry Newman, lead of our Manufacturing, Souring and Supply Chain Forum; Becky Xia, Chair of our Human Resources, Legal and Governance Forum; and Ali Groch, our Senior Relationship Manager for matters on Food & Beverage and Education, with your ideas or to get connected with our members in your sector.

For AustCham Shanghai we are also celebrating our 25th anniversary year. We will be launching a communications campaign to celebrate and thank our members in coming weeks, profiling members – both individuals and companies – and highlighting some major milestones in the life of Shanghai and the Chamber. We will also build activity to align with our Great Australian Ball later in the year.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out for more details, or if we can be of further assistance.


Jack Brady
CEO and Executive Director
AustCham Shanghai