Communication with Chinese business partners is sometimes complicated by a lack of understanding of Asian business culture. Chinese business etiquette often seems confusing to the outside observer: for example, exchanging business cards, seating at the negotiating table, choosing a topic for small talk, should all follow strict protocols. Chinese business partners will notice attention to detail and adherence to cultural practices, both of which will add to your "business karma."
Where can one learn to negotiate the Asian way? Exhibitions, conferences, and summits can be considered an opportunity for intense networking, where even just observation can help develop the personal communication skills necessary to succeed in China.
The AsstrA-Associated Traffic AG corporate group has applied this active communication strategy to building partner and client networks in the Middle Kingdom. Over the past six months, representatives of the company visited more than a dozen international events in China. As Managing Director of AsstrA Shanghai Andrei Soroka comments:
«At the end of September, we visited The Belt and Road Logistics Information Forum in Lianyungang. The Forum was organized by The Belt and Road International Logistics Alliance (BRILA) within the framework of the 5th China Silk Road International Logistics Expo.
The topic for discussion was the development of multimodal transport and information technologies as part of the Belt and Road Initiative. While the overwhelming majority of participants were representatives of local Chinese companies and institutions, there were several companies from Kazakhstan and Pakistan as well as diplomats from Lithuania and Mongolia. As one of the few foreign companies at the event, AsstrA participated successfully in the event and made a number of new, useful contacts.
We also visited the more narrowly focused 5th China Silk Road International Logistics Expo. Most of the participants there were manufacturers of equipment and packaging materials, and there were several logistics companies, cities, investment zones, and logistics parks represented as well. Over the course of the day, we made contact with more than 15 Chinese logistics partners and associations.»
China Country Manager Zhumagali Tangnur attended another major event, the Belt and Road Landbridge international transport forum in Changsha, and said:
«The visit to the forum, which was focused on the development of the New Silk Road, was more effective than we expected. We met with existing clients and talked to potential partners. Many participants were interested in China-Russia transportation: this trade lane is of key importance for AsstrA. We were able to talk openly about all the unique factors influencing transportation along this route, and our new contacts will soon become clients!»