Upcoming Delegation

2019 “Listen – Learn – Connect” Mission to China

Senior Women Leaders – A Trade Mission with A Difference

Date: 14 September to 20 September 2019

Locations: Beijing and Shenzhen

This is the 2019 trade mission to China hosted by China Australia Trade and Investment Council to enable senior Australian business women to gain experience and insights into one of the world’s fastest growing and most influential trade zones while building relationships and connections to supercharge career progression and personal growth goals.

Why China?

China is Australia’s largest trading partner. China is also the world’s second largest economy by nominal GDP and the largest by purchasing power parity. The total economy of Asia surpassed all of the Americas back in 2016.  Clearly, the “Asian Century” has arrived and Australians live in this region.

China is now a world leader in innovation especially in AI and Fintech. Businesses need to understand how AI and Fintech can enhance the customer experience. The explosive growth of the start-up scene in China is as much a cultural breakthrough as it is a great leap forward in tech expertise. China is growing at triple the rate of most European nations.

China opened its doors by inviting the world to the first China International Import Expo in Shanghai in November 2018. Themed “New Era, Shared Future” it attracted 172 countries, regions and international organizations, as well as more than 3,600 enterprises to showcase their products and services. $57.83 billion worth of trade was made as a result of the Expo. 

Australian Bureau of Statstics data show that there were 1.39 million Chinese visitors in the year ending February 2018. The 2016 Census found Australia is home to more than 1.2 million people of Chinese ancestry.  

Why Women?

“When we unleash the power of women, we can secure the future for all.” Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General 2015.  

Our program was initially devised by Alice Tay and Donna Hardman who have been working for over a decade to increase the number of women in senior leadership roles in Australia.

They observed a global awakening to the value of gender equality feeling that the momentum for change is building.  However, increasingly complex social and organisational structures mean that in order to make the difference – new thinking and courage – is required when women get there.

The philosophy of the mission is designed to ‘unleash the power’ of our delegates.  We offer an educative, supportive and safe environment for all to ‘have a go’ whenever you feel compelled to do so. Welcome addresses and messages of thanks, daily debriefing facilitation, media exposure and 1:1 cross-cultural, multi-language conversations will be on offer.  Opportunities to get involved begin as soon as you are offered a place.

When delegates return home insights can be leverage to improve our delegates thought-leadership positioning and new relationships may become referents and connectors to assist with future opportunities.

Mission Outcomes

Gain knowledge, insight and ideas
Play a leadership role in strategic conversations and decisions

To be a senior business leader in Australia without a deep understanding of China is a significant knowledge gap. That is why the first goal of this mission to provide knowledge, insight and ideas that delegates can employ immediately to enrich strategic conversations, drive better decisions and spark ideas.

Gain empathy for the Chinese people
Build stronger, more productive relationships  

Understanding another’s perspective is a key leadership skill.  You don’t have to agree on every point but recognising different perspectives in conversations enables us to hear and react to things very differently.  This is why understanding what is important to China and the Chinese people is a key goal of this mission. An added benefit is the chance to build relationships with others on the mission with you.

Deal with difference
Be future ready

This mission aims to help you work out your own beliefs, values and personal biases. It might be confronting at times causing reflection about how you approach and understand difference. In today’s VUCA world (volatile, unclear, complex, ambiguous) breakthrough ideas are discovered by diverse teams. Broad perspectives, experience and problem-solving methods are needed. A key goal therefore is to open you up to new possibilities and experiences encouraging a more open mind when it comes to who you include and how you approach things. 

Mission Theme

Listen – Learn – Connect 

Our vision is to create a trade mission with a difference.  We encourage you not to begin with a product pitch but instead to Listen, Learn and Connect.

Listen – Rather than talk. The aim is to inform – perhaps change – your current thinking, perspectives and bias.

Learn – Don’t teach. The aim is to return home with breakthrough insights and ideas.

Connect – More than observe.  This is experiential learning not rote. It is as much about how you feel as what you see.

The Program

Day 1 - Arrive in Beijing and Get connected

Make that disconnect from the West and connect to China.  You will be disconnected from your usual social media and communication tools – LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google. They will be gone for the duration of the mission (although we can show you ways to stay connected if you need to).  WeChat will be the way for the week. After settling in, you will catch up with other delegates and the mission support team.  That evening, we visit Hema Fresh to experience firsthand the New Retail and enjoy a meal together.

Day 2 & 3 - "Living Museum"

We start with the foundational trade skills and the ancient mysteries of China.

We travel to the Simatei Great Wall and picturesque man-made water town of Gubei, a toursim Unicorn. We stay overnight and experience the miracle of this “living museum”. 

Day 4 - Today’s China

We return to school to learn about the economic, political, education, governance, social and/or culture environment which enables innovative companies to succeed.

In the afternoon, we visit NIO, an electric car manufacturer who build sales via relationships. 

Day 5 - Past and Future

We visit a unicorn and learn how its platforms enable people to enjoy content powered by AI technology.

In the afternoon, we pay our respects at Tiananmen Square and the Palace Museum (the Forbidden City) for a time of quiet reflection taken at a pace of your choosing.

In the evening, we fly to Shenzhen.

Day 6 - Forward looking

We start our day by visiting our hosts in Shenzhen, Shenzhen Municipal Commerce Bureau (previously Invest Shenzhen), a municipal government organisation whose role is to help international trade partners and investors with information, advice and introductions.

In the afternoon, we visit a robotics company to see a future in which AI enabled robots will be a part of our everyday lives, from teaching our children to caring for our elderly.  

We end the day by informally networking with women entrepreneurs and visiting an incubator for returning young entrepreneurs.  What makes these overseas educated young Chinese return to China to build their companies?

Day 7 - Innovation

China is building an innovation culture in a socialist market economy and as a result, the education of children is changing as a consequence.  We experience how the new China is preparing its children for a world dominated by AI and what part culture plays in innovation. Fintech is the new thing so we are visiting a fintech firm to learn about fintech and also how they prioritise research. On our final evening spend time with delegates, now friends.  Exchange ideas and plan for tomorrow. You may even want to join locals in a community ‘square’ dance.


Day 8 - Home

Travel safely back to Australia.

Terms and Conditions

     Program cost: $8,500

1. The full price of the program is payable on or before 14 July 2019. Discount of $500 if referred by previous delegate.  

2. Numbers on this trade mission is limited.  Registering your interest does not guarantee a place.

3. Successful delegates will be notified no later than 5 July 2019.  Together with the notification, you will receive an invoice for the full price.  The invoice will contain directions on how to claim the delegate referral discount.

4. The listed program is a guide only and subject to change. 

5. The price includes the following: airport transfers on arrival and all internal travel (including the flight from Beijing to Shenzhen) accommodation in 4-5 star hotels, entry fees, and meals as listed.

6. The price excludes the following: visa and passport costs, your flight to and from China, meals and attractions not listed, personal expenses and travel insurance.

7. Travel insurance is compulsory and should cover at a minimum medical emergency including repatriation.  The insurance should also cover personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

8. Additional nights’ accommodation can be requested before the full payment received; additional accommodation costs will be added to the itinerary cost.

9. The itinerary cannot be reduced or broken into individual elements.

10. No refunds for any components of the program unless application for visa is refused. 

Supporting Organisations