When was the last time you heard a business leader suggest that they were going to target Asia, and Japan would be the key market of entry? It would probably be a while. Australian companies still do business with Japan, but new business is not growing as fast as it probably should be, and perhaps that is down to the besotted nature that Australia and the various federal, state and local governments have had with China. Its hard for Japan not to be swamped and overlooked in favour of its bigger East Asian neighbour. But is this a fair comparison?
China has attracts a large amount of attention, and is perceived by many in government, business and the broader society as synonymous with Asia. The Asian Century that we often hear discussed, could very well be replaced with the “Chinese Century” in the eyes of many business and government leaders. But how much of this sentiment is based in reality? Can we distil the Asian Century into a story about China?