Social responsibility key to Chinese companies' success in Australia: HNA chairman

To succeed in business in Australia, Chinese companies need to make social responsibility an integral part of their business development, says Chen Feng, chairman of China's Hainan Airlines Group.

Chen, in a recent interview with Xinhua, said it was not easy for Chinese companies to do business in Australia due to differences in culture, concepts and business rules.

However, the Hainan Airlines Group, the parent of China's fourth-largest airline, Hainan Airlines, has managed to absorb an Australian business and establish a new company in Australia affiliated with the Hainan group, Chen said.

Chen believes that corporate social responsibility and making positive contributions to society are keys to his group's success in business development in Australia.

"In order to help the host country eliminate misunderstandings and prejudice and gain better acceptance of Chinese enterprises, we should integrate social responsibility into business development while making a contribution back to society," Chen said.

The Hainan Airlines Group recently acquired the aircraft leasing business of Australia's Allco Finance Group. The acquisition was made through the Hong Kong Aviation Company, a consortium that includes Bravia Capital Partners and the Hainan group.

Chen said that in order to become more competitive in Australia, the new company cooperates with Allco in terms of capital, technology and personnel.

"We adopt international management standards for the expansion of the staff team to serve the local market and have created more job opportunities," Chen said. "This initiative has not only gained support from the Australian and Chinese government but also won support from local people."

The Hainan group began the acquisition of Allco's aircraft leasing business in late 2008 and gained the approval of the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board in January.

Chen said that although the acquisition was a success, the new company still faces many difficulties, such as fund management and how to deal with cultural differences.

"The solution is based on the original team with the appointment of a German CEO and allowing overseas staff to work in China, let them experience the vigorous development of China and Hainan Airlines Group, a pioneering culture to strengthen cohesion," he said.

In addition, the Hong Kong Aviation Company aims to develop into a global aircraft leasing company and its rental businesses will be gradually listed overseas, an important step in the group's global strategy, Chen said.

"Australia has wealthy resources, which are conducive to Chinese enterprises' further development. Chinese enterprises should strive to promote their own development and increase local job opportunities," Chen said.

"Meanwhile, they should also try to get familiar with local culture and integrate in a different corporate culture to achieve a harmonious co-existence," he said.

[Source: Xinhua, Sidney, 12Aug10]

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