Great marketing is whipping the puck up the ice on a power play – at least every now and then. Someone I respect (his book is probably the best on consulting) is Gordon Perchthold. He is in Hong Kong and The RFP Company helps companies enter Asia rapidly. He knows how Vietnam differs from Korea and where to focus scarce resources.
Gordon is nimble minded and has helped many companies get over their fear of the dragon. Gordon set up a debate with Ivey Business School in Hong Kong to discuss “Canada has Missed the Boat to Asia.” We held the same debate in Toronto and Gordon was kind enough to include me. My son attended and told me I overdid the debate style of picking on my opponents!
But I did get to study Asia and speak to many business owners about their experience in this massive country and it has added to my strategic focus. This change may bake a huge difference for me in marketing to a massive client in Vancouver. I had not included Asia!
I had to debate why Canada has not missed the boat in Asia (and especially China)...
Here are a few points:
· Commodities are fungible so any upward effect China has had on the price of say oil or lumber has benefitted Canada regardless
· Canada has welcomed Chinese investment (arguably more so than Australian! c.f. Athabaska vs. Potash!)
· Canada has redirected exports away from “Due South” to across the Pacific (energy, lumber, food, minerals, fish, potash)
· Canada has “benefited” via a stronger C$, one of the world’s leading commodity currencies. China has contributed to the C$’s strength.
If Canada has missed the boat, it is probably because its corporates have not been as active as they could have been. But has not RBC always been Li Ka Shing’s lead bank forever? BMO is seen to be close to the Chinese hearts. And RIM and Bombardier are doing well in Asia, aren’t they?
Canada’s Asian community has also ensured a close connection viz. Honkouver!
Truth to tell, best argument is the counter factual: it is hard to think of much more Canada could have done that it has not already done!