By Perth USAsia Centre on 22 May 2019

Indo-Pacific | Economic Integration


In collaboration with the Small Business Development Corporation and the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation, the Perth USAsia Centre hosted the inaugural China Business Forum. The Forum brings together Western Australian startups, small and medium enterprises, policymakers and industry bodies to discuss opportunities and strategies for developing trade and investment relationships in China.

Download the program


Date: Tuesday, 14 May 2019
Location: Crown Towers, Crown Ballroom, Burswood

Western Australia has a longstanding economic relationship with China. Built upon foundations pioneered by the resource sector, economic ties have expanded to include the agro-food, tourism, education and service industries. China now accounts for almost half of the state’s merchandise exports, and is a fast-emerging investment partner.
However, the WA-China economic relationship is today entering a period of transition. As the ‘resource boom’ of the early 21st century levels off, the state’s trade profile is beginning to diversify into a range of new service- and knowledge-based sectors. As China’s economy matures and shifts towards a consumption-led pattern of growth, it will increasingly demand services across the agro-food, tourism, education, healthcare and digital domains. New market access opportunities afforded by the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, as well as new industry strategies launched by the Government of Western Australia, promise to broaden and deepen the state’s economic ties with China.
Small- and medium-enterprises (SMEs) will be essential to this transformation. They play a key role in many of WA’s leading service sectors, and are incubators of innovation in the technology and digital domains. There is significant complementarity between the state’s SMEs and the new commercial opportunities available in China. But to fully capitalise on these opportunities, WA businesses need to have an up-to-date understanding of the contemporary business environment in China, and develop China strategies that match local capacities to changing patterns of consumer demand.
The inaugural China Business Forum fostered dialogue to help WA businesses understand the transforming WA-China economic relationship. Featuring China experts, business leaders and key policymakers, it offered insights on how SMEs can develop trade and investment partnerships in China.


Video of panel discussion 2


The Hon Paul Papalia CSC MLA -

The Hon Paul Papalia CSC MLA


Minister for Tourism; Racing and Gaming; Small Business; Defence Issues; Citizenship and Multicultural Interests

The Hon Paul Papalia CSC MLA was elected to the seat of Peel in February 2007, then elected to the new seat of Warnbro in September 2008 and re-elected to that seat in 2013 and 2017. Paul served in the Shadow Ministry after WA Labor lost office in 2008 as Shadow Minister for Tourism, Corrective Services and Defence Issues. In March 2017, Paul was appointed as a Minister in the new McGowan Government, with the portfolios for Tourism, Racing and Gaming, Small Business, Defence Issues, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs.
Bing Liu -

Bing Liu


State Manager, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China

Mr Liu is State Manager of ICBC Western Australia, General Manager of ICBC Perth Branch. Over 30 years’ industry experience  in project finance, corporate finance, M&A, commodity trading, physical trading, risk management, structured finance and FX trading. Mr Liu has a deep understanding of Chinese, Asian and Australian cultures and business practices, and a strong knowledge in natural resources section. He is well connected with the banking community in Australia and Asia, having previously worked in Bank of America Merrill Lynch Singapore, Macquarie Bank Ltd Sydney & Hong Kong, CITIC Australia Melbourne, Barclays Capital Asia Ltd, Deutsche Bank Hong Kong and CITIC Group in Beijing. Mr Liu holds a Master degree of Business Administration from Melbourne University

Rebecca Brown -

Rebecca Brown

Director General, Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation

Ms Rebecca Brown commenced as Director General of the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation in September 2018.  In this role, she is also Chief Executive Officer of Tourism Western Australia. Ms Brown has worked across both Federal and State government agencies in a range of senior roles across revenue and economic policy, social policy, resourcing and performance.

Jean Dong -

Jean Dong


Chief Executive Officer, Australia-China Belt & Road Initiative 

Over the course of the last few years, Jean has had significant involvement in working with the Australian Federal and State Governments to continue to strengthen Australia’s bi-lateral economic relationship with China.
Jean has led the negotiation and implementation work of the Morden agriculture collaboration agreement between the State of Tasmania and Shaanxi Provincial. This agreement was one of 14 country level engagements endorsed by President Xi Jinping and Former Prime Minister Tony Abbot in November 2014. 

Adam Handley -

Adam Handley

President, Australia- China Business Council

Kathryn Jones is a member of the Telstra Enterprise Leadership Team. In May 2018, Kathryn was appointed to the role of Telstra Strategic Accounts Executive, leading a team of over 600 people managing a portfolio of Telstra’s top tier Enterprise customers. Prior to this appointment, Kathryn held the position of Director for Telstra’s strategic $1.2b contract with the Australian Department of Defence. Under Kathryn’s leadership the performance of the account improved across all key performance indicators; customer satisfaction, revenue and margin. Before this appointment Kathryn was the Westpac Customer Delivery Executive in Telstra’s Global Services business unit.
Mr Lincoln Wong -

Mr Lincoln Wong


General Manager, Australia Post

Lincoln Wong joined Australia Post in July 2018 to help drive Australia Post’s expansion into Asia. Over the last 15+ years, Lincoln has been working extensively in China

Bonnie Lin -

Bonnie Lin


Managing Director, B2 Rainmakers

Professor Rory Medcalf has been Head of the National Security College at the Australian National University since January 2015. He has led the expansion of the College into policy engagement and futures analysis, in addition to its core work in education, executive development and research. His professional background involves almost three decades of experience across diplomacy, intelligence, think tanks and journalism, including as inaugural Director of the International Security Program at the Lowy Institute.

Vanya Cullen -

Vanya Cullen


Managing Director and Chief Winemaker

Vanya Cullen has been winemaking at her family’s Wilyabrup estate since 1983. She was appointed to Chief Winemaker in 1989 and Managing Director in 1999. During that time she has been rigorously experimenting in the vineyard (especially with soil and trellis management) and in the winery all the while looking to give her wines greater complexity. Her palate has been honed by judging throughout Australia and overseas, and by her continuous pursuit of a thorough knowledge of the wines of the world.
James Williamson -

James Williamson


Managing Director, Latitude 28 Produce

James Williamson is the Managing Director of Latitude 28 Produce and brings over 10 years of China focused trade and investment experiences to the dynamic Latitude 28 team, whose focus is to decommoditise the trade of Australian agriculture Produce, empower Chinese consumers with the choice of product authentication and retain customer loyalty to its consumer facing brand.

Erin Watson-Lynn -

Erin Watson-Lynn


Head of Programs, Perth USAsia Centre 
Erin Watson-Lynn is Head of Programs at the Perth USAsia Centre. She is responsible for leading, developing, and executing the Centre’s program of activities from concept to implementation.

Erin has a decade of experience working in the higher education sector in academic and professional research and program delivery. Erin specialises in delivering programs, dialogues, and research activities that focus on Australia’s engagement with the Indo Pacific region, with a focus on South Asia and ASEAN.
Gordon Flake  -

Gordon Flake


Chief Executive Officer, Perth USAsia Centre 

Professor Gordon Flake is the founding CEO of the Perth USAsia Centre at The University of Western Australia. Having built an internationally recognised profile over 25 years of think-tank expertise and leadership in Washington DC, Professor Flake relocated to Perth in 2014 to establish the Centre, and to build a broader world-class Indo-Pacific strategic community.
Andrew Wei-Min Lee -

Andrew Wei-Min Lee


Senior International Facilitator, Asialink Business 

Andrew Lee is an expert facilitator on western-Chinese cross-cultural negotiations. Born in Australia and living the past 15 years in China,  Andrew personally embodies Australian-Chinese culture and  understands cultural and commercial challenges and successful strategies.

Andrew has regularly been engaged by Fortune 100 companies based outside of China who are looking to gain a foothold in the Chinese market and seeking to attract Chinese investors, consumers and partners.  He has worked across a variety of sectors including technology hardware, agri-business, real estate, pharmaceuticals and education.
Hon Peter Tinley AM MLA -

Hon Peter Tinley AM MLA


Minister for Asian Engagement

The Hon Peter Tinley AM MLA is the WA Minister for Housing; Veterans Issues; Youth and Asian Engagement and has been Member for Willagee since 2009.  While in Oppostion he held positions as WA Labor’s Shadow Minister for Planning, Housing, and Local Jobs as well as Shadow Minister for Asian Engagement, Trade, Science and Lands. In 2013 he was elected President of the State Labor Caucus and in mid-2014 was elected by a popular vote of members as the President of WA Labor for a two-year term. Following Labor’s win in the 2017 State Election, Peter was sworn in as the Minister for Housing; Veterans Issues; and Youth on 22 March 2017. In a Cabinet reshuffle on 13 December 2018, the Asian Engagement portfolio was added to his ministerial responsibilities.

Andrew Wei-Min Lee -

Khoon Tan


Senior International Facilitator, Asialink Business 

Andrew Lee is an expert facilitator on western-Chinese cross-cultural negotiations. Born in Australia and living the past 15 years in China,  Andrew personally embodies Australian-Chinese culture and  understands cultural and commercial challenges and successful strategies.

Khoon Tan came to Perth from Malaysia in 1981. He has been involved in various industry in Australia and Asia for over 30 years. Khoon Tan is the President Of WA Chinese Chamber of Commerce since 2009 and has been appointed as Overseas Advisor for Federation Of Commerce in various countries in Asia.
Ms Dong Zhihua -

Ms Dong Zhihua


Chinese Consul General, Perth​

Madam Dong Zhihua is a career diplomat. She started working at the Chinese Foreign Ministry since 1991 and has been posted to the permanent Missions of China to the Unitated nations in New York and Geneva for many years, covering multilateral issues ranging from human rights and humanitarian affairs to sustainable development and climate change, etc. During the last six yeras, she worked in the Department of Arms Control, Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing. She is the Consul General of Consulate General of People's Republic of China in Perth.