Introduction

Most of us think of China as …

  • a rising country
  • an emerging economy
  • a massive market
  • a huge population somewhere way out east.

And very few of us really want to go anywhere near it!

The truth is that China is
no longer out there as a possibility for tomorrow –
it’s over here now, and it’s changing …

  • our market
  • our economy
  • our people and
  • our nation today.

So we are going to have to deal with it whether we want to or not –
but most of us don’t know where to begin!

That’s why I created Access China - to help …

  • businesses
  • governments
  • schools and
  • individuals

to get started with China and to build positive relationships with it.

I’ve had the privilege of …

  • enabling commercial success in China for companies like Lloyds of London, Burberry and Coutts; of
  • conciliating relationships that have resulted in inter-governmental agreements; of
  • inspiring adults and school students about both China and Chinese.

But 25 years ago, that would have been unthinkable!

For someone considered to be well-educated, I was completely ignorant about China. In an interview for Oxford University, I couldn’t name a single historical event in China. So I really sympathized when recently not one person in a board room of 30 executives at a private bank could tell me where Beijing was on a map.

When I chose to start studying Chinese, it was a calculated decision to acquire a skill that would be highly marketable. But I was actually repulsed by the place. I thought the writing was ugly, the language was harsh, and the art was awful. I had no interest in my own history, geography or poetry – let alone someone else’s. China’s philosophies did not excite me, the society seemed backward, and the people were faceless. So I really identify when I meet people today – at social functions, in schools, in businesses, in government – who have a whole heap of negative emotions about China.

A year into my studies, I nearly gave up – it was too hard, too different and too remote. Countless business leaders and tourists still return from China having come to the same conclusion. But then I spent 9 months in China, living with a Chinese family and making Chinese friends, and my thinking was turned on its head. My horizons exploded and

my life has been continually enriched by China ever since

I am convinced that if I can make that change that has opened up a whole new world to me, then so can you.

Our job at Access China is to help you to make that change –

  • from fear to freedom;
  • from tunnel vision to creative thinking;
  • from squeezed business to expanding opportunities;
  • from troubled teams to thriving partnerships.

Are you ready to give it a go?

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