Media Net – Feb 2014
International Property Consultant critical of our fast, short-term, shallow relationships with Asian property investors. Better to ‘Go Slow. Get to know,’ he says. Despite the rampaging investment in Australian CBD property by Asian investors, Melbourne-based, international property advisor Anthony Chiminello believes that we are not leveraging enormous untapped economical and social benefits between our cultures due to the limited focus on ‘doing the deal’. ‘Too often we look at Asian investors as ‘wallets’ only and focus solely on a market or commercial relationship. We ‘do the deal’ and move on to the next commercial transaction,’ he says. ‘What we should be doing is taking the opportunity to build long-term relationships and take a holistic view to business.’ A veteran of the Asian and Australian property market, Chiminello takes a slower and deeper approach to business relationships with his Asian investors. ‘Unless you take the time and slow down, you miss some of the nuance signposts to a better understanding and ultimately a better business relationship. ’ He has found that successful business relationships are best based on personal relationships first; getting to know the person, lifestyle and culture. ‘Of course they (Asian investors) are very keen and tough negotiators, but they prefer to get to know all about the person they are dealing with so they can establish trust which forms the basis of a long term relationship. Any relationship should be a personal and cultural exchange’ he says. ‘Personal, social and economical benefits are initially generated by the cross fertilisation of ideas not necessarily just technology, skills or capital.’ One of those cross-fertilisation of ideas is a project Anthony Chiminello has undertaken between schools in Australia, China, Malaysia and Singapore. His ‘Calendar of Life’ features fifty-two (English and Mandarin) poems and illustrations from students throughout Asia and Australia. At recent launches in Shanghai and Melbourne, government, consulate and schools’ representatives applauded the initiative. ‘Although our (Asian) neighbours are close, culturally there can be huge gaps. The Calendar starts with children and is a doorway to educate, inspire and engage. It creates a foundation for better cross-cultural understanding between us. It’s the spark,’ he says. The Calendar for Life will be launched in Singapore on Saturday, February 15th at The Arts House – the former Parliament building of Singapore. www.culturalharmonynow.com The Calendar for Life and background information is available on request.