Rendulić: You have to be prepared for an exhausting match with Chinese partners
Rendulić: You have to be prepared for an exhausting match with Chinese partners
Author: Siniša Malus
3rd March 2018
ZAGREB - The answer to the question "How to do business with China" is not easy or unambiguous, but those who were fortunate to attend Friday's panel discussion under that name at the HTI conference are somewhat closer to at least some of the answers.

The President of the Presidency of the Chinese Southeast European Business Association (CSEBA) Mario Rendulić spoke in a fun and relaxed manner about his, sometimes unsuccessful, attempts to communicate with Chinese business partners. Every entrepreneurial venture is a thorny journey, and if you are trying to realize it on a demanding complex market like the Chinese, the task is toughen.

- Differences in business culture and mentality are great, there is also a language barrier, and it's almost impossible to succeed if you do not have high quality associates on the field, in China. In these five years, how intensely I am doing with China I can say that I did not really know too much about it, said Rendulić.

Of course, the topic of the first Chinese investment in the Republic of Croatia could not be bypassed in the conversation. It is a Chinese investment in the Krapinske Toplice for which CSEBA is responsible.

"There were several months of talks and negotiations before we signed the contract. Our desire, of course, is always to reach an agreement fast, but with the Chinese partners you have to be prepared for an exhausting match. However, we have done the first step successfully, said Rendulić.

Other participants in the debate also highlighted Chinese specialties. An integral part of every tourist arrangement is food, and Chinese tourists are very sensitive to how their cuisine is perceived abroad. In Croatia (nothing is better anywhere else), Chinese cuisine does not look too much on what the Chinese imply under that concept. Direct airline connections are what Croatia lacks to attract more Chinese tourists, and shopping opportunities that Chinese people prefer so much are inadequate.

It is underlined that this year the theme of tourism is particularly important in light of the "Year of Tourism of the European Union and China".

We need to be ready for the coming of the new generation of "millennium" Chinese, who are mind-set and habits, though somewhat closer to the Western way of life.

- It is especially important to understand and prepare for their habits, which are primarily mobile communication and connecting with Chinese social networks. Chinese-language inscriptions are also imperative to get closer to what the Chinese want, said Rendulić.

Of course, there is no overlooked bitter topic on the complex visa regime Croatia has for Chinese citizens. This must be simplified, so we can count on a greater number of Chinese tourists.

In addition to Rendulić, the panels include Zdeslav Radovčić, the founder of HTI Conference, Amy Wang, Product Manager from Farers International, and Tom Dedek, representative of Berlin ITB.

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