James Dewdney
James Dewdney

Top tips on gaining traction in Asia

Since working for CFH Systems in Hong Kong, James Dewdney, Institutional Sales, has gained an insight into the opportunities for businesses in the industry wishing to grow in Asia. Here he shares some thoughts with e-Forex

1. A local presence is key

Businesses that are serious about growth in Asia need to have a local presence. It’s important to operate within the Asian time zone but, equally as important, is having an office for clients to visit for face-toface meetings. Meaningful business relationships cannot be forged solely on the telephone – this is even more apparent in this region compared to the West. Hong Kong is a fantastic launch pad for developing an Asia Pacific client base. From Hong Kong, CFH Systems can offer a personalised service and show commitment to clients across the region.

In addition to Hong Kong, CFH Systems has an office in Tokyo – both offer multi-lingual client services. Having native speakers is critical for a Western business wanting to grow in Asia. Of course, there are a vast number of fluent English speakers across Asia but it is rare to possess complete knowledge of the subtleties of the two (West/East) languages.

2. Don’t carbon copy a Western strategy

Trying to carbon copy a growth strategy that worked in the West and expecting the same result in Asia is unrealistic. Our responsibilities in Asia and specifically China is to find common ground on which to build meaningful relationships or guanxi as it is known in China.

Cultural misunderstandings from miscommunication are common. It’s vital to have staff who are native speakers, who are aware of the differing business cultures and can help to navigate complex pitches and negotiations.

3. Seize the opportunities for growth

Active, sophisticated FX clients in Asia are increasingly aware that London is the global capital of foreign exchange. This growing awareness creates real opportunities. CFH Systems was one of the first companies in the industry to offer complete trading solutions to retail brokers in the region and we have developed a keen understanding of what these clients require. We are now looking to build bridges into new sub-regions and client types.

As we continue to invest in the right people, technology and products, we remain focused on equipping clients with the correct tools to be successful - whether this takes the form of assisting our clients with frontend platforms, back office and risk management tools, hosting/ connectivity, or white labelling options.

For further information, please visit www.cfhsystems.com