What U.S. Businesses Need to Know Before Entering the Chinese Market

At AFP Annual Conference, RBS Citizens Treasury Solutions Addresses Lessons Learned - and Mistakes to Avoid

Oct 15, 2012, 09:00 ET from RBS Citizens Financial Group, Inc.

MIAMI, Oct. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- "As more and more U.S. companies are seeking to sell products in China – the fastest growing consumer market in the world – there are important factors for companies to address before entering this market," says Rose Lee Askin, senior vice president at RBS Citizens Treasury Solutions.

"The loosening of currency restrictions combined with a rapidly evolving regulatory regime makes selling to China a complex enterprise," she says. "Corporate treasurers need to be able to anticipate the speed bumps in this market, as well as understand their investment and payments options." Ms. Askin regularly works with U.S. companies to set up banking services throughout Asia.

At the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) annual conference this week in Miami, Ms. Askin and her RBS Citizens FX colleague Dave Tente will present important tips to companies who are considering entering the Chinese consumer market. Their session – "The Internationalization of the RMB, Cash Optimization, and Lessons Learned in China" on Tuesday, October 16 at 10:30am ET – features key take-aways for corporate treasurers at the conference, which is expected to draw more than 6,000 attendees from across the country.

Some of the lessons Ms. Askin addresses include:

  • Anticipate local resistance. "Know that if you are expanding into China, especially through acquisition, the local company may have important relationships with suppliers and bankers that they don't want to change."
  • Manage local buy-in. "There is a saying in China, 'the mountains are high and the emperor is far away.' If the U.S. parent company is twelve time zones away, the executives need to get on the ground in China to engage local support of the enterprise and bridge the often vast cultural differences."
  • Verify, verify, verify. "American business practices are relatively consistent and matured, while in China business practices are quite diverse, and are still evolving. When conducting business in an emerging market like China, due diligence and contractual oversight is very important."

James Gifas, head of RBS Citizens Treasury Solutions, underscores the need for applying this insight early on in the process. "The opportunity in China is huge, but it's important to understand the interplay of the currency and payments and financing factors to ensure that treasurers are optimizing their cash management in the region, and the impact on liquidity," says Mr. Gifas. "Our clients are seeking out these growth opportunities, while staying very focused on liquidity management when operating in overseas markets."

RBS Citizens Treasury Solutions sponsored the 2012 AFP Liquidity Survey. Mr. Gifas was recently named to the "Who's Who in Cash & Treasury Management" by Global Finance magazine.

For more information, or to speak with Rose Lee Askin or James Gifas, please contact Davia Temin or Suzanne Oaks of Temin and Company at 212-588-8788 or news@teminandco.com.

About RBS Citizens Financial Group, Inc.
RBS Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is a $129 billion commercial bank holding company. It is headquartered in Providence, R.I., and through its subsidiaries has more than 1,400 branches, approximately 3,700 ATMs and approximately 18,940 colleagues. Its two bank subsidiaries are RBS Citizens, N.A., and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. They operate a 12-state branch network under the Citizens Bank brand in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont; and the Charter One brand in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. RBSCFG has non-branch retail and commercial offices in more than 30 states. RBSCFG is owned by RBS (the Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc). RBSCFG's website is citizensbank.com.  

SOURCE RBS Citizens Financial Group, Inc.