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  • Bali deal saves WTO innings | Business Spectator
    a start a long time after the start Essentially the 159 WTO members agreed to a series of measures to speed up the processing of goods through customs and to publish their customs requirements The deal nearly came to grief over a dispute between the United States and India over India s practice of over paying farmers in the end the US was persuaded to give in and allow India to keep its food security measures for another four years Removal of that blockage allowed the rest of the trade facilitation measures to be agreed which they grandly declared would add 1 trillion to global trade Yes well it s a good thing no one checks up on such press release predictions but the significance of the Bali meeting is that they managed to agree on anything at all As a result the new director general of the WTO Roberto Azevedo of Brazil has managed to rescue the WTO from total irrelevance As the WTO has become more and more bogged in argument between rich and poor nations over the past decade bilateral free trade agreements have flourished culminating in a grand pact called the Trans Pacific Partnership With the benefit of hindsight China may have been both the WTO s greatest achievement and its killer the monster that smothered the WTO China s accession to the WTO in 2001 was agreed because the US and Europe thought it would give them access to its market of a billion potential consumers It worked entirely the other way around of course China s trade surpluses became so enormous that it unbalanced the global financial system and it s still that way Over the weekend China reported that its exports grew 12 7 per cent in November and its trade surplus is running at more than US30 billion 32 94 billion a month or US240 billion a year The Doha Development Round of WTO negotiations was kicked off at the same time as China s accession to replace the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade At the ministerial conference in Doha Qatar in November 2001 the ministers set a very ambitious agenda which proved in the end to be far too ambitious The basic idea was that developed countries would provide access to their markets for the agricultural produce of developing countries while the poorer countries would reduce tariffs on manufactured goods from the rich countries It never happened European and American farmers proved too powerful and the developing nations wanted actually to develop to build manufacturing sectors in the same way Europe and America had through tariffs It seems likely that China sucked all the oxygen out of Doha by totally dominating global trade flooding the world with cheap manufactured goods and crowding out all other developing nations By the time Roberto Azevedo took over from Pascal Lamy as director general in September all that was left of Doha were a few scraps of customs red tape

    Original URL path: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/12/9/global-news/bali-deal-saves-wto-innings (2014-01-12)
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  • Innovation echoes down family lines | Business Spectator
    This week s family business story is an unusual one for us it s only four years old Most of the families we profile are at least a few generations in but this one hasn t seen even its first succession yet Oh and it s two families not one The company is Blamey Saunders Hearing Pty Ltd a hearing aid business and a partnership between two Melbourne scientists Professor Peter Blamey and Dr Elaine Saunders They own 90 per cent jointly not 45 per cent each and the other 10 per cent is owned by America Hears Inc Blamey and Saunders are both quantum physicists who moved into audio science and they have invented a self fitting hearing aid that can be bought online The things cost between 2000 and 3500 for a pair which is around a fifth of the normal cost and more importantly people can buy them on the internet with their credit cards It s a dramatic illustration of the potential for what is now called e health patients using the internet to deal with their medical needs In some ways the Blamey Saunders invention is as big a revolution as the Cochlear implant itself the customer simply hooks up the hearing aid to a computer and plays four chimes and the software embedded in the device tunes it for the wearer The private hearing aid market in Australia is roughly 100 000 devices a year Blamey Saunders Hears as the business is called sells a few thousand Elaine Saunders believes they can grow to double digit market share and also open up a big untapped market of early stage hearing loss that normally goes untreated But is it a family business Well yes and today s profile is also a tribute to the Spouse so many family businesses look like they are just one person usually a man succeeded by his children but behind him is a wife who is as much a part of the business as the one who is running it both in ownership and contribution Last week I wrote tongue in cheek about how Pamela Colosimo was producing staff for the family hotel business six boys This week s spouse as hero is John Bellhouse Elaine Saunders husband Eleven years ago he decided to stop work to look after their four children and support Elaine without him Blamey Saunders Hearing wouldn t exist At the time she was working for a company called Dynamic Hearing which had been spun out of a CRC Co operative Research Company which had in turn been spun off from Cochlear and was connected to the Bionics Institute and the University of Melbourne It was called the Cochlear Implant and Hearing Aid Innovation CRC and existed to develop the next generation of hearing aid electrodes Dynamic Hearing which was owned by the CRC and two venture capital firms was spun off to develop hearing aid software after computer chips started being fitted to the devices

    Original URL path: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/12/5/family-business/innovation-echoes-down-family-lines (2014-01-12)
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  • How to avoid weekend penalties: have lots of kids | Business Spectator
    else first and second partners don t get involved in the business which is the first time I ve seen that rule Says Marcello We watched other family businesses and realised that s when complications and arguments arise You have to keep each person s own family and business involvement separate If you don t and your partner comes into the business with you you tend to start looking at the business from a micro perspective just from the point of view of your own family Ross s wife Pamela didn t have time to work in the business in the early years she was too busy producing staff All the boys worked weekends in his hotels as soon they could hold a tray of glasses All of them finished school and went to uni and then joined the business full time Rosario as he was then emigrated from Calabria at the age of 13 His father Marcello had a fairly traditional work history for Italian migrants first the Snowy Hydro scheme and then the Queensland sugar cane farms before settling around Baulkham Hills The young Rosario started working in hotels in the area and eventually built a bottle shop in Baulkham Hills Crestwood Cellars it s still there He and Pamela lived in a caravan at the back of the shop and worked seven days a week He also had a talent for property development and made decent money developing a block of industrial units in the area before building the Castle Hill Hotel which with the help of his six sons became one of New South Wales three biggest hotels He then moved into the city and developed the Retro nightclub and restaurant in Sussex Street and then to the Hunter Valley where he developed a big tourist centre and brewery on 11 acres just outside Cessnock That gave the Colosimos a taste for brewing They sold Crestwood Cellars the Castle Hill tavern and Retro as well and in fact developed and sold a few hotels along the way hanging onto Hillside and Bell Vista and then developed the huge Australian Brewery and Hotel at Rouse Hill Australian Brewery s three types of beer and one cider are the first craft beers to be sold in cans They won prizes at the Beer and Brewery Awards last year and the pub in Rouse Hill won the Best Traditional Bar and Best Boutique Beer Venue at the AHA awards In 2004 they were named Family Business of the Year The family s ambition now is to be the biggest craft brewer in the country They have just signed a national distribution deal with the Kollaras Group another big family business and have an export distribution deal with Konishi Brewing in Japan Ross and the six boys are all equal shareholders and they haven t yet discussed the third generation succession the oldest is 12 so it s a few years off There are no dividends just salaries and all

    Original URL path: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/11/28/family-business/how-avoid-weekend-penalties-have-lots-kids (2014-01-12)
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  • The tortoise and the hare of real estate | Business Spectator
    the business with 19 others owning the rest LJ Hooker has been rebuilt under the chairmanship of Greg Paramor the former CEO of Mirvac and the great rivalry between LJ Hooker and Ray White is alive and well and is at the heart of Australian real estate Today s story is about the one that s still a family business Ray White now controlled and run by the founder s grandson Brian White along with his brother Paul his three sons Sam Dan and Ben and Paul s son Matt This year they will sell about 30 billion worth of real estate on which the network of 1000 offices will make a bit less than 2 per cent commission Raymond White started in 1902 selling livestock real estate and anything he could lay his hands on from a shed in the railway yards at a place called Crow s Nest just outside Toowoomba in Queensland In 1922 he moved to Brisbane with his four children and specialised in real estate As often happened then it was his sons Alan and Max who inherited the business while his daughters Joyce and Marjorie got other assets Alan and Max ran the business together and it was they who met with Les Hooker at their office in Brisbane when the big charismatic southerner tried to buy their business It was 1954 and Brian White was 13 at the time He remembers coming home from school to a house full tension as his dad paced the floor wondering what to do The dreaded southerners had discovered Queensland should we sell to them or not Then Alan called a family dinner and announced to the table that they weren t selling Ray White would remain a family business Brian remembers this as a seminal moment They were telling Les Hooker to bugger off Brian was galvanised by it Eventually when Brian was in his 40s and still galvanised he and his father bought out Max and decided to attack LJ Hooker in its home base Sydney They converted to a franchise model for the capital instead of floating and then bought the national real estate network called ERA ERA stood for Electronic Realty Australia and you might think that meant it was ahead of its time using the internet technology to sell real estate way back in the 1980s In fact electronic referred to the fax machine whenever someone listed a house with a branch it was faxed to head office That s it Eventually Brian s brother Paul who had been farming decided to join the business and bought a small stake Now they are co chairmen both in their seventies with sons in their forties ready to take over although they might have to wait a while yet Sixty years after his father knocked back Les Hooker Brian White is still galvanised every day I haven t really worked for 40 years he says because I love what I do especially now with

    Original URL path: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/11/21/family-business/tortoise-and-hare-real-estate (2014-01-12)
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  • China's remarkable reform manifesto | Business Spectator
    internal migration it s just that the rural classes don t have access to welfare or services in the cities There may be as many as 200 million or more people in this grim situation rather like America s illegal Mexican workers in their own country The new communiqué says the hukou system will be scrapped for small cities relaxed in an orderly manner for medium cities and retained for large cities to control their size while introducing new rules to facilitate the settlement of migrants whatever that means The reason this is important for Australia is that there will have to be a massive new wave of investment in infrastructure in smaller cities to service all of the people rather than just those who are registered to be there ANZ Bank s chief China economist Li Gang Liu says that in addition to housing and transport there will be an investment boom in public schools hospitals and other public services in China s Tier 2 3 and 4 cities The new rules don t scrap the one child policy parents from single child families will be allowed to have two children The one child policy was first introduced in 1979 so the first children born to mandated single child families are now 34 childbearing age It means there could be a new baby boom in China as young families have a second child fast before the rules change again The result could be a sharp increase in household consumption in China Making sense of China s baby talk November 18 Forcing SOEs to disgorge more of their cash for social welfare will also result in increased consumption One of the big problems in China is the fact that business profits are not distributed either to the central government or individuals The result is an unbalanced economy with too much business investment and too little social welfare However the wording of this reform makes it very unclear whether they are talking about actual dividends increase the proportion of State capital gains paid in public financing to 30 per cent by 2020 which will be used to ensure and improve people s livelihoods Beyond that the new manifesto lays out fiscal and taxation reforms designed to broaden the local governments sources of income and improve their liquidity There s also a set of banking and financial reforms that accelerate yuan convertibility open up the capital account further liberalise interest rates and allow the Treasury yield curve to better reflect demand and supply The document also specifically refers to the proposed Shanghai Free Trade Zone as a prototype for even deeper reforms including floating deposit rates and full convertibility of the yuan If all of these reforms actually come off the 2013 Third Plenary will be more significant than the one in 1978 at which Deng Xiaoping launched China on its path to modernisation in the first place Print this page More from Alan Kohler 30 Dec Letter to Robert Gottliebsen 19

    Original URL path: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/11/18/china/chinas-remarkable-reform-manifesto-0 (2014-01-12)
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  • Watch: Can Lara Giddings turn Tasmania around? | Business Spectator
    Deals Policy Politics Smart Energy Latest stories Marking the milestones of 2013 Australia s transition to a clean energy economy took some political blows in 2013 but progress on the ground was heartening with energy efficiency solar and wind all providing tangible proof of their future potential A fifth year of declining power consumption Power consumption fell again in 2013 dipping 2 8 per cent across the National Electricity Market as scheduled renewables rose to 12 per cent of the market Industries Advertising and Marketing Agribusiness Automotive Aviation Construction and Engineering Education Family Business Financial Services Food and Beverages Gaming and Racing Health and Pharmaceuticals HR Industrial relations Information Technology Infrastructure Insurance Manufacturing Media and Digital Resources and Energy Professional Services Property Retail Small Business SME Telecommunications The Ashes Tourism Transport and Logistics Video KGB TV China Spectator CEO Hub Leadership Lab Management Insights Young Leaders Knowledge Centre Adapt or Die Knowledge Hub Business Accelerators Webinars eBooks Menu Watch Can Lara Giddings turn Tasmania around Alan Kohler 14 Nov 2013 11 21 AM 4 Industries Business Accelerators Tasmania s economy significantly lags the rest of the country With outward migration high relative unemployment and poor business confidence what can Premier Lara Giddings do You must be logged in to read this article Not a member yet Register today Business Spectator is available on all of your devices so you can access the latest news and commentary where and how you like Register now Already a member Sign in here Email Address Enter your Email Address Password Enter the password that accompanies your Email Address Remember me Log in Request new password Tasmania s economy significantly lags the rest of the country With outward migration high relative unemployment and poor business confidence what can Premier Lara Giddings do Use this to embed video Print this page More from Alan Kohler 30 Dec Letter to Robert Gottliebsen 19 Dec Australia s growth is all in the family 18 Dec No crisis but taxes still need to rise 16 Dec Income tax has to go up 12 Dec Unlike the Holden family the Bates stuck with saddles Connect with Alan Kohler on Google Related articles 06 Dec Business Accelerators The growth trap 21 Nov The Tasmanian company selling to a Moroccan princess 08 Nov Business Accelerators Marketing by storytelling 31 Oct Business Accelerators Starting from scratch 24 Oct Business Accelerators The customer is kingmaker More from Business Spectator Technology Adapt or die Commercial The Future of Energy Family Business Alan Kohler s Family Business China China Spectator Please log in or register to post comments Comments on this article Comments Policy Mike Borgelt Thu 2013 11 14 11 46 Turn out the lights before leaving Judge Mental Thu 2013 11 14 12 27 Just relax Lara sit tight do nothing and simply wait for the other states to collapse around you Then you will be able to tell your electorate that you have led Tasmania to the point where it has finally reached

    Original URL path: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/11/14/business-accelerators/watch-can-lara-giddings-turn-tasmania-around (2014-01-12)
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  • How the Mostyns won control by giving it up | Business Spectator
    his place rather than his then 46 year old son The second thing was to provide in his will that the third generation would inherit the business not the second Maybe he just did all this and hung on as chairman and CEO until he was 79 because he didn t think much of his son Bob although that s not part of the family folklore now Bob Mostyn now 84 is as revered as his father But whatever the case Craig Mostyn Group is now a sprawling 320 million a year WA based food business with 80 000 pigs in five farms Australia s biggest lobster and abalone export operation into Asia and an 80 million a year meat recycling business The shareholders are 14 descendants of RL Mostyn and only one of them is in the business George Craig and RL Mostyn started the business in 1937 in Sydney as a trading company importing and exporting anything they could put their hands on George was a smoker as well as being tight with money he used only one match a day lighting each subsequent cigarette off the stub of the previous one from the moment he got up in the morning until he went to bed at night No surprise then that he collapsed of a heart attack and died aged 41 in 1940 whereupon RL bought out his share of the business the next day and moved into George s bigger office His grandson Andrew Mostyn is the last Mostyn in the business he is both a shareholder and director of the company and manager of Corporate Social Responsibility and Credit Control reporting to CEO David Lock When they have a board meeting David reports to Andrew Andrew says he was assistant CEO when his father was the boss but he never intended to be CEO himself Bob took over as CEO in 1986 eight years after his father died and he did actually inherit 30 per cent of the company because in 2000 the family broke the trust that was meant to pass straight to the third generation so that Bob and his two sisters Jeanne and Roddie Rodrica took control with the consent of their kids With RL no doubt spinning in his grave his three children gave each of their own eight kids the third generation about 5 per cent each took the other 60 per cent themselves They then wrote a new provision into the constitution that no one branch of the family could own more than 49 per cent without making a full takeover offer along with strict pre emptive rights Big decisions like the sale of the business or an acquisition worth more than 50 per cent of the assets require unanimous approval of all three branches of the family They also wrote in a provision that staff and directors had to retire at 72 to make sure no one else stayed too long like RL did RL Mostyn is one

    Original URL path: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/11/14/family-business/how-mostyns-won-control-giving-it (2014-01-12)
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  • A market economy with Chinese characteristics | Business Spectator
    one party state all this lurching about every few years from children to adults is bad for business Anyway the Chinese communists have now discovered the market The Plenum pointed out that we must closely revolve around the decisive function that the market has in allocating resources Deepen economic structural reform accelerate the perfection of modern market systems The word perfection suggests they need to catch up with what happened in the US and Europe in 2008 but meetings of the Chinese Communist Party are hyperbolic chambers so that s just in keeping with the language of the whole communiqué The question of whether Comrade Xi Jinping would focus on economic reform or clamping down on China s incipient credit bubble has been answered it s all about reform Finance gets a brief mention well down the document while the mushrooms of reform are sprinkled throughout the field We must realistically transform government functions deepen administrative structural reform innovate administrative management methods strengthen government credibility and implementation and establish a rule of law government and a service type government The communiqué even talked about democracy to develop Socialist democratic politics we must pay more attention to completing democratic systems enriching democratic forms and fully giving rein to the superiorities of our country s Socialist political system Goodness knows what that actually means although it s very clear that the Party has no intention of giving power In fact quite the reverse the reforms spelt out last night are designed to entrench it Why will it work better this time than when Hu Jintao took over ten years ago and also issued a 3rd Plenum communiqué full of talk about reform and open government Mainly I suspect because it has to Xi Jinping appears to be a stronger character better able than Hu to push through reforms but also it is ten years on China s economy is twice as large and in the meantime the internet has happened The people now know far more than they used to and are demanding more more stuff and more freedoms For the CCP to retain power peacefully it must provide both As the communiqué says it must unwaveringly encourage support and guide the non publicly owned economy at the same time as the publicly owned economy This is critical to shifting China s reliance away from exports and heavy industry towards an energetic domestic economy a bit like what Australia has to do except on a much bigger scale A year ago it seemed Xi Jinping was confident he could do this while at the same time getting control of credit growth and stopping the development of bubbles Reading between the lines of last night s communiqué it seems he has given up on that reform is taking precedence the speculators will have to look after themselves This is both understandable and dangerous The great risk of a credit collapse in China remains but as long as there isn t one China should

    Original URL path: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/11/13/china/market-economy-chinese-characteristics (2014-01-12)
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