Case Study Iia Australia And New Zealand: Doing Business With Indonesia

1545 words - 7 pages

CASE STUDY IIa Australia and New Zealand: Doing Business with Indonesia There are thousands of Australians, both individually and as members of organizations, who share trade and education with Indonesia as do New Zealanders. Yet, though geographically part of Asia, citizens of Australia and New Zealand are members of cultures very different from any other in Asia. As increasingly they seek to trade in Asia, so also do they need to learn to manage such differences; and doing business in Indonesia is a good example. Travelling time by air from Perth, Western Australia, to Indonesia is slightly less than four hours, yet the cultural distance is immeasurable. In January 2007, the Jakarta Post ...view middle of the document...

National ties are strong, as revealed by the great response from within Indonesia to the recent natural disasters in Aceh and Nias. Unfortunately, there are still very obvious socio-economic disparities in all regions of the country. At the top of the social structure are wealthy elites, below them an increasingly demanding middle class, and at the bottom an impoverished majority. As Indonesia has become more integrated with ASEAN, North Asian trading partners have become more important: but well-to-do Indonesians now travel the world. Globalization has been the buzzword of international business for many years. International markets have split up into unified trade zones; individual marketplaces, particularly in the developing countries, are exposed to transnational pressures. Some Asian countries are pulling back from perceived threats of international contagion, but Indonesia continues to open up its markets to world enterprise. However, Australians and New Zealanders cannot expect to do business with Indonesians just because they are neighbors. They have to learn the moves.

Business opportunities in Indonesia include agribusiness; the automotive industry; business and financial services; construction and infrastructure; information and communication technology; e-commerce; education and training; environmental products and services; food and beverages; fresh produce; health and medical provisions; mining and mineral services; oil and petroleum drilling, transport and storage; and science and technology. Taking advantage of these opportunities requires skillful negotiation. One of the biggest challenges of working in a foreign country is learning how to operate in a different cultural setting. International managers tell endless stories of cross-cultural breakdowns, missed appointments, problems over differences in management style, lost orders or down time on production lines, labor problems between foreign management and local staff, and many other examples of miscommunication. Many could have been avoided or at least mitigated had the expatriate managers and their local counterparts been better prepared for differences in work patterns. Some cross-cultural behavior, such as patience and courtesy, is no more than good manners. It applies to all interpersonal communication; but in Indonesia, as in the rest of Asia, there is more need to develop a long-term relationship to produce a profit than there is in Australia or New Zealand. Relationships rely on shared expectations—for example, about how first contacts should be made, how appointments should be set and kept, how deals should be closed, how time should be managed (including the Indonesian concept of “jam karet,” or “rubber time,” that infuriates punctuality-conscious Westerners). Sensible but inexperienced international managers seek information that more seasoned veterans can provide. They might be colleagues, business associates, friends, or paid consultants, but in any case most...

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