David Thomas is well known in Australia and the Asia Pacific region as a China Expert, a passionate and engaging keynote speaker and a strong advocate of business, trade and investment collaboration between Australia and China. A former Vice President of the Australia China Business Council (ACBC) in NSW, and now President of the Australia China SME Association (ACSME), David has organised and led numerous trade missions and study tours to China, including the annual Australian mission to the Asian Financial Forum in Hong Kong and BRIC+ Study Tours for investment professionals to China and the other BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China).
He is an Honorary Adviser to the Australia China Economic Trade and Cultural Association (ACETCA), Chair of Australia China Business Week and is regularly invited to represent Australia at official events to welcome official Chinese delegations. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of the ASX listed Emerging Markets Masters Fund which keeps him abreast of local market developments and economic trends. In recent years, working with his business partner, Vanessa Xing, David has provided advice, support and guidance to both Australian and Chinese entrepreneurs and investors as they navigate the challenges, barriers and opportunities of doing business and investing in both countries.
Born in Xian and an Australian citizen for 20 years,Vanessa Xing is the ideal bridge between Chinese investors, entrepreneurs and business leaders and their counterparts in Australia. Well known for her direct communication style and high levels of energy, Vanessa stays focused on outcomes and solutions as she navigates the journey of relationship-building, negotiation and execution for every project.
With a background in financial services and technology,Vanessa has extensive experience of working in China on behalf of Australian companies seeking new capital, introductions and business networks. Her strengths and skills as a passionate, effective and bilingual communicator makes her the ideal partner for David Thomas in presenting a Sino-Anglo face to every business and/or investment transaction.
Hawkesbury Investment Holding Pty Ltd is an Australian private company owned jointly by David Thomas, Vanessa Xing and their business partners in China, David, and Grace Wang, who own and operate a large and successful law practice in Guangzhou, known as Huazhijie Lawyers. Huazhijie lawyers are one of the largest and best known legal practices in Guangdong Province in southern China. With over 100 lawyers, and long established connections throughout the region, their clients mainly operate in the banking, property construction and M&A sectors.
As a result, as well as advising some of the largest and best known banks and property developers on commercial transactions, they provide conveyancing services to over 70% of the high net worth individuals who acquire properties in Guangzhou. The combination of Think Global and Huazhijie Lawyers provides a unique and effective platform for Australian and Chinese businesses to work together to tap into the longstanding expertise, connections and reputations that exist on both sides of the joint venture.
On the Australian side, clients of Think Global access high level and long established connections with some of the largest SOEs in Guangzhou, including the major Banks and Property Groups, aswell as a large pool of high net worth investors with an interest in investing overseas. They also have access to our large office in Guangzhou, our 50 seat seminar room for small and medium scale events, and our local team of legal professionals and operations managers. On the Chinese side, clients of Huazhijie have access to Think Global’s platform of SMEs and investment projects in Australia, aswell as local connections, client relationships and professional advisers. In the short time since Hawkesbury was launched in 2015, a number of high net worth clients have already visited Australia, over 30 apartments have been acquired, a large $20m JV deal into Melbourne real estate has been concluded and an alliance of building materials suppliers seeking to do business in Australia has been established.
The Australia China SME Association (ACSME) reflects the growing importance and priority in both China and Australia to promote, support and stimulate the private sector, notably the growth of small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) including the most dynamic and innovative technologies, innovation and entrepreneurs available in both countries.
ACSME acts as a bridge between leading SMEs in both countries, creating opportunities for relationship building, business-matching and to showcase innovative ideas, new technology and progressive companies on both sides of the Australia-China relationship.
Over the past 12 months, ACSME has run a series of highly focused, targeted and successful events and roundtable forums to bring together leading SMEs on both sides, each with a specific industry focus. Some of the industries which have already been identified as being of high interest and importance include healthcare, tourism, education, agriculture, events and real estate sectors. ACSME has signed collaboration agreements with other Associations in China, including the Guangdong SME Association, and receives delegations in Australia organised by China Construction Bank (CCB) and other major groups. ACSME’s influence and reputation is widely recognised as an important platform for Chinese SMEs to do business and invest in Australia.