The Essence of Learning Business Chinese for Singaporeans


A glance at the 1970s and it’s almost impossible to comprehend that China has morphed from a relative unimpressive economy to the powerhouse that it is today. In fact, it’s correct to say that the exponential rise of Chinas economy has indeed taken many large economies by surprise. Add this to the fact that China is the most populous country on earth with a population of over 1.2b and you get a clear picture as to why international investors are doing everything within their power to learn mandarin. Whether you are in Singapore, US, UK or any other country, learning business Chinese is no longer an exception but the rule especially if you seek to make inroads in a country with vast business opportunities and a chance to achieve a competitive edge.

It goes without say that Chinas economy has undergone a paradigm shift from a growth model that is investment driven to one that is consumption led. This indeed has necessitated a shift in tact from companies in Singapore and other parts of the world that wish to establish their presence in China and hijack the numerous opportunities that the vast economic powerhouse has to offer. If you are a budding entrepreneur in Singapore or a startup wondering why it’s essential to learn business Chinese, the following facts will give you the impetus you need to make the all too important decision. For starters, Singapore boasts of being Chinas top trading partner. 2013 alone saw total trade between China and Singapore amount to US$115.2b. In addition to that, 2013 was also the year in which Singapore’s investment in China hit an impressive US$7.23 billion effectively making it Chinas largest and biggest investor partner.

With a population of over 1.2b and a booming manufacturing industry and consumption driven market, learning business Chinese has never been an important initiative for any business in Singapore keen on establishing its presence in China. Unlike other countries that have little or no understanding of Mandarin, Singapore business investors have a competitive edge in the sense that they have relative familiarity with Chinese language and culture. In this sense, we can without any fear of contradiction state that they have a comparative advantage. However, this is not an end in itself but rather a means to an end. Achieving business success in China is more than having a vague understanding of the Chinese culture or its language. Learning business Chinese is all about establishing key business relations, understanding the philosophy of business in China and how to achieve a competitive edge for your business.

It’s a window to a world of opportunities in an attempt to traverse the Chinese market like a colossal. Good understanding of Mandarin serves to smooth business negotiations, strike business deals and establish a good rapport with Chinese business partners. To learn business Chinese is a step in the right direction for any budding Singaporean investor or any other national for that matter. It not only accords an international investor an opportunity to negotiate business deals with Chinese partners on an equal footing but also makes it possible for an investor to establish business presence in the most populous and economic powerhouse on earth!

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