Doing Business in Asia – One Size Does Not Fit All

Professor Jane Lu is the James Riady Chair in Asian Business and Economics at the University of Melbourne. Previously she worked at a major international trading firm and at Rabobank in China.

In this public talk, given on the day of Lee Kuan Yew’s death,  Professor Lu takes us through the effect of economic and political institutions on Asian countries and in particular, deconstructs how the metrics are obtained.

Among other things, we feel that the value of the talk lies in several areas

  • At the 30 minute mark – How political uncertainty is measured and how the established metric providers have rated different Asian countries. This is followed by a breakdown of intra-national political units and how they inform risk assessment. This is a great way to think about risk. Surprisingly, she stated that Singapore was a high risk country given Lee Kuan Yew’s iconic status and this was reflected in some of the talk among Singaporean’s at that time.


  • 45 minutes in – How lack of transparency in national regime translate to real risk at the transactional level.


  • She emphasizes that when transparency is lacking, working relationships with locals become vital. As we have seen over and over again in our Mongolian interviews, perhaps the most important point is to find the right partner in Mongolia. Furthermore, the connections that local partners have within the government and industry also play a role in the the likelihood of a projects success.


Let us know what you thought of the talk.