ABSTRACT

Networks, contacts and social capital are important mechanisms through which SMEs can access resources. The participants engaged in importation of products from China utilised fairly simple networks, mainly comprising local agents and local network services. These networks provided advice to the SME, for whom the objective was controlling costs and problem avoidance. The networks provided basic market information and trust was an important feature. The participants that exported to China adopted a combination of formal and informal networks, built using existing connections and contacts made during trade missions. The WOFE participants focused on building local network relationships. The BIC participants also used government services and connected with Australian institutes and business associations located in China, entrepreneur associations and both local and global industry groups to establish their networks.