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DFK Blog Series - Asia Pacific 2018

Exectuive Director, Martin Sharp and DFK President, Roland Graf, meet with partners of Zhong Rui Cheng Shanghai Certified Public Accountants

In this blog series Executive Director, Martin Sharp, blogs his recent trip to the Asia Pacific Region. Including visits to member firms and our Asia Pacific Annual Conference 2018. To view a gallery of Martin's trip so far click here

Day 1

DFK president, Roland Graf and I enjoyed useful meetings with DFK members in Shanghai today, Monday 26th of November 2019.  We first called on the offices of Mrs Joy Xu, Zhong Rui Cheng Shang CPAs, where we enjoyed informative conversation about the firm, it’s clients and relationships with DFK International. Located in a tall office block in the former French Concession area of the City, the office is in a pleasant neighbourhood client close to the traditional heart of Shanghai. Although it is a relatively small firm, the partners and staff have good experience of serving international clients in areas including audit, accounting, taxation and business consulting service.

Later in the morning we were driven across town to the Pudong area where we met partners TC Mark and James Ji from DFK member firm Sino-bridge. Over the years Sino bridge has helped many clients DFK members including those coming from Hong Kong Germany and the United States. The firm provides accounting, bookkeeping and HR services as well as company registration services for international clients looking to do business in China.

 After lunch with the entire office team, we took  the amazing maglev train from central Shanghai to Pudong airport, travelling at speeds of up to 300 km/h on the eight minute trip with the Electro-magnetic levitation technology providing an incredibly smooth and quiet journey.
Departing from Shanghai late in the afternoon with flew direct to Inchon airport in the Republic of Korea, arriving in Seoul late in the evening, ready for our meeting tomorrow morning with our friends from local firm WooRi accounting.  Staying in the district of Gangnam, it was hard to resist the temptation to break into the familiar pop song by the same name and step into the world famous dance routine.

Day 2

With the precise punctuality one might expect in Korea, our visit to DFK member firm in Seoul began when we were greeted at our hotel by our host, Mr Brian Jang, DFK contact partner at WooRi Accounting Corporation. WooRi is a “top-ten” Accounting firm in Korea and one of the largest firms in DFK International, with more than 300 people working in the firm. The firm occupies several floors of a modern tower block located in the heart of Seoul’s financial district, Gangnam-gu, and services a wide range of clients, including several listed companies.

We met with 6 representatives from the firm, including former DFK International board members, Mr Young-il Ko and Mr Doo-Yeol Lee. We discussed how DFK can assist with inbound and outbound referrals and the challenges of communication for non-native English speaking partners. We concluded the meeting with a Michelin-star quality Korean lunch in a private room, which enabled us to broaden the discussion to the wider geo-strategic position of South Korea, which was fascinating.

We departed from Seoul’s Incheon airport late afternoon en-route to Osaka in readiness for the Asia-Pacific conference.

Day 3

Today saw the start of the DFK Asia Pacific 2018 Conference in Osaka.
Roland W. Graf (DFK President), Anne Brady (DFK Vice President EMEA), Paul Panabaker (DFK Vice President Americas) and I joined the DFK Asia Pacific Executive Committee for their pre-conference meeting. We joined the committee as they discussed the strategy and development of the region along with planning future Asia Pacific events.
We then took the opportunity to update each other on developments happening at the Executive Office level and within each of the regions.
It was encouraging to see the first DFK Asia Pacific Tax Seminar take place with great enthusiasm from the delegates. The speakers came from DFK firms from across the Asia-Pacific region and beyond, including from as far afield as New York and Atlanta. The breadth and depth of knowledge was indicative of the tremendous professional expertise found in DFK members worldwide.
In the evening, the whole group was able to come together for the Welcome Reception in the Sky Lounge on the 35th floor of the Osaka Hilton Hotel. Paul Fiumara (DFK Vice President Asia Pacific) welcomed the delegates and took the opportunity to introduce delegates who are attending an Asia Pacific conference for the first time, new member firms and sponsors to the more seasoned delegates. It was a fantastic opportunity for our delegates to network and make connections over a delicious meal against the back-drop of the impressive Osaka skyline.
Conversations continued into the small hours before retiring to look forward to engaging and stimulating presentations in the days ahead.