Leesa Chen, 25, is an evokeAG  2020 Future Young Leader and co-founder of China Australia Food Circle (CAFC). CAFC is a cross-border platform that connects industry professionals across Australia and China’s food and agriculture industry. The platform is currently in the second stage of prototyping. The network is a mobile based community with more than 60 active members using WeChat. The platform encourages cross-border dialogue and eliminates the transaction costs involved in obtaining industry updates and costs in finding partners and international customers.

Chen hopes to see a closer collaboration and mutually beneficial partnerships between Australia and China through improved market access, innovation and value creation. Chen believes that Australia’s agricultural sector would benefit from a better understanding of the Chinese market and culture and Chinese consumer behaviour.

Both countries are seeing the full benefits of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement through improved market access and there are new opportunities for growth in this sector. Chen is excited to see more small and medium sized Australian businesses venturing into the Chinese market.

However, as the opportunities between Australia-China trade strengthen, China is also paving strategic trade relations all around the world. Australia’s reputation as a producer of clean, green and safe food is no longer unique. To better develop the Australia-China trade, Chen believes it is important to  start small and encourage grassroots networks and dialogues between young people between Australia and China’s food and agriculture sector.

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