Aus Asia Business Program

Host Stacey Martin, interviews the who’s who of the international Asian trade, investment and development scene providing key insights for SME's.


Episode #011 - Aus Asia Business - Insights into Establishing and Building a Successful Business in the Middle East

As a fresh diplomat ready to take on the world, Cynthia Dearin thought she’d be deployed somewhere luxurious like Paris or Japan.

Instead, she ended up in the sometimes turbulent Middle East.

It turned out to be a blessing in disguise. There, Dearin saw and did it all: from having to be escorted around by bodyguards just to walk the streets, to working in the palace where Saddam Hussein lived, her experiences were nothing less than exhilarating.

After her time in Cairo, Qatar, Iraq and London working for the British and US Governments, Dearin returned to Australia in 2010. Her first role upon returning was as CEO of the Aus-Arab Chamber of Commerce. In 2013, she set up her own company, Dearin & Associates, where she helps clients to access opportunities in fast-growing international markets around the world. She also sat on the board of the  Australian Services Roundtable from 2014 – 2017.

And if all that wasn’t enough, she’s also a published author. Dearin released her first book Camels, Sheikhs and Billionaires in 2015. Amongst other things, the book demystifies the cultures of the Middle East and North Africa while taking readers through how to do business there step-by-step.

Dearin stopped by the Aus-Asia Business Program to shed light on her experiences as a diplomat, what it takes to succeed overseas, the parallels between the Middle East and China, and the vast opportunities available in foreign countries for Australians.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • The mentalities needed to succeed in foreign countries;
  • The REAL cultures of the Middle East and North Africa;
  • Why you need to have people on the ground where you’re selling to truly succeed;
  • The similarities in methodology between the Middle East and China, and what we can learn from them;
  • How Dearin experienced less problems as a working woman in the Middle East than in Australia; and
  • The power of cultivating relationships in overseas climates.

Follow Cynthia Dearin:




Stacey Martin

Stacey Martin is known for her passion for networking and connecting. Through her financial services and international trade and investment experience she asks the right questions to help listeners navigate international opportunities.

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