Damon Paling

  • Beachhead Advisor, New Zealand

Damon brings 22 years of consulting and business development experience in East Asia, including 15 years based in Shanghai, China (2004 – 2019 inclusive).

Damon, in the capacity of New Zealand Trade & Enterprise (NZTE) Trade Commissioner Shanghai (January 2016 – November 2019), worked with several small and medium sized enterprises, on a range of market entry and early growth initiatives.

Damon’s areas of practical China experience for business development includes market access e.g. regulatory, tariff and non-tariff measures; development of business models e.g. e-commerce, distributors, subsidiaries; localising brand stories; establishing pricing strategies; securing listings and new product activations. Damon has also designed and facilitated numerous market immersion programs for new market entrants as well as more mature companies. For mature companies that are aiming to double-down on China his work has included formulating strategies for recruitment and retention of Chinese talent, financial modelling for further market investments, building transparency and governance between the New Zealand head office and the China subsidiary through initiatives such as establishment of a China Advisory Board, as well as advising on other business risk management strategies.

Prior to NZTE China role, Damon worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), he lead a team of customs and international trade consultants to support a portfolio of multi-national companies in enhancing their market, access, maintaining compliance, and resolving disputes with foreign governments.

Advisory areas

East Asia and China – market access, business models, business development, cross-border and domestic e-commerce, resolving intellectual property issues, appointing new distribution partners, establishing new online activations, registering new legal entities, and recruiting in market.

Sector experience

Food and beverage, specialised manufacturing, and tech (gaming).


Damon has over 18 years of business experience in East Asia and China


Read more about Damon on LinkedIn