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Minister launches new Olympic Business Programme in China

21 April, 2008

During a visit to China to strengthen bilateral trade and investment links, the Minister for Trade the Hon Simon Crean MP has launched Australia’s official business programme for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

“Business Club Australia, Austrade’s award-winning programme, will be the focus for Australian business activity during the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

“It is our goal that many hundreds of Australian companies take advantage of this business platform, in order to establish immediate contacts and build long-term, sustainable links,” said Crean.

In 2007 China became Australia’s largest merchandise trading partner, with two way trade in goods reaching $52.7 billion. Acknowledging the significance of this market, Crean said the Government is committed to helping more Australian companies build a business presence in China.

Last year over 4000 Australian companies exported to China and more than 40 Australian companies have won over 50 Games related contracts, many with Austrade assistance. These contracts include the design of six Olympic venues such as the iconic ‘Water Cube’ national aquatic centre, through to the provision of synthetic turf for the hockey centre.

“Business Cub Australia is a networking opportunity to get even more runs on the board for Australian businesses in China.

“Based at the Hilton Hotel in Beijing, Business Club Australia will provide opportunities for targeted business matching, strengthening existing business relationships and meeting new Chinese partners,” said Crean.

Endorsed by the Australian Olympic Committee, Business Club Australia has a proven track record of turning the excitement and global attention of high profile sporting events, into long-term and profitable business connections.

Previous Business Club Australia programs at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, Melbourne Commonwealth Games and successive Rugby World Cups have helped facilitate trade and investment outcomes for over 300 Australian companies with a total estimated value of A$1.7 billion.

High level advice and guidance is being provided to Business Club Australia by a Roundtable Advisory Group. Chaired by Macquarie Bank Chairman Mr David Clarke, the Roundtable ensures that Business Club Australia’s program is developed in consultation with senior Australian leaders, creating a strategic, united approach.

Business Club Australia activities include networking events around the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and industry networking functions for sports infrastructure and services, financial services, mining, and clean energy and the environment. Business Club Australia will also be partnering with key groups such as the Australian Chamber of Commerce to deliver events.

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