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Medal chances for businesses

At the Business Club Australia: Melbourne 2006 Steering Committee meeting at Champions in Federation Square, the club announced its partnership with Qantas and launched its business events’ program to help companies harness business opportunities during the Melbourne Commonwealth Games. Business Club Australia: Melbourne 2006 membership is significant. Well over 3000 Australian and international companies have signed to date. More than half that number derive from international membership. More than 25 business events will run over the 12 days of the Games with more than 3,000 businesses expected to attend. High-profile Australian and international industry leaders will participate in the events’ program which will run for the entirety of the Games from 15 to 26 March 2006. Prominent business leaders including Qantas chairman, Margaret Jackson and M2006 chairman, Ron Walker, have collaborated with the Australian and Victorian Governments to form the steering committee for Business Club Australia: Melbourne 2006. The program is designed to foster business opportunities in and around the excitement of the Commonwealth Games. Australia’s Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Trade, Senator Sandy Macdonald, said Business Club Australia: Melbourne 2006 leveraged its profile with Austrade to attract international attention. “Over the past six months Business Club Australia: Melbourne 2006 has held a series of international events, in coordination with Austrade’s global network, to catch the attention of business people planning to come to Australia for the Games,” Macdonald said. “Events have been held in England, India, South Africa, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand and Fiji – many coinciding with the Queen’s Baton relay on its way through the 71 nations of the Commonwealth.” Victorian Treasurer and Minister for State and Regional Development, John Brumby, said the Victorian Government supported the program in recognition of the outstanding business potential and encouraged Victorian and Australian companies to join the club and attend the networking events during the Games. "When the action starts in March next year, Victorian and Australian businesses will make and consolidate business links with Business Club Australia's overseas members through one-on-one business matching and a series of networking events at sports fixtures," Brumby said. The Business Club Australia concept initiated during the Sydney Olympics when Australian suppliers and overseas buyers, distributors and potential joint venture partners were urged to take business advantage of the international attention and attraction of a world-sporting event being held in Australia. The club’s success led to its repeat in the Rugby World Cup 2003 which leveraged the strong corporate and professional networks that exist in rugby union worldwide. The hugely successful program has facilitated more than A$1.5 billion in business deals and a further A$675 million investment is expected. The Commonwealth is significant in terms of Australian trade. Geography, industry demand, British Commonwealth heritage and the English language have traditionally been important determinants of country choice for Australian exporters. Almost A$32 billion (around 21% of total Australian exports) is exported to Commonwealth countries and almost $30 billion (17%) is imported. Importantly, the Commonwealth is influential in terms of exporter numbers. There are around 13,754 Australian companies exporting to New Zealand, 5612 to Singapore and 4,808 to the UK. Of Australia’s top 10 exporter destinations, six are in the Commonwealth. For further information on the Games visit www.melbourne2006.com.au and on Business Club Australia visit: www.businessclubaustralia.com.au



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