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Australia’s business ‘gold rush’

TRADE Minister Mark Vaile has announced a $400 million “gold rush” in new business and investment for Australia from the Olympic Games.

Mr Vaile said the Australian Government’s Australia Open for Business program – the first of its kind in Olympic history to leverage the trade and investment benefits of the Games – was paying dividends.

The program includes Australia Sport International (to promote local sports-related expertise), Trade Visitors Australia 2000 (to bring high-level business people to see first hand Australia’s technological and industrial capabilities), Investment 2000 (aimed at drawing new foreign direct investment into Australia) and the flagship initiative Business Club Australia.

“Specifically, we predict this high-level networking program will inject $1 billion into the Australian economy,” Mr Vaile said.

“In fact even before the Games had officially begun, our early estimates show that $400 million in new business and investment for Australia has already been secured as a result of the Australia Open for Business program.”

Business Club Australia is a real and virtual global networking club connecting Australian and international business people under the spotlight of the Sydney 2000 Games.

The club has a membership of about 14,000 which is growing by about 100 new members each day.

More than 1,000 business people are expected to use the club centre and 98 metre Incat catamaran at Darling Harbour daily during the Olympics and participate in more than 100 networking events.

Mr Vaile said the International Olympic Committee had indicated that the Business Club Australia concept should become a blueprint for future host nations and accepted as international best practice to reap long-term economic benefits from the Olympic Games.

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