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WA business scores gold

SYDNEY’S Olympics await the world’s judgement – but a number of WA companies already rate it a winner.

They include companies that scored Games supplier contracts, such as Multiplex, Solohart, Canning Vale Weaving Mills and Wundowie Foundries. Less known is another group – local enterprises profiting from international networking begun well before the Olympic torch landed.

Three years ago, the State and Federal governments got together to set up Business Club Australia, with a charter to exploit international interest in Sydney 2000. Co-managed by those governments, Austrade, industry associations and corporate players, Business Club Australia has an office in Perth co-ordinated by the Department of Commerce and Trade.

International contacts established there will hopefully open market doors in the way they have for companies such as Perth-based Australian Foods Company (AFC).

AFC director Pavan Shivnani said joining Business Club Australia enabled the company to establish key contacts overseas, leading to multi-million dollar contracts on the Indian sub-continent and in the Middle East.

“We have utilised the ‘Online Club’ to research and establish key contacts overseas. The resultant business achieved is beyond our expectations,” Shivnani said.

WA membership of the club is the largest of any state or territory on a per capita basis. They can access a formidable database of around 11,000 members here and overseas.

The Department of Commerce and Trade has organised a number of promotional activities, including a presentation which I am participating in, launching the department’s marine investment strategy. We are also co-sponsoring an Austmine networking session.

It is a tremendous opportunity to promote the best of WA – and to put more WA exporters on the winners podium.

l Richard Muirhead is CEO of the Department of Commerce and Trade.

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