Match Australia woos Sri Lankan businesses for ICC World Cup 2015

Wednesday, 11 June 2014 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By David Ebert With the ICC Cricket World Cup kicking off on Valentine’s Day next year and both Australia and New Zealand co-hosting the event, the Australian High Commission and the Australian Trade Commission held a press briefing and networking event at the SSC’s Centenary Bar, to court Sri Lankan businesses with a view to furthering bilateral business ties.   The World Cup, which is the third most watched sporting event behind the Football World Cup and the Summer Olympics, the Australian Trade Commission believes in it being an ideal opportunity to use the long standing cricketing ties between the two countries to boost business cooperation. Through the Australian Government’s business networking program, Match Australia, the program will focus on not only promoting Australia’s culture and history, but also Australian capabilities and create business opportunities across trade, investment, education and tourism. Major sporting events scheduled to happen in the country next year, such as the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 and ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, will be used as the platforms for showcasing the country’s business friendly environment. With Australia being the fourth largest economy in the Asian region and 12th largest in the world, the country boasts one of the most transparent and well-regulated business environments, making it one of the most lucrative investment destinations. For this, Match Australia has designed a broad range of hospitality options for Sri Lankan businesses to register with them and experience the World Cup first hand in comfort, style and plus a range of value added services such as business networking and travel assistance. From private suites to shared function rooms, the packages come with private tables and premium tickets for all the Sri Lanka matches. With the World Cup Trophy on display as well, the event saw ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 CEO John Harnden speaking on the arrangements made to accommodate interested Sri Lankan corporates. “The Cricket World Cup is the pinnacle of cricket and it’s all about the world’s best players coming together at one time playing for the ultimate prize in world cricket – the ODI World Cup. In 2015, the Cricket World Cup will be the biggest sporting event in the world In terms of viewership, only the FIFA World Cup and the Summer Olympics have more people watching. It’s something we cricket lovers take for granted, but this is big and its big business. It’s about embracing both countries but what it’s really about is big business. Sport and tourism are the biggest growing businesses on the planet and these big events are fantastic opportunities to meld sports with business. “Now what it means and not just from the point of view of Australians being able to export to Sri Lanka, but more importantly for Sri Lanka to come and connect business ties with Australia and have it go the opposite way. Sport is the common denominator, it gives you the opportunity to come and talk about the sport and then develop the business ties from that. I would really encourage everybody, that if you’re serious about expanding and growing your business, don’t just look at the World Cup as an opportunity for Australians coming here and getting something out of Sri Lanka but Sri Lanka should see this as an opportunity to come to Australia and New Zealand and get something for yourselves.” Australian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Robyn Mudie, who also spoke at the event, said that she hoped the event will help strengthen and boost ties between the two countries, which has a long history of both diplomatic and cricketing ties. “We hope that it will be much more than a sporting event, the World Cup in Australia will be an opportunity for us to build on our relationship with most of our most important regional friends, with of course Sri Lanka chief among them. Sourcing contacts among strangers is one of the most effective ways that we know of strengthening people to people ties between two countries, and ties between Sri Lanka and Australia are no exception.” More details on the Match Australia packages can be found on Pix by Anusha De Silva