By Ashok Dixit, New Delhi, June 13 ANI | 1 year ago

Business and sporting ties between India and Australia took another step forward late on Thursday evening, with the Australian Government launching its Match Australia business networking program for the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, which will be hosted by Australia and New Zealand next year.

Renowned cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle, South Australia's Minister for Tourism, Recreation and Sport Leon Bignell, and ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 CEO John Harnden joined Acting Australian High Commissioner Bernard Philip and Austrade's Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner, South Asia, Nicola Watkinson, for the launch of this major sporting and business enterprise at the Oberoi Hotel here.

Developed by the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade), Match Australia is the Australian Government's International Sports Business Program, connecting Australian businesses with global partners through major sporting events.

The Australian Trade Commission, in partnership with Australian State and Territory governments, will host Indian business delegations during the tournament next year, to do business and network with Australian business leaders during the cricket matches.

A range of tailored business matching activities for visiting Indian business leaders can also be arranged while attending the tournament.

The 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, which runs from 14 February to 29 March, will be the biggest sporting event in the world next year.

With an expected television audience of a billion people and more than one million people expected to attend the tournament, Match Australia will help promote Australian capability and enhance business opportunities across trade, investment, education and tourism with India.

Acting High Commissioner Philip said Match Australia would provide Indian and Australian businesses with the perfect opportunity to connect during the Cricket World Cup and explore partnership activities.

"Australia and India share a common love for cricket and our cricketing ties go back almost 70 years - the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup will be keenly followed in both countries," he said.

He further said: "This is a wonderful opportunity to see India, the reigning champions, in action and use the Match Australia business program to explore some of the tremendous trade and investment opportunities between India and Australia."

Ms. Watkinson said the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 is a significant platform to further enhance the Australia - India trade and investment relationship and people-to-people links.

"We welcome Indian businesses to Australia to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, to not only enjoy the cricket, but to also see for yourself, the business and investment opportunities on offer and meet with Australian businesses," she said.

She added: "We are a major trading nation with a USD 1.5 trillion economy - now entering its 23rd consecutive year of growth. Australia has a great sporting events industry, but it is also home to globally significant companies across a range of industries. Australia is also known as a world class education destination. Our universities regularly rank among the world's very best.

"The Match Australia business program will connect Indian businesses with Australian partners and key business and investment opportunities in Australia. The Australian Government would be pleased to host you during your visit and organise a series of business matching and networking activities, based on your specific business interests."

Harnden, who put the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 Trophy,on display during Thursday evening's event, said the tournament would be a showcase for Australian sporting excellence.

"Australia has a world-class reputation for hosting and delivering major international sporting events and the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 will be no different," he said.

"We have been working very closely with governments in Australia and New Zealand to provide the opportunity for Indian businesses to network in Australia which is why we are here in partnership with Austrade today. It is important an event like the Cricket World Cup leaves a legacy for both countries, on and off the field."

(Posted on 13-06-2014)

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