Sydney Books Ticket to Asia’s Future With P3 Infrastructure Investments


$65bn of public/private infrastructure investments will enable Sydney

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One of the key messages from IMEX Chairman, Ray Bloom, revealed in IMR’s report from Frankfurt last week was the trend of linking a destination’s business events marketing and investment strategies to sectors identified for growth. It is an approach which relies upon a vision beyond immediate borders, beyond the typically short term of an elected government, and the collaboration of public sector agencies and partners from the private sector.

So it is with Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, and in his keynote address at the IMEX Politicians’ Forum in Frankfurt, the Hon. Minister for Trade, Tourism and Events, Stuart Ayres, revealed that AUS$65bn of public/private infrastructure investments will enable Sydney to engage with, and make for, the world’s fastest growing economic corridor which “runs between Shanghai and Hong Kong and Singapore and Sydney [and if you want to run in the other direction we can top it off in Delhi on one side and in Manila on the other]”.

It was a message echoed by state and the city commentators and stakeholders at a recent pre-tour of the new $1.5bn ICC Sydney in Darling Harbour (opening in December) which revealed the extent to which the state capital is connected – not just in thought and deed, but within key clusters of capability such as financial services.

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Supporting ICC Sydney’s success, and sharing its western harbor location, is a vibrant new financial services district. Another major infrastructure investment, the $6bn Barangaroo South development in the Sydney CBD has recently transformed from container wharf to vibrant waterfront financial district and, according to NSW Premier Mike Baird, «will be a financial services hub in the Asia Pacific.» It is another illustration of sector strategy in play, and Business Events Sydney, together with ICC Sydney, wasted no time at this year’s IMEX in allowing the organizers of Sibos, the world’s premier financial services event, to explain why the event will be returning to Sydney for a third outing in 2018. This time, of course, there will be new markets in Barangaroo to connect with, and entrepreneurs from the Fintech start-up incubator, Stone & Chalk, for the same.

ICC Sydney CEO Geoff Donaghy said, “ICC Sydney is not simply a shiny, wonderful new facility where conventions will be held but the place where Sydney’s young entrepreneurs can come to tell their stories to the world.”

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Being located on the doorstop of the nation’s number one start-up community (70 percent of all Australian start-ups originate from Sydney, according to Patricia Forsythe, executive director of the Sydney Business Chamber) means that the new venue is well connected to, and in the heart of, a new generation of ideas and talent.

The convention bureau, meanwhile, has demonstrated success in building profile in the fields of business, finance, technology, medicine, and professional services, arming its carefully selected ambassadors with tools to persuade event owners, investors, and talent to meet, invest, work and live in Sydney.

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The new management team at ICC Sydney and Business Events Sydney have formed a formidable partnership and this has contributed to securing access to business events within these clusters which have been earmarked by city and state for realising growth as well as the longer term strategy of ensuring that Sydney remains the global city of choice for business events within Asia-Pac.

Next week: Stuart Ayres – Minister with portfolio – advocates a hands-off approach to convention bureau marketing and convention centre management.

Source: International Meetings Review

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