Australian exporters getting into the Rugby World Cup

Australian exporters travelling to France for the Rugby World Cup can participate in Business Club Australia, an award-winning business-matching and networking program designed by Austrade to maximise export opportunities around major sporting events.

Austrade CEO Peter O’Byrne urged Australian exporters journeying to France to join Business Club Australia and receive free access to networking events in Montpellier and Bordeaux in and around the Rugby World Cup (7 September to 20 October 2007).

"Rugby fever is heating up across the globe. Austrade plans to leverage this excitement by hosting a series of networking functions for Australian and international businesses in France through its Business Club Australia program," Mr O’Byrne said.

"The business opportunities among large sporting events are endless. In this instance, no doubt a significant proportion of European business people have already marked the Rugby World Cup in their calendars and will be attending a number of matches," he said.

In 2005-06 Australian exports to France were estimated at A$1,256 million – consisting primarily of coal, iron ore, medical instruments and aircraft and parts.

Recently, Mr O’Byrne says, Australia achieved export success through challenging the French at their own game – the beauty industry.

"Australian cosmetics company Aesop set up a store in France in December and the Paris store is the company’s first foray into the European cosmetics market, following enormous success in the Australasian markets," Mr O’Byrne said.

"The natural cosmetic products were previously only available in France through selected distributors but sales have seen a sharp increase since the boutique store opened in central Paris," he said.

Business Club Australia hosts a networking function in Montpellier on 22 September, the day before Australia plays Fiji and the second event takes place in Bordeaux on 28 September ahead of the Australia and Canada match on 29 September 2007.

The Business Club Australia program culminates in an Australian VIP Gala Function at the Australian Embassy on 17 October in Paris (the Rugby World Cup final takes place on 20 October 2007).

Business Club Australia is a free membership-based program. For more details about the Rugby World Cup events visit www.businessclubaustralia.com.au/rugby

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