News Item

​GC2018: a trade and investment opportunity for the Pacific

News 4 Dec 2017

Next year’s Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast of Australia present an opportunity for athletes’ sporting prowess to shine as years of dedication and commitment come to the fore.

There is however, another side to one of the world’s key sporting events –the business and trade spin-offs from such a large spectacle.

On December 1 (Friday), a presentation on GC2018: a trade and investment opportunity for the Pacific was staged at Auckland’s Pullman Hotel, organised by the Queensland Government, which is hosting a trade show simultaneously to the Games.

Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Cooperation Foundation (PCF) Craig Strong was invited to take part in the event, as a panellist alongside CEO and Secretary General, New Zealand Olympic Committee Kereyn Smith; and Trade Commissioner at or Pacific Trade Invest Auckland Michael Greenslade.

The panel discussion, moderated by Fran O’Sullivan, Managing Director of NZ Inc, explored opportunities for Pacific-based businesses to do business across the Commonwealth and beyond, Craig explains.

“My aim was to look at a regional focus and the opportunities for Pacific businesses to deal with big nations such as Australia and for Commonwealth countries to deal with those businesses in the region,” Craig says.

There are masses of opportunities, he adds, if you take a region-wide approach to business, and not just a country-specific focus.

“When a regional cooperative approach is taken, it is important each nation's strengths are utilised.

“New industries are emerging in the Pacific and there are some potential ones that can cross-trade into the Commonwealth,” he says.

Meanwhile, Kereyn looked at the general value and opportunity the Commonwealth Games offer to do business with international business, and the government visitors that will converge in Australia from all over the Commonwealth; and Michael spoke explored about not only opportunities for Pacific businesses within the Commonwealth to do business within the Pacific region, but the potential to build partnerships and build capacity in the region by working together.

Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hon. Murray McCully was the keynote speaker at the event, which Founding Chair of the Trans – Tasman Business Circle Sir Jim McLay provided opening remarks at.

Craig says 2018 will be an exciting time for Pacific business, with this pathway made available by the Queensland Government, in association with the Commonwealth Games Committee.

“Every Commonwealth country is represented and businesses have the chance to break into different markets, and for the region to be recognised for its points of difference and uniqueness.”

Visit Commonwealth House for details of the range of activities that might be of interest to NZ and Pacific businesses, and will be attended by delegates from across the Commonwealth.

(Picture caption: PCF CEO takes part in a panel discussion about opportunities for the Pacific surrounding the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Supplied.)