Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steven Ciobo was guest of honour at a recent Business Events Council of Australia’s (BECA) board dinner in Canberra, which kicked off a series of official discussions and presentations by the business events industry to bring greater awareness of the value of the industry to the nation’s economy and the challenges it faces in a competitive global environment.
“High-level discussions were held with the Minister about the government’s fiscal and political environment, and international matters that impact on doing business in Australia and our country’s competitiveness,” said BECA chairman Matthew Hingerty.
“Mr Ciobo has a high-level understanding of the importance of business events and their capacity to leverage Australia’s aggressive free trade agenda. He has long been a champion of the services economy in general.”
The program included the BECA board meeting at Parliament House with Shadow Minister for Tourism Anthony Albanese and Shadow Minister for Trade and Investment Jason Clare to highlight policy priorities of the industry. The board then met with the Minister for Justice Michael Keenan to discuss how they can work with government to protect Australia’s greatest asset of safety and security.
This was followed by a bipartisan Friends of Tourism Luncheon, where key industry leaders pitched the value of business events and outlined the highly competitive nature of the industry to more than 20 politicians including Trent Zimmerman and Terri Butler.
Business events leaders also took part in a roundtable with senior officials from key federal government departments and agencies including Tourism Australia, Austrade, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Department of Immigration and Border Protection, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. One outcome was an agreement by industry to more effectively share information that can assist the departments in leveraging future business events.
“Our message to all Parliamentarians is clear: the business events sector has been one of the quiet achievers of the Australian economy, generating around $30 billion in economic activity annually and creating 192,000 jobs,” said Hingerty.
“All in all it was a very successful inaugural event with good attendance from both parties and genuine engagement and sharing of information between Government departments and industry. We look forward to hosting this event annually with the aim of continually raising awareness of the quiet-achiever of the Australian economy that is business events”.