By Ian Neubauer
The Beijing Olympics is set to attract the highest number of Australian business leaders ever assembled offshore as hundreds of executives head to the Chinese capital to capitalise on networking opportunities.
Austrade CEO Peter O’Byrne has described the Games as an invaluable opportunity for companies lured by the growing economic importance of China, The Australian Financial Review reported, as evidenced by the impressive line up of CEOs chairpersons and billionaires attending the event.
The include Qantas’ Geoff Dixon, Testra’s Sol Trujillo, Fortescue Metals Group’s Andrew Forrest, BHP Billiton’s Marius Kloppers and Don Argus, Seven Network’s Kery Stokes and David Leckie, NAB’s John Stewart, Rio Tinto’s Tom Albanese, Macquarie Bank’s Nicholas Moore and David Clarke, Leighton’s Wal King, David Jones’ Mark McInnes, and Suntech’s Shi Zhengrong, among others.
They will attend a multitude of sporting and corporate events, including Business Club Australia, an Austrade networking forum that is expected to attract more than 3000 Australian and Chinese citizens, including Prime Minister Rudd.
“For those who wish to be important in business in China for the next 20 years, people in China will ask you if your were here during the Olympics,” Beijing-based businessman, Matt Estes, told The Wall Street Journal. “And if your answer is ‘No’, they’ll ask ‘Why?’.”