Australia’s Business Programme for Expo

With the Australian pavilion leading the field in reaching construction milestones, an exciting program of trade, investment, policy, academic and tourism events is taking shape writes Lyndall Sachs, Australia’s Commissioner-General for Shanghai World Expo.

The Australian pavilion cuts a striking figure in the Shanghai World Expo precinct. Clad in special weathering steel which is oxidising in Shanghai’s climate, the pavilion’s rich ochre facade brings a touch of Australia’s red centre to the urban landscape. In its final stages of construction and exhibit installation, the pavilion proudly welcomed President Hu Jintao for an inspection on January 15 – the only international pavilion visited by the President during his tour.

The pavilion opens its doors to the public on May 1, offering technologically-advanced exhibits, an engaging, humorous reflection on Australian history, and a striking array of cultural performances. Some seven million visitors are expected to tour the pavilion during expo, enjoying the sights, sounds and tastes of Australia. In addition to the public exhibits, the pavilion features a specially-designed VIP area where over 200 invitation-only events will be held.

DFAT and its stakeholders have developed an impressive array of functions, aimed at enhancing the Australia-China relationship and our nation’s business and people-to-people links. ‘Our flagship invitation-only VIP program will promote the depth and breadth of the Australia- China relationship. Events will include seminars, launches, high-level meetings, and trade and investment promotions with the pavilion providing an unprecedented platform for showcasing Australian creativity, innovation and commercial capabilities, and demonstrating Australia’s perspective on the Expo theme “Better City, Better Life.”

The assistance of AustCham Shanghai, the Australia-China Business Council and the Australia-China Council in contributing to the development and focus of the program has been invaluable.

MAY

The international launch of Brand Australia will headline the pavilion’s program in May, followed by a Liveable Cities of the Future Forum: the first of many events highlighting Australia’s solutions to urban development challenges. Victoria Week (May 17- May 23) will promote trade and investment in automotive and information and communications technology. Higher education will conclude the month’s program, including the announcement of the finalists for the second Australia-China Alumni Association Awards, and a Chinese Endeavour Alumni event.

JUNE

The Expo will focus on Australia on June 8, when Australia celebrates its designated national day with spectacular concerts and events around the expo park.

A Queensland feature week (June 20-26) will highlight the state’s innovation and education credentials, while underlining the mutual benefit of the 20-year Queensland- Shanghai Sister State relationship.

Austrade-led promotions in clean energy and bio-technology will draw attention to Australia’s scientific and research capabilities.

Financial services, including government securities and investment, will draw attention to Australia’s ascendancy in world rankings of financial sector development and stability.

AustCham Shanghai will host a gala dinner for its members during the month.

JULY

July will kick off with a focus on agriculture, followed by a week of events featuring Australia’s energy and resources capabilities.

The Australia-China Natural Gas Technology Partnership will feature, as well as low emissions coal research and renewable energy.

New South Wales will showcase its unique business, cultural and academic assets during NSW week (July 12-18).

A series of legal services and education workshops will connect Australian and Chinese legal and business service providers.

The ACBC will host two events promoting Australian excellence across a range of sectors.

AUGUST

Australia’s approach to climate change will be one of August’s highlights, as well as Australia’s outstanding nanotechnology and biotechnology expertise.

A suite of events will showcase Australia’s mineral and energy resources, and the sophisticated mining equipment, technology and services that underpin the industry.

AustCham Shanghai will hold a seminar for its foundation and key corporate members, in a month which will also feature our engagement with the region in our ‘Oceania Month’ program of events and cultural activities.

SEPTEMBER

September will include an automotive trade seminar highlighting Australian expertise and synergies with China’s growing automotive sector, and a showcase of Australian information and communications technology.

A two-week Australia-China Young Scientist Exchange Program will conclude with a seminar in the pavilion.

OCTOBER

The pavilion’s six-month program concludes in October, a month which will feature the second in a series of events promoting Austrade’s “Wanwu” clean energy initiative.

The Australia-China Council will promote corporate responsibility, and celebrate the biennial Australian Studies in China Conference.

An event held by AustCham Shanghai to honour the finalists in the Australia-China Business Awards will be a memorable evening in the pavilion’s well-appointed facilities, and a celebration of Australian wine, sport and fashion will set a festive mood to celebrate the end of a successful expo.

I look forward to welcoming ACBC and AustCham members to the expo, and invite you to Discover, Experience and Enjoy the adventure of the Australian pavilion.

For more information on the pavilion and the business program visit: www.australianpavilion.com

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