New Zealand 2011 Business Club launched   27 Apr 2010

New Zealand Government - Associate Minister for the Rugby World Cup Gerry Brownlee today launched the New Zealand 2011 Business Club, an online platform to connect overseas business people interested in attending the Rugby World Cup with their Kiwi counterparts.

"The local rugby club has always been a centre of the community where business alliances are forged. That’s the flavour of what we’re launching here today. The internet gives us the capacity to replicate that club ethos online."

Mr Brownlee says the club will enable regions and businesses throughout the country to get information on the visitors coming to their area, including their business and social interests, so they can offer to host them at events and as a result learn more about how each operates in their own market.

"Many of the international visitors will be business people. This will provide them opportunities to make business connections as well as social connections," he said.

Mr Brownlee says the New Zealand 2011 Government Ambassadors have been recruiting overseas business people to join the business club, and now local business people need to do their part in signing up to host them during the Rugby World Cup.

"The government is committed to increasing New Zealand’s export base, and the Rugby World Cup is a great platform from which to better connect with potential international customers and distributors."

The New Zealand 2011 Office has been working closely with Business New Zealand and regional economic development agencies and chambers of commerce to develop its Business Engagement Programme. New Zealand Trade and Enterprise has developed a guide to the opportunities in 2011, as well as a website to make procurement opportunities easily accessible to local businesses.

"I am encouraging all New Zealand businesses to explore the opportunities to make the most of the Rugby World Cup. Joining the NZ 2011 Business Club is a good first step," Mr Brownlee said.

More information can be found at www.nz2011.govt.nz.

ENDS

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