The Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) today welcomed the Australian Government’s announcement that it had negotiated an expanded air services agreement with China.
BECA represents the business meetings, conventions, exhibitions and events industry; its members include convention bureaus, convention and exhibition venues, organisers and professional conference organisers.
BECA Chairman, Matthew Hingerty said this new agreement would remove an impediment to continued growth from the Chinese market.
“Our members were becoming increasingly alarmed over their ability to bid for visits by large Chinese groups as available seats were quite literally running out,” Mr Hingerty said.
Attendance from China at international conferences is on the rise with Asian delegates as a whole now representing up to 49% of attendees.
“This announcement will go a long way to easing that pressure and will allow our members to bid for events with confidence.
“It will also allow organisers of major trade exhibitions to continue to target buyers and exhibitors in critical areas of export growth like food and agribusiness, health, energy and resources.
“We also welcome the fact that the Government has acknowledged the need to speed up, streamline and make more user-friendly the visa processing for Chinese visitors. We would encourage them to continue to work hard on improving this essential part of our visitor facilitation,” he said.
“The Government, and in particular Trade Minister Andrew Robb, has really kicked some goals with its free trade agenda, but we have to ensure that other policy settings are right so we can handle the growth in business visitation that goes hand-in-hand with increased trade.” Mr Hingerty said.