Sydney has again outshone its competitors, winning the right to host 5,000 leading accounting professionals at the next World Congress of Accountants (WCOA) in 2018, an event worth $18 million to New South Wales (NSW).
Business Events Sydney (BESydney), the NSW Government and a powerful contingent of Australian representatives supported the bid led by Alex Malley from CPA Australia, and Lee White from the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia, who together represent 200,000 business, finance and accounting professionals.
NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade and Investment Troy Grant revealed the win was announced at the 2014 World Congress in Rome recently.
“This is the latest high-profile international event to be secured for the International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney). It’s one of 18 international business events locked in for Sydney and NSW, representing a combined estimated economic impact of close to $150 million,” said Mr Grant.
“Sydney is recognised globally as an international finance hub and business centre. It’s home to Australia’s strongest corporate, finance and professional services sectors – 16 of the 25 top accounting firms call our Harbour City home. In fact, more than 45 per cent (by revenue) of the top 500 companies in Australia are located in NSW,” Mr Grant said.
CEO of BESydney, Lyn Lewis-Smith said, “The last time Australia hosted this highly sought-after congress was 1972 in Sydney. To have it return to our shores some 40 years later is testament to the strength of our professional services industry and global reputation.”
“The majority of events already secured for ICC Sydney sit within the professional services sector and will play an important role in providing opportunities for global collaboration, trade and investment,” Ms Lewis-Smith said.
ICC Sydney CEO and AEG Ogden Group Director of Convention Centres, Geoff Donaghy said he was pleased the group’s global experience could provide an added degree of confidence when attracting events for ICC Sydney.
“Having successfully hosted the World Congress of Accountants in Kuala Lumpur in 2010, it is an honour to again be entrusted with this prestigious event. In 2018, we look forward to hosting a uniquely Sydney experience for Congress delegates in what is undoubtedly one of the most exciting convention venues to come to market.
“The NSW Government’s decision to invest in infrastructure across the city is certainly underlining Sydney as the destination of choice for international business event decision makers,” Mr Donaghy said.
The NSW Government has committed to significant investment in Sydney’s financial sector, including the A$6 billion development at Barangaroo to create a world-class base for international banks, financial and professional services companies. This major development was a key selling point in the bidding process, as were the brand new conference facilities, and will ensure Sydney continues to be one of the best places in the world to meet.
The quadrennial World Congress of Accountants aims to foster global unity and collegiality among professional accountants. Previous congresses have been held in Rome (2014), Kuala Lumpur (2010), Istanbul (2006), Hong Kong (2002), Paris (1997) and Washington DC (1992).