Federal Government Announces Three-Year Commitment To Shanghai AFL Match
The AFL premiership season match in China, first played in 2017, will now form part of a broader promotion of Australia in China.
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, The Hon Simon Birmingham, today announced a three-year commitment to the AFL game in China, which in 2019 will form part of the ‘Festival of Australia.’
‘Festival of Australia’ is a program of activity across ten cities in China between 20 May and 2 June, that highlights Australia’s premium food and wine, aged care, innovation, education, investment, culture, tourism and sport.
The Festival of Australia culminates in the AFL match between Port Adelaide and St Kilda at the Adelaide Arena at Jiangwan Stadium, on 2 June 2019.
“China and Australia have deep commercial and cultural ties, built over many years, but there is significant opportunity to grow exports of quality Australian products and services to the world’s biggest consumer market,” Minister Birmingham said.
“As well as promoting premium Australian food and beverages, the Festival will highlight Australia’s capability in healthcare, culture, tourism, sports, education, financial services, business and innovation spheres.”
This is a new model of engagement between Australia and China, which transcends trade, tourism, investment as well as sport and culture, to promote Australia in China and enhance interactions between the peoples of both countries.
“The Liberal-National Government welcomes the new three-year commitment to conducting this premiership game made by the two clubs and the AFL,” Minister Birmingham said.
“We are committing up to $250,000 of annual Austrade support towards this initiative, in addition to $400,000 recently announced for Tourism Australia to be the official tourism sponsor of the 2019 Toyota AFL premiership game.”
The AFL and Port Adelaide Football Club, which have a Joint Venture to organise the annual AFL match in China, welcome the decision.
“Today’s announcement is an incredible vote of confidence for what Port Adelaide is doing in China,” Port Adelaide Chairman David Koch said.
“When we first played an official game in China in 2017, people were pleasantly surprised at what had been achieved.
“Now, the annual match which is to a large extent the product of Port Adelaide’s vision and excellence is the anchor of a significant event for Australia in China.
“I encourage all businesses with a focus on China, and all footy supporters, to be there.
“With the announcement of this Festival of Australia, all roads lead to Shanghai; I can’t wait.”
The AFL also welcomed this decision.
“On behalf of the AFL, we thank the Government for their three-year commitment to support the Festival of Australia in China,” AFL CEO, Gill McLachlan said.
“This support will ensure our game becomes a marquee event in the Australia-China business calendar.
“Today’s announcement and the Government’s commitment certifies the momentum built on the first two Shanghai matches extends into the future both on and off the field in China.”