If you narrowed down our export markets to just the other cricketing nations, you’d be surprised how big a slice of the world that makes.
After a long build up, the ICC (International Cricket Council) Cricket World Cup in the Caribbean is now underway.
While all eyes are on Andrew Symond’s injury and the Aussies preparation (after a form slump in the Australia and New Zealand one-dayers recently) it is worth looking at trade and business links with our rival cricketing nations.
Both our cricket and trade ties are a legacy of the British Commonwealth.
During the Commonwealth Games last year, I looked at Austrade data that showed the Commonwealth accounts for just over $65 billion in exports — a quarter of our exports and just over a fifth of our imports.
If you just take the cricketing nations alone (that is, those competing in the 2007 Cricket World Cup in the Caribbean) they account for more than $30 billion and 33,000 exports.
The leader of the pack is of course New Zealand, followed by England, South Africa, Canada and India (see chart below).
Although the Caribbean nations don’t rate highly in terms of trade, the Cricket World Cup in the Caribbean in 2007 is helping Australian businesses to form a small beachhead in the market.
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Australian exporters have been involved in stadium upgrades, event management, logistics, broadcasting, and of course those famous Aussie-led cricket tours.
For instance, one Australian company, Velocity Brand Management, is the exclusive licensing agent for ICC Cricket World Cup West Indies 2007 and is in charge of logos and event marks on merchandise and souvenirs.
In addition, Murray Tregonning and Associates, who invented MatchCom, an audio communication system for umpires (stump mikes and ear pieces) has won the contract for the Super 8s and the finals at Cricket World Cup 2007.
Tregonning, an innovative dynamic sports entrepreneur with great enthusiasm for his products, has won the backing of the Dubai ICC after successful use of his company’s technology in South Africa, England (for the historic Pakistan-India match at Edgbaston) and here in Australia. “With the crowd noise made at full-house cricket matches nowadays, the umpires need all the help they can get to hear snicks etc…Our technology has helped them make informed decisions,” he says.
Austrade in Mexico City, which also looks after Central America and the Caribbean, has been working closely with the International Cricket Council and the local Caribbean organisers to ensure that Australian exporters learn of the opportunities associated with the Cricket World Cup.
After all, Australians have an excellent record in event management after the successful hosting of the Sydney Olympics in 2000, the Rugby World Cup in 2003 and the Commonwealth Games last year.
David Faulks, the architect of the Sydney Olympics’ Business Club Australia (BCA), is closely involved in business opportunities in Jamaica (he has already introduced two Australian companies into the Kingston business community) and the rest of the Caribbean and will be highlighting business opportunities to Australians in the lead-up to Cricket World Cup 2007.
In fact, the Business Club will become an “export” itself at Rugby World Cup 2007 in France later this year as Austrade hosts business networking functions all around France to coincide with the Wallabies’ matches. The club will also be holding functions in Melbourne at the 12th FINA Swimming Championships and the Melbourne Cup Carnival in 2007, and then there’s the big one, the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
In short, cricket is a small but growing component of our sports equipment and services export industry, but cricketing nations are big players as far as Australian exporters are concerned.
So let’s hope that Ricky Ponting and the team bring home the World Cup from the Caribbean.
*Tim Harcourt is chief economist of the Australian Trade Commission, author of Beyong Our Shores (www.austrade.gov.au/economistscorner) and a former wicket-keeper. Thankyou to Jenny Graham, Nola Rihani and Ashley White for their comments and assistance with this article.
For more information about the Cricket World Cup 2007 visit the ICC web site www.cricketworldcup.com.
Australian businesses who want more information about the 12th FINA Swimming championships 2007, Rugby World Cup 2007, the Melbourne Cup Carnival 2007 and the Beijing Olympics 2008, contact Business Club Australia at: www.businessclubaustralia.com.au
*England includes Scotland & Wales. **West Indies includes Bermuda.
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