There’s a lot more to the Commonwealth Games than sport.
When 71 nations and territories come together, connections are made in the way of sport, art, culture and business.
Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) CEO, David Grevemberg said the Games provide a great environment for making business connections.
“It’s a fantastic convenient place for world-class sport but also developing an emerging market and so there’s a real opportunity to celebrate sports, culture and business,” he said.
“I think there’s virtually untapped potential in a number of areas.”
In the lead up to and during GC2018, a trade and investment program called Trade 2018 was developed to strengthen trade and investment ties across the Commonwealth.
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said Trade 2018 is doing wonderful things for the city’s economy.
“We acknowledge hosting the Commonwealth Games is a huge honour and the third largest multi sporting event in the world,” he said.
“We all know that the athletes are going to perform and have their high KPI’s so we figured we might as well do the same as a city and have a high KPI.”
“In this instance, it is to gather at the Commonwealth House here and have the opportunity from day to day for various countries head of state to mingle and meet each other.”
The Gold Coast is yet to reap the full effects of Trade 2018, but West Midlands Mayor Andy Street said he is already learning from the Gold Coast and planning Birmingham’s coinciding trade event.
“Birmingham and the West Midlands is a city and region of the UK which is really going through a rapid revival at the moment,” he said.
Birmingham 2022 will come a few years after Britain formally leaving the EU.
Mr Street said Birmingham and the UK are still strong believers in trade despite this separation.
“The Prime Minister’s message consistently is Britain might be leaving the EU but we are still the most open global nation on earth, real believers in free trade,” he said.
“We will be using our hosting of the Commonwealth Games in the part of the country that is really the export dynamo of the UK to show that to everybody.”
“I’m particularly interested in seeing what Mayor Tate and his team have done to develop the trading links here.”
Mr Tate said Gold Coast people were receiving ‘boom for their buck’ from the Commonwealth Games despite reports of a ‘ghost town’ situation for small businesses.
“The property economy alone has predicted there will be 30 billion dollars worth of investment and job creation for the next ten years for a start,” he said.
“When you look at all the infrastructure that we’ve put in, it’s been a great win for the city of the Gold Coast.”
The economic benefits of Trade 2018 will be known in the following years to come.