New Zealand Embassy Manila, The Philippines

New Zealand business to be showcased during the Rugby World Cup

New Zealand's Rugby World Cup Minister Murray McCully says 16 different industry sectors have joined a nationwide effort to showcase New Zealand business to the world during the Rugby World Cup 2011 tournament.

The business sector groups, including representatives from the food and beverage, marine, fashion, agribusiness and aviation industries gathered in Auckland earlier this week for the launch of the REAL New Zealand Showcase.

"The Rugby World Cup puts New Zealand in the international spotlight like never before.  This is an unprecedented opportunity for a small trading nation to surprise the world with our extraordinary capabilities," said Mr McCully.

"Growing New Zealand's economy depends on developing new, high-value markets.  Industries and businesses can create new connections and deepen existing relationships.  We are leaving nothing to chance.  Through the REAL New Zealand Showcase, Festival and the online NZ 2011 Business Club, the Government is coordinating industries to enable them to confidently showcase their capabilities," he said.

The Cup will bring 85,000 international visitors to New Zealand, 2,000 international media and be watched by millions of viewers in over 200 countries.

"Our visitors may be here for the rugby, but they're also business people.  We're starting to accumulate a very impressive array of visitors.  We're going to see some heavy hitters from the business world, on our doorstep wanting more than a hot dog at a game," Mr McCully said.

Over 30,000 visitors are expected to arrive from Europe, over 30,000 from Australia, 7000 from the Americas and over 5000 from Africa during the period around the tournament.

"This is the first time a Rugby World Cup host nation has staged a nationwide showcase and festival alongside the tournament, and Auckland in particular has the opportunity to present itself as our international city."

"We're offering more than a rugby game, we're offering the ultimate guided tour for the business visitor," Mr McCully said.

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