Currently, 119 Australian companies have registered to participate in Beef 2018’s international Handshakes program, plus with registrations only recently opening for interested international business there has been over 100 overseas participants show interest in participating from regions including United State of America, Paraguay, Argentina, Uruguay, China and New Zealand.
Beef Australia international coordinator Anne Cover said there are almost as many companies registered now, with over two months to go until Beef 2018, as were in the program for Beef 2015.
“We expect an influx of more international registrations as we get closer to the expo,” Ms Cover said.
As a new addition to the Beef Australia team for Beef 2018, Ms Cover has extensive international congress coordinator experience.
“It is very impressive the amount of organising that goes into just the international stream at Beef Australia 2018,” she said.
“I am responsible for working with the committee and we organise everything that relates to international visitors.
“This includes the Qantaslink international lounge, the Handshakes program and registering international visitors.”
In 2015 there were over 1100 international visitors from over 40 countries to Beef and numbers are expected to grow at Beef 2018, according to Ms Cover.
“Of course technology has moved on since 2015 and we are looking at using technology a lot more this time,” she said.
The Handshakes program is at the centre of Beef 2018’s international visitor beef supply chain business opportunity creation.
Ms Cover said the program will take a more targeted approach this time in an effort better facilitate business matching and provide a more valuable experience to participants.
“Entry is via an ‘expression of interest’ that focuses on companies currently involved or considering being involved in international trade or seeking an investment,” Ms Cover said.
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“We have seen very strong interest so far with the Australian company registrations.
“As we wanted to let international businesses know about who had signed up, we released the Australian ‘expressions of interest’ earlier than internationals.”
Currently, the Handshakes program has participation from cattle producers, studs and genetic suppliers, plus beef exporters, finance, consultants and service providers, live cattle exporters and companies supplying to abattoirs all signed up. Majority of the beef supply chain domestic companies are from eastern parts of Australia, but there are also participants from Western Australia and South Australia currently involved as well.