Contributed by: Troy Thompson Wednesday, March 22 2017 @ 01:14 pm ACDT
The Port Adelaide Football Club is delighted to welcome Premier Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, to its first match of the season on Saturday.
As part of the his state visit, Premier Li will, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, attend Port Adelaide’s AFL Opening Round game against the Sydney Swans at the SCG on Saturday afternoon.
It follows an announcement by Prime Minister Turnbull in Shanghai during April 2016 of Port Adelaide’s intention to play a game for premiership points in Shanghai. That game will take place on May 14 against the Gold Coast Suns.
With this significant attendance of the Chinese Premier at Port Adelaide’s opening game, it is clear both Australia and China are embracing the opportunities that Port Adelaide’s China Engagement Strategy are presenting to the bi-lateral relationship between the two nations.
The China Engagement Strategy will deliver a significant opportunity to Australian business to present to the Chinese community at events around the May 14 game.
Several high-profile Chinese businesses have also joined Port Adelaide’s Open to the World campaign as significant partners, with a further premium partner to join in the coming days.
Port Adelaide’s chief executive officer Keith Thomas and general manager of China Engagement and government relations Andrew Hunter have been invited to the Prime Minister’s official reception for Premier Li and Madame Chong Hong on Thursday in Canberra. Mr Thomas will also attend the Australia China Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum (ACETCF) in Sydney on Friday .
Port Adelaide CEO Keith Thomas:
“We have known about the attendance of Premier Li for some time. It is great that it has been announced in the national media today.
“Although we seek a commercial benefit from our strategy to engage with China, we are aware that sport has a great potential to enhance diplomatic relations. Football, as a quintessentially Australian endeavour and a window into our culture, can play a significant role.
“When Port Adelaide supporters see what happens both on and off the field on Saturday, they will walk even taller and will be pretty excited by what lay ahead in 2017 and beyond.”