Bringing the focus to a more local level, the Honourable Patricia Forsythe, executive director Sydney Business Chamber, NSW Business Chamber, provided insight into how Sydney continues to evolve into an international shopping destination.

According to Forsythe a recent study presented to the government indicated there are opportunities retailers in Sydney are not exploiting.

“Last year visitors from China grew 8 per cent and by 2020 the anticipated growth is 150 per cent yet Chinese language sign or Chinese speaking staff are not the norm in most retail establishment despite the huge pool of bilingual speakers in Sydney.

“The image that all Chinese tourists are group travellers misses the growing trend of wealthy Chinese as independent travellers who are less likely to be herded into a narrow range of fine own shops than the spitting image of the Asian traveller to date.

“Accepting the Chinese bankcard and the people associated with the Bank of China and the only card carried by only Chinese visitors would see it as a common sense solution to support these Chinese tourists. Yet these acceptances are extremely limited in Australia.”

Forsythe also highlighted the redevelopment of Westfield Sydney as an asset in helping shape the city as a shopping destination.

“Westfield Sydney has created a high quality retail space previously limited in Sydney, meaning a number of international retailers have been able to consider coming to Australia. Many of them have very particular requirements for the retail space and would not have come without the right location, size…”

“…Sydney has lifted a few notches off the back off of confidence Westfield showed by its investment.”