ICC Sydney to host £10m World Congress of Accountants 2018

Sydney's International Convention Centre (ICC) has won the bid to host 5,000 leading accounting professionals at the next World Congress of Accountants (WCOA) in 2018.

Lyn Lewis-Smith, CEO of BESydney
Lyn Lewis-Smith, CEO of BESydney

The event is thought to be worth $18m (£9.9m) to the New South Wales (NSW) economy and was last held in Sydney in 1972.

The bid was led by Alex Malley from Certified Practising Accountants (CPA) Australia, and Lee White from the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia, with support from Business Events Sydney (BESydney) and the NSW Government.

Troy Grant, Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade and Investment for NSW, said the congress is one of 18 international business events now locked in for Sydney and NSW, representing a combined estimated economic impact of close to $150m (£82.8m).

"Sydney is recognised globally as an international finance hub and business centre. It’s home to Australia’s strongest corporate, finance and professional services sectors - 16 of the 25 top accounting firms call our Harbour City home. In fact, more than 45 per cent (by revenue) of the top 500 companies in Australia are located in NSW," he commented.

Lyn Lewis-Smith, CEO of BESydney, said: "The last time Australia hosted this highly sought-after congress was 1972 in Sydney. To have it return to our shores some 40 years later is testament to the strength of our professional services industry and global reputation."

The NSW Government has committed to significant investment in Sydney’s financial sector of late, including the $6bn (£3.3bn) development at Barangaroo to create a world-class base for international banks, financial and professional services companies.

This development, along with the new conference facilities at ICC, was a key selling point in the bidding process added Geoff Donaghy, CEO of ICC Sydney and group director of AEG Ogden Convention Centres. "The NSW Government’s decision to invest in infrastructure across the city is certainly underlining Sydney as the destination of choice for international business event decision makers."

The quadrennial World Congress of Accountants aims to foster global unity and collegiality among professional accountants. Previous congresses have been held in Rome (2014), Kuala Lumpur (2010), Istanbul (2006), Hong Kong (2002), Paris (1997) and Washington DC (1992).

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