Tuesday 17 April 2012
Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore says a recent trade mission to the Far East has helped boost the profile of the United Kingdom in some of the world’s fastest-growing economies.
Scudamore represented the Premier League during a recent trade mission to Indonesia and Malaysia, which was led by Prime Minister David Cameron.
The Barclays Premier League is hugely popular in the two countries – whose economies are currently growing at 10 times the rate of their European counterparts.
"People in Indonesia and Malaysia identify with the Premier League"
After the successful trip, Scudamore highlighted the role of the Premier League in helping to promote the UK overseas.
"They are not just football crazy over there, they are Premier League crazy," he told premierleague.com
"The people reference us frequently. Local people identify with the Premier League.
"I’m always impressed by people’s knowledge of the Premier League over there. They do not just know about the teams, but the players, the managers and the tactics."
Scudamore was part of what Prime Minister Cameron said was the "biggest and most high-powered British business delegation ever to visit the region."
The Chief Executive said: "The whole purpose is to engender better relations with the UK with these economies which are growing by 6-7 per cent per year.
"Their trade with Britain has not been as good as it should be and we can help change that."
The Prime Minister added: "This trip wasn’t just about securing deals today. It was also about laying the foundations for greater trade tomorrow.
"We agreed stretching new targets to double our trade with both Indonesia and Malaysia over the next few years, with a detailed action plan to get us there.
"The Premier League plays an important role in our vast continent where it is widely followed"
Asian Confederation General Secretary Dato’ Alex Soosay
"Many new links were forged as I joined leading British businesses in setting out the many reasons why Britain is such a great place to invest."
Scudamore also met with the General Secretary of the Asian Football Confederation Dato’ Alex Soosay.
Soosay said: "I stressed the important role the Premier League can play in our vast continent where the Premier League is widely followed.
"I believe that the Premier League Development Activity, in particular, provides additional opportunities for AFC’s Member Associations and knowledge sharing benefits them a lot.
"The Premier League’s direct involvement in developing football in Asia is highly appreciated and we would like to see how to develop a synergy between our grassroots philosophies and grassroots coach education."
A dinner hosted by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Business Club was attended by Scudamore, Prime Minister Cameron and his Malaysian counterpart Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Prime Minister Najib’s brother, Nazir Razak, hosted the dinner and Prime Minister Cameron presented him with a Chelsea shirt signed by the current team.