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The South Asian Public Affairs Council (SAPAC) recently held their inaugural Business Forum in Melbourne at The Grand on Princes Receptions in Mulgrave.
Guests and delegates, representing the business community both in Australia and overseas, attended the forum, designed to facilitate closer professional ties between Australia and South Asian communities.
Kaushalya Vaghela from SAPAC conducted the event. She began by acknowledging the sponsors and supporters of the Forum, before inviting Dr Shahbaz Chaudhry, President of SAPAC, to introduce the committee and share their objectives.
According to Dr Chaudhry, SAPAC was created to support multiculturalism in Australia, while also promoting opportunities for increased collaboration between Australia and South Asian nations.
The Business Forum is designed to enable the mainstream community to engage with South Asian communities in social, cultural, political and economic spheres – working together to build a harmonious relationship.
The major portion of the evening was dedicated to the formal event and presentations, followed by a late but sumptuous dinner.
Stuart Rees from Austrade, who is the Trade Commissioner (Acting) to New Delhi, spoke at length on doing business with Australia and opportunities in Asia for Australians.
According to Rees it is worthwhile to invest time and effort towards improving two-way trade between South Asia and Australia.
“South Asia is an area in the world worthy of focus for investment and trade,” Rees said. “One should take every opportunity to understand the opportunities available and utilise services like banks, Austrade and so on to help in managing and minimising the risks in the market.”
Savanth Sebastian, Senior Economist from the Commonwealth Bank, spoke about the Australian economic outlook for the next five years. His PowerPoint presentation, outliningthe current trends in the market, was well received.
According to Jude Perera, Member for Cranbourne District, understanding the diverse cultures that form the Australian population is vital to the prosperity of Australia.
Former SAPAC President Donald Betts, who is also a former senator in the US state of Kansas, endorsed Perera’s views while conducting the interactive Q and A portion of the evening.
Reaffirming his commitment to South Asian communities in Australia, Hong Lim MP emphasised the need for the Australian Prime Minister to visit India often to improve relationships and create successful opportunities similar to those between Australia and China.
Dilkie Perera, President of the Aus-Lanka Business Council, was officially thanked for organising the successful event.