The Australian Business Summit Council Inc. held its inaugural Annual Gala Dinner to mark the first anniversary of the Council’s establishment at The Waterview in Bicentennial Park, Homebush on Wednesday 27 November 2019. Studded with almost 300 eminent business leaders, ambassadorial and consular officials, academics, political leaders, community leaders and representative members of the press, this sensational function celebrated the momentous achievements of the organisation, including the Official Launch of the Council’s Business Affairs magazine, Ekonomos.
ABSC Inc. Vice President, Ms Hong Huang formally welcomed the assembled guests before inviting the President of the Australian Business Summit Council Inc., Dr Frank Alafaci as the evening’s Master of Ceremonies to acknowledge the numerous VIPs and public figures in attendance, featuring the Hon. Mr Damien Tudehope MLC (NSW Minister for Finance and Small Business); H. E. Mr Antonio Pedro Rodrigues da Silva (Ambassador of Portugal to Australia); H. E. Mr Salman Almotairi (Consul General of Saudi Arabia); H. E. Mr Yasser Mahmoud Abed (Consul General of Egypt) and Mrs Abed; H. E. Dr Antonio Correa de Aguiar (Consul General of Portugal); H. E. Mr Luciano Da Conceicao (Consul General of Timor Leste); H. E. Mr Michele Dal Pra (Honorary Consul General of St Vincent and the Grenadines); Mr Nicolay Vinogradov (Deputy Consul General of the Russian Federation); Mr Mohammad Nagshabandi (Vice Consul of Saudi Arabia); Mr Carlos Pacheco (Head, Portuguese Trade and Investment Agency); Mr Hassan Al-Zahab (Trade Advisor, Consulate General of St Vincent and the Grenadines); Ms Yaping Chiu (Director, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office); Mr Jinhee Lee (Managing Director, Hyundai Australia); Mr Bill Fitzgerald (Senior Manager, Arab Bank Australia Ltd); Mr Adam Cogan (Regional Director, Microsoft/Chief Architect, SSW) and Mrs Cogan; Professor Barney Glover (Vice Chancellor, Western Sydney University); Professor Marta Terraciano (Chair, Ethnic Affairs Council of NSW); Mr Michal Rizk (Head of Trade Relations, Australian Lebanese Chamber of Commerce) and Mrs Rizk; Mr Michael Harkins MVO PSM KSJ (CEO, Australia China Friendship and Exchange Association); Dr Ven Tan (Executive Chairman, Australia China Economics, Trade and Culture Association); Mr David Thomas (CEO, Think Global Consulting/President, Australia China SME Association); Mr Hasan Genturk (President, MUSIAD – Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen’s Association); Mr Miguel Vairinhos (President, Sydney Portugal Community Club); Mr John Gilmovich (President, Property Owners Association of NSW); the Hon. Mark Coure MP (NSW Member for Oatley/Assistant Speaker of the NSW Legislative Assembly); and the Hon. Dr Hugh McDermott (NSW Member for Prospect).
As the first and current ABSC Inc. President, Dr Frank Alafaci commended the intrepid entrepreneurial spirit and dedication that are part and parcel of Australian businesses that have contributed overwhelmingly to economic progress and development in our society. ABSC Inc. President Alafaci also enumerated the groundbreaking accomplishments of the Australian Business Summit Council Inc. which have augmented its presence and influence in local and international business circles through its incessant networking activities, positive mainstream media coverage, and relevant informative debates and discussions. As the ABSC Inc. President observed, this peak management consultant forum promotes significant business and investment avenues for domestic Australian and transplanted Australian businesses by enhancing commercial ties with our established regional trading partners as well as sounding out unprecedented capabilities in hitherto untapped markets. Pursuant to its charter of rules and regulations, the Australian Business Summit Council Inc. will further strengthen its elaborate links within the Australian and international business communities and continue to provide opinions and suggestions on formulating comprehensive policies, measures and long-term practical recommendations to promote a vibrant, sustainable and competitive Australian economy. In accordance with its self-proclaimed objectives, the Australian Business Summit Council Inc. will continue to meticulously examine the configuration and determinants of the Australian and international economic environment in order to increase business and investment possibilities for our economic growth performance.
Among the illustrious VIPs and guests in attendance at the inaugural Annual Gala Dinner, ABSC Inc. President Dr Frank Alafaci invited six acclaimed public figures to address the audience about the opportunities that the Australian economy furnishes to homegrown Australian and international businesses as an environment which is markedly diversifying into high value-added, innovative and technologically advanced productive and services industries.
Heading the keynote speeches, Mr Damien Tudehope MLC, NSW Minister for Finance and Small Business accentuated the two decades of uninterrupted annual growth underpinned by strong institutions and robust responses to international changes which have transformed the Australian economy into one of the most stable and unperturbed economies in an increasingly globalized economic environment.
Speaking to the need to maintain cordial economic relations with our largest trading partner, the People’s Republic of China, Professor Barney Glover, the esteemed Vice Chancellor of Western Sydney University, stressed that the Australian economy represents an important destination for Chinese business which contributes in significant measure to tax revenue and job creation, while concurrently possessing a skilled, efficient workforce capable of satisfying Chinese business and investment requirements. Although the actual percentage of Chinese investment in the Australian economy is still relatively marginal, compared to long-standing, traditional investors like the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan, Chinese multinational enterprises are becoming more actively involved in the Australian economic environment through direct investment, providing employment and expanding possibilities for collaboration in domestic sectors, including agriculture and real estate.
Likewise, Microsoft’s Regional Director and the Chief Architect of SSW, Mr Adam Cogan emphasized the benefits of economic relations with the People’s Republic of China for its innovative economic environment in information media and telecommunications with world-leading, cutting-edge capabilities in block chain and quantum computing, which constitutes fertile terrain for the Australian predominant skills base in technology and knowledge-intensive industries.
Another renowned specialist in Chinese-Australian economic relations, Mr David Thomas, CEO of Think Global Consulting and President of the Australia China SME Association mentioned the principal importance of the People’s Republic of China for reciprocal Australian-Chinese business and investment which have unlocked countless possibilities for our homegrown businesses to undertake lucrative commercial ventures in an exponentially developing market and considerable prospective source of foreign investment. Australian businesses are strongly committed to building Chinese business and investment connections to increase mutually beneficial opportunities, particularly in information technology, education, health care and medical services exports.
Moreover, H. E. Mr Antonio Pedro Rodrigues da Silva, Ambassador of Portugal to Australia highlighted the significant advantages for Australian business and investment in his native country owing to the Portuguese economy’s well-developed startup ecosystem, venture capital companies, and acceleration programs, including an “Australian connection” that enables Portuguese and Australian companies to establish profitable corporate partnerships.
Additionally, the NSW Member for Prospect, Hon. Dr Hugh McDermott MP congratulated the Australian Business Summit Council Inc. for its ongoing efforts to identify and facilitate significant business and investment development incentives and opportunities to enhance reciprocal multilateral and sustainable commercial relationships between the Australian economy and the international economic environment.
Indicative of the elite status of the Australian Business Summit Council Inc., the inaugural Annual Gala Dinner acknowledged the recent admission of two new high-profile corporate members in a formal Certificate of Acknowledgement presentation ceremony. Mr Michael Harkins, CEO of the Australia China Friendship and Exchange Association, ABSC Inc.’s official sponsor, presented the first certificate to Mr Christopher Paris, Manager of Investment Relations at IQ Group Global, one of the largest multinational Bioscience companies in the world, who accepted the certificate on behalf of his colleague, Ms Lu Nan, Director of Capital Access Business Development for IQ Group Global, whereas the second certificate was received in representation of Mr Gilbert Khoury, Associate Director of Sales, at The Waterview in Bicentennial Park by Mr Theodore Drivas, Managing Director of this five-star reception venue which spectacularly hosted the inaugural Annual Gala Dinner.
Preceding the conclusion of an unforgettable evening with entertainment from Mr Jackson Aces, magician extraordinaire, the inaugural Annual Gala Dinner included the official launch of the one hundred and twenty four-plus page business affairs magazine of the Australian Business Summit Council Inc., Ekonomos, printed by Megacolour Pty Ltd, which comprises expertly-written informative articles on business and investment matters from several distinguished contributors, including Dr Frank Alafaci, ABSC Inc. President; Ms Dianne Tipping, Chair, Export Council of Australia; Dr Andrew Wilson, Chief Economist at My Housing Market and our nation’s leading independent property market analyst; Dr Simon Galpin, Managing Director, Bahrain Economic Development Board; Mr David Thomas, CEO of Think Global Consulting and President of the Australia China SME Association; Mr Michael Rizk, Head of Trade Relations, Australian Lebanese Chamber of Commerce; H. E. Dr Whie Jin Lee, former Consul General of the Republic of Korea in Sydney; H. E. Mr Antonio Pedro Rodrigues da Silva, Ambassador of Portugal to Australia; and H. E. Minda Calaguian-Cruz, former Ambassador of the Philippines to Australia.