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Major trade forum for SA


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South Australia’s Council for International Trade & Commerce (CITCSA) is rolling out the big guns for its first Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Business Forum in Adelaide next week.

The forum, to be held on Wednesday 12 February, focuses on two-way trade opportunities with the 10 countries of South East Asia.

It coincides with the 40th Anniversary of Australia-ASEAN diplomatic Relations.

Local, national and international leaders and experts in ASEAN relations feature on the program.

It’s a feather in CITCSA chairman Francis Wong’s cap after the organisation struggled when State Government funds were pulled two years ago.

CITCSA reported a deficit of $91,541 in 2012 “largely due to no State government funding support being received in 2011/2012 which had been $200,000 annually in our previous years since we formed in 1994,” the organisation’s 2013 annual report shows.

The deficit was pulled back to around $9,000 in 2013.

“We have drawn down on our reserves over the past year…we have still been an active body, relevant and survived the year thanks to efforts of our Chair and Board members and in kind support provided by the corporate sector,” Wong said.

Some of the big names taking part in next week’s forum include Dato Zainal Abidin Ahmad, High Commissioner of Malaysia and Chairman of the ASEAN Committee in Canberra, Simon Merrifield, Australian Ambassador to ASEAN, Tim Harcourt from the Australian School of Business UNSW, Michael Mugliston, Special Negotiator, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Shane Stone, former NT Chief Minister and  Chairman of Mayfair (UK) Australia and Jane Yuile, Chairman, ANZ South Australia.

Wong said the forum is an must-do for businesses with an eye to export opportunities.

“The ASEAN group comprises ten countries of South East Asia with a combined population of 600 million people.

“Two-way trade with Australia amounted to $71 billion in 2012/2013 (14.6 per cent of Australia’s total trade) making this event an absolute must for anyone currently or seeking to conduct business in SE Asia.

“The networking opportunities alone are invaluable – and as most people understand – particularly in Asia, connections are priceless.

“We are thrilled to host the event here in Adelaide, it presents such an amazing opportunity to our local business community and we look forward to welcoming delegates from throughout Australia and SE Asia”

The forum will discuss opportunities in Education and Skills Development; Technology and Knowledge Intensive Services including biotech and business services; Agribusiness/Food & Wine and South Australia’s Engagement with ASEAN.

More details here.


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