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The Australia India Business Council (AIBC) NSW State Chapter hosted a Welcome and Networking Event for Mr Manpreet Vohra, High Commissioner of India to Australia, on Friday, 19 November 2021.

It was the first in-person event hosted by the AIBC NSW Chapter in almost two years, due to the recurring Covid-19 lockdowns in Sydney. 

Continuing to celebrate the theme, “The NSW/Australia India bilateral people to people connect to facilitate business to business outcomes,” the well-attended event had a guest list which included Mr Vohra and Mr Manish Gupta, Consul General India, Sydney, AIBC members and senior representatives from business and both sides of government. 

Irfan Malik, AIBC NSW President welcomed members and guests and highlighted the role and impact that AIBC, as the leading industry body championing Australia India bilateral trade, investment and business outcomes, and coordinated through the active roles played by the AIBC NSW Management Committee members and extended sector-based working groups, along with the AIBC Industry Chapter Chairs. 

He highlighted that AIBC would be driving some of these business outcomes within the “SMILES” (Small & Medium, Indigenous, Large Enterprises and Startups) framework and engaging various businesses to leverage the many bilateral opportunities between Australia and India. 

He said, “The two nations had emerged as very close trading partners with the Comprehensive Strategic Partnerships agreements signed last year, and with both governments working closely towards an Early Harvest Agreement by end of 2021 – as well as the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) expected by end of 2022.”

He acknowledged the active support for the AIBC received from the Consulate General of India, Sydney and the High Commissioner of India and Austrade and DFAT and the ongoing bilateral trade and Investment relationship between Australia and India.

Manpreet Vohra, High Commissioner of India to Australia, in his Keynote Address acknowledged the re-engagements of CECA and FTA highlighted Indian and Australia’s shared challenges, opportunities and objectives, and that it was time to take the trade and economic relations to a much higher trajectory.

He said, “India is emerging as an economic powerhouse, fuelling growth globally. We are already the fifth largest economy in the world, the third largest in terms of purchasing power parity. Recently our Prime Minister announced a $1.3 trillion economic stimulus into our infrastructure construction. 

“With an open and globalised market of 1.3 billion people” India offered Australian businesses excellent opportunities for investments, export and manufacturing,” he added.


Jim Varghese AM                                     Irfan Malik                              

National Chair AIBC                                 State President – AIBC NSW    

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