The largest convergence of Australian business chambers and Australia linked business in Asia

“With 4.5 billion people in Asia, and regional GDP growth of 5.5%, the markets of Asia represent the most attractive opportunities for business”

“In an Asian-driven world economy, all companies would be wise to immediately take advantage of the opportunities on offer”


Trends in Asia have a direct impact on global business; access to larger markets, a wider potential customer base, access to capital, innovation and human capital. If these trends aren’t already affecting your industry they soon will. As a business leader you need to get ahead of the curve or face an uncertain future.

Trading Up: Accessing Business Opportunities in Asia will provide all participants with access to a wide range of business contacts from across Asia in one convenient location.

The conference will cater to five key audiences:

> Australian Companies in the early stages of expanding into Asia

> Leading Australian Companies already in established in Asia

> Asian Companies with linkages with Australia or doing business with Australia

> Government Officials from Australia and Asia at the Federal, State & Local levels

> Policy makers and Industry representatives in fields of mutual collaboration between Asia & Australia


Over 2-days, delegates will hear from high profile speakers on topics such as market access, leveraging opportunities, as well as industry-specific plenary sessions. Expand your understanding of the opportunities available and answer the all-important question of how to grow your business activity in Asia.

Conference activities also include:

• Welcome cocktail event,

• Gala Dinner, and

• Two networking lunches.

Held in the world-class KL Convention Centre in Malaysia, this conference represents a unique opportunity to grow your business.

Conference hosted in the world-class Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Malaysia
Welcome Cocktails at Sky Bar, Trader’s Hotel

TRADING UP ‘Accessing Opportunities for Australian Business in Asia’ will be organized by the Malaysia Australian Business Council (MABC) a founding member of Australian Business Asia, established for over 30 years the MABC has been the voice of Malaysian and Australian business.


In 2012, the Australian business chambers and associations from across Asia came together to form Australian Business Asia (ABA) with a mission to provide a collective voice for Australian-linked businesses. Since then the original 12 ABA member chambers has grown to 17 members representing several Thousand companies from SME’s to large MNC’s and thousands more individual business people in the region. No other organisation has a greater reach or representation of Australia business interests in Asia.

The Malaysia Australia Business Council (MABC) is currently the chair of the Australian Business Asia (ABA).





Featured Speakers

Distinguished Business Leaders & Political Decision Makers

“Learn from those who are shaping the future of the Australia – Asia Relationship”.
The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP

Prime Minister of Australia

“THE 2016 Australian Business Asia Conference comes at an historic time for the economic development of the countries within our region.

Our trade agreements with South Korea, Japan, China, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, as well as the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA,  are creating new markets and supporting more enterprise and investment.

Once concluded, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership will deliver even more opportunities for the countries of Asia to trade with and invest in Australia.

Economic cooperation offers a fast track to generating real, sustainable wealth, and is the best way to generate jobs and improve everyone’s quality of life.

Thank you to Australian Business Asia for its continued work to foster business opportunities between Asia and Australia, and I wish all delegates every success in capitalising on this potential.

May you have a productive and enjoyable conference.”

– The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP
Prime Minister of Australia

26 October 2016

Rod Smith

Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia

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“Australia and Malaysia have long been important trading partners. In the past decade alone, our total trade has more than doubled to almost $20 billion in 2015. We are top ten trading partners of each other and Malaysia is among the largest regional investors in Australia, with total investments worth over $20 billion in 2015.

Over the past 30 years, we have witnessed the formation of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, which accounts for almost half of world trade, and concluded the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement, one of our largest and most ambitious trade arrangements. New agreements—such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership—promise to drive new and innovative business linkages that will benefit both our countries. And the ASEAN Economic Community paves the way for economic integration opportunities that were unimaginable 30 years ago.”

– Rod Smith, Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia, Patron MABC

YB Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed

Minister of Trade & Industry Malaysia
& Co-Patron of the MABC

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“Malaysia is committed to a fair trading environment. Being an open and relatively small economy, it is in the interest of our business community that we pursue policies that encourage an environment with as little barriers to trade as possible. And we do this not only through our engagements in multilateral and regional arrangements such as the WTO, APEC and ASEAN but also bilaterally. Over the last few years, Malaysia has concluded bilateral FTAs with Japan, Pakistan, Chile, New Zealand and India.

We are also signatories to regional FTAs through ASEAN with China, Japan, Korea, India and Australia / New Zealand.  The aggregate impact of this array of FTAs is quite far-reaching: it means that if you have a business based in Malaysia, you will have preferential access to a market of some 3.3 billion consumers, which is almost half the world’s population.”

–  YB Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Minister of Trade & Industry Malaysia & Co-Parton of the MABC

Leigh Howard

Chairman of Australian Business Asia and the Malaysia Australia Business Council

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Trends in Asia have a direct impact on Australian business, many companies are faced with the challenge of expanding into Asia and many have failed because they try to do it on their own, the Australian Business Asia network and the various AusChams allow companies to start with one foot in the door.

Derek Kidley

CEO, PwC ASEANZ Consulting

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Derek is the CEO of PwC’s Consulting business covering the ASEANZ region (Australia, New Zealand and SE Asia) where he is responsible for all aspects of the business.  The consulting business covers strategy consulting, management consulting, technology consulting and risk consulting and is one of the fastest growing parts of the global consulting business. The business has almost 200 partners and 2000 staff. He has worked across the Asia-Pacific region since 2008.

Previously Derek was a member of both PwC Australia’s Executive Board. He held a number of senior leadership roles during that time and represented the firm on the Global Advisory Leadership Team. These have included Managing Partner Asia, where he led the Australian firm’s Asia practice.  In his role as the Managing Partner, Asia Derek was responsible for overseeing the firm’s strategy in respect of bilateral trading relationships across the Asia-Pacific region.  Other roles have included the Asia-Pacific Markets Leader, where he was working across the world’s fastest growing region and responsible for implementing a regional priority account program as part of an industry go-to-market program. He was Managing Partner Advisory for 2 Years where he lead the Firm’s Management Consulting and Deals businesses through a period of significant growth;  Managing Partner, Clients & Markets for 2 years where he was responsible for the firm’s industries program; as well as a period as the Office Managing Partner for Sydney. Prior to that he was the firm’s Energy & Resources Leader for 5 years, which encompassed Energy, Oil & Gas, and Mining sectors.  Derek has also led the firm’s relationship with many key clients in Australia.

Before joining the firm in 1997 Derek held a number of senior roles with British Gas plc in the UK.  Derek has worked with many of Australia’s leading energy companies as well as advising overseas His current roles include the Australian firm’s Advisory Leader and Asia-Pacific Markets Leader as well responsibility for leading the firm’s relationship with a number of important clients.  He has held a number of senior executive roles within the Australian Firm including Managing Partner, Clients & Markets for 2 years where he was responsible for the firm’s industries program.  Previously he was the firm’s Energy & Resources Leader for 5 years, which encompassed Energy, Oil & Gas, and Mining. Prior to joining the firm in 1997 Derek held a number of senior roles with British Gas plc in the UK.  Derek has worked with many of Australia’s most significant energy companies as well as advising governments in the area of energy policy and retail competition.

Tim Harcourt

The Airport Economist

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Tim Harcourt, The Airport Economist, is the J.W.Nevile Fellow in Economics at the UNSW Australia Business School in Sydney. An experienced economics commentator and globetrotter, Tim has visited and studied 58 countries in the past 5 year alone.

Tim is the host of the TV show The Airport Economist produced by David Koch’s Pinstripe Media. The Airport Economist is the primary source of business intelligence for Australian and international companies engaged in trade and international business in the Asia Pacific region.

At UNSW Australia Tim teaches International Business Experience in the AGSM MBA programme in Asia, in China, India, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan and now more recently in Latin America in Chile and Brazil.

Tim is formerly the Chief Economist of the Australian Trade Commission (AUSTRADE), and has worked as an economist at the ACTU and the Reserve Bank of Australia and in the private sector in the UK, USA and Israel.

Tim is also Adviser- International Engagement to the Premier of South Australia, Hon. Jay Weatherill, MP and an Expert Panel Member of the Fair Work Commission.

Tim was educated at the University of Adelaide, University of Minnesota, and Harvard University and by his own students (!)

Tim is the author of six books on international business including the international best seller The Airport Economist

Tim’s media interviews, articles and blogs can be found at:

– Tim Harcourt, The Airport Economist

Benyamin Ismail

CEO, AirAsia X Berhad

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Benyamin Ismail was appointed as AirAsia X Berhad Chief Executive Officer effective 1 st September 2015.

Benyamin joined AirAsia Berhad in March 2010, most recently playing the role Group Head of Corporate Development, Implementation and Investor Relations. He led the group in corporate development, finding strategic opportunities to complement AirAsia’s airline and non-airline businesses through Mergers and Acquisitions, investments and special projects. He also managed regional IR, communicating the AirAsia Group strategy, growth and outlook to the investor community.

Prior to joining AirAsia, Benyamin had an illustrious eight-year career in the Investment Banking industry with firms such as CIMB Investment Bank, Maybank Investment Bank and Affin Investment Bank, giving him a wide understanding of the overall financial industry.

Benyamin played a pivotal role in enhancing AirAsia’s growth to become one of the most attractive companies on the Bursa Stock Exchange in Malaysia in terms of transparency, investor returns and Corporate Governance. Under his leadership, AirAsia became one of the most covered stocks by domestic and international brokerage houses and was awarded the Best Investor Relation Company four years in a row by Corporate Governance Asia.

Benyamin received the award of Best IR Professional in 2011 and 2012 by Bursa’s Malaysian Investor Relation Association. As well as the ‘Best Investor Relation Professional’ award four consecutive times.

Benyamin holds a degree in Bachelor of Commerce (Banking & Finance) from Curtin University of Technology, Australia and a Masters in Electronic Commerce from Edith Cowan University, Australia. He represented Western Australia in the Rowing Nationals in his first two years of University and is currently active in football, basketball and Muay Thai.

Frans Helleman

Country Director, Malaysia & Singapore for CHEP Brambles Limited

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Brambles Limited is a supply-chain logistics company operating primarily through its CHEP and IFCO brands. Worldwide, we make available more than 500 million reusable pallets, crates and containers for shared use by multiple participants throughout the supply chain, helping our customers transport goods more efficiently, sustainably and safely. The use of our equipment, innovative packaging solutions and logistics services reduces waste and costs, improving competitiveness for domestic and export markets whilst reducing excessive handling that causes product damage and food safety issues.

In Asia, Brambles serves the fast-moving consumer goods, retail, agriculture, fresh produce, beverage, oil and gas, and general manufacturing categories, counting among our customers many of the world’s best-known brands as well as small- and medium-sized enterprises and individuals such as farmers. We seek to work with public and private sector stakeholders, including governments, to help modernise and standardise supply chains, as well as to facilitate trade.

Stuart Mendel

Managing Director, Tun Razak Exchange
Lifestyle Quarter, Lendlease

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Stuart is the Managing Director for Tun Razak Exchange Lifestyle Quarter – a joint venture between LendLease and TRX City Sdn. Bhd. In this role, he oversees the strategy, implementation and resources for the project including Development, Project Management and Construction, and Asset Management.

Stuart first joined Lendlease’s Asia business in January 2014, as the Managing Director for Project Management & Construction, Asia directing the strategy, growth, operations and resources of the project management and construction business across the region. Prior to that, Stuart was the General Manager of the Retail Strategic Business Unit of Lendlease in Australia. An industry veteran with more than 25 years of experience in the property industry, 22 of which has been with Lendlease in a multitude of roles spanning across a wide spectrum of businesses including Project Management and Construction, Development and the Military Housing Privatisation business.

He has played instrumental roles in several large, complex mixed use projects, including the Athletes Village for the Sydney Olympic Games, several military housing master planned communities in the United States and The New Rouse Hill in northwest Sydney. He was also responsible for the development and asset management of Lendlease Primelife’s portfolio of over 90 aged care and retirement village properties.

Stuart holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Sydney, Australia.

John Dick

Board Member, Honorary Secretary and Past President of AustCham Singapore

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John is an international lawyer who specializes in ASEAN cross border investment and M&A with particular focus on Energy & Resources and Infrastructure.  He has been based in South East Asia since 1989, living in Singapore and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and working throughout South East Asia, particularly Indonesia and Vietnam.

John is a current board member, Honorary Secretary and Past President of AustCham Singapore, being made an honorary life member in June 2008. He helped establish and was the first President of AusCham Vietnam (being made a life member in 2000). He was also involved in the establishment and was the first chairman of Australian Business Asia.

John is a graduate of the University of Western Australia with Bachelor of Jurisprudence, Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

James Tng

Director – Tax and Business Advisory
Moore Stephens (WA) Pty Ltd

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James Tng has been a partner at Moore Stephens since 2006.

He has decades of experience in tax and business advice to businesses, migrants, overseas and Australian businesses and government agencies.

James looks after the ongoing tax affairs for clients with complex tax issues and has extensive knowledge and experience in assisting clients with business advisory, development and planning issues.

James also assists businesses and individuals from overseas in setting up in Australia, providing strategic financial know-how and applying his extensive knowledge of tax systems.

James regularly presents for the Institute of Chartered Accountants and is a Chartered Tax Advisor.

Chau Ta

President of the Australian Chambers of Commerce in Vietnam

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Chau Ta is the current President of the Australian Chambers of Commerce in Vietnam (AusCham).  She has been a member of AusCham for over 8 years and has served on the Board for over 4 years.

Chau is highly experienced in real estate legal matters and is currently the Transaction Counsel for SC Capital Partners Group in charge of all transactions Pan Asia including Australia, New Zealand, Maldives, Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Greater China and Vietnam. SC Capital Partners Group manages opportunity funds – Real Estate Capital Asia Partners (RECAP I, RECAP II, RECAP III and RECAP IV) with just under US$1.8bn in capital commitments from institutional investors across the four funds.

Prior to joining SC Capital Partners, Chau practiced not only in Vietnam with one of the country’s largest international law firms on property law, but also served as Vice President for Legal Affairs of one of Vietnam’s leading listed property funds and most recently with DFDL as its Vietnam’s Head of Real Estate Practice Group.

Chau is highly regarded for her real estate insights and knowledge within Vietnam. Chau was part of the Panel of Judges for the Vietnam Property Awards in 2015 and 2016 (and the Vice Chair of the Panel of Judges in 2016). Chau, under AusCham, has also organized and continue to run the Annual Vietnam Real Estate Symposium (this year being its 4th year).

Chau holds a Masters of International Law and an LLB/BA from the University of Sydney. She is qualified Australian lawyer with unique international and Vietnamese law experience on real estate matters.

Peter G. Fanning

Foreign Legal Consultant, Hutabarat Halim & Rekan
Vice Chairman, Indonesia Australia Business Council
Chairman, International Business Chamber

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Mr. Fanning is an Australian barrister and solicitor, and is a graduate of the University of Queensland (law) and the University of PNG (politics and economics). He transferred from Australia’s Clayton Utz to the Indonesian law firm of Hutabarat Halim & Rekan in 1997.

He practices in the commercial and corporate areas, especially in matters involving foreign investment. He also advises in such diverse areas as land and water resources, oil and gas, mining, construction, insurance, air and sea transport (including port development and use), industrial relations and dispute resolution.

He is a member of Lawasia, the Australian Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators, and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

As a Vice Chairman of the Indonesia Australia Business Council and also Chairman of the International Business Chamber (since 2002), he has been active in assisting the Indonesian government (in conjunction with Kadin) in policy formation and reform, especially in areas of investment and legal reform.

Kate Harden

IAJN Co-Founder and CEO

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Kate has over 10 years’ experience in the HR field in Australia and Vietnam with a management style that achieves results with and through people.
Adaptability and flexibility has seen her skills that were nurtured and refined in Melbourne, Australia, translate to her work in Vietnam where she pioneered contemporary HR as Director of People & Performance at KOTO – Know One Teach One.
Currently Kate holds the position of CEO at International Alumni Job Network, committed to best practice recruiting standards across Asia Pacific and fostering cross-cultural pathways. Kate is passionate about learning, mentoring and working together to make a difference.
ONG Kenn Tat (Jef)

Managing Director of FLEXIROAM Limited

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Jef is an astute serial entrepreneur with remarkable experience of over 15 years in the telecommunication industry.

By the age of 34, Mr Ong had successfully co-founded more than five technology-based companies and delivered multimillion dollar worth of solutions to major telecommunications providers.

During his entrepreneurial journey, he has served as Executive Director for a number of high performing businesses, among those include FLEXIROAM Sdn Bhd, Flexiroam Asia Limited, Reapfield Technology Sdn Bhd, FromVision Sdn Bhd and Super Bonus Profits Sdn Bhd. It is through Jef’s leadership that FLEXIROAM was successfully listed on the Australian Securities Exchange in 2015 and won numerous international awards and recognition, including the World Travel Award & ASEAN Outstanding Business Award.

Presently under Jef’s leadership, FLEXIROAM continues to maintain its position as a key player in the global roaming industry, by consistently introducing disruptive innovations such as Flexiroam X which challenges the old way travelers stay in touch abroad. Find out more about Flexiroam X at

Pat PW Yeoh

Managing Director, PM Resources Sdn Bhd
President, The Malaysian Australian Alumni Council

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Ms Yeoh holds a Degree in Economics and a Graduate Diploma in Financial Management from the University of New England, Australia. She is also a certified trainer with the Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF). She has more than 20 years’ experience where her skills have been capitalised in various capacities including overall management of the outsourcing practice, human resource consulting and personnel management. Her area of expertise is in the design, development and implementation of tailored-made business models to meet the outsourcing requirements of different clients. The good combination of her creativity and business acumen is evident in the review and design of business processes aimed to streamline various procedures and work flow to ensure efficiency is maximised and adequate controls are in place.

Apart from running her own successful human resource outsourcing and consulting practice, Ms Yeoh is also the President of The Malaysian Australian Alumni Council (MAAC), the national organisation for Malaysian alumni associations of Australian universities and other institutions of higher learning. Helmed by a 15 member executive and Ms Yeoh’s leadership, the MAAC has grown through leaps and bounds from an unknown organisation to one that is not only working strategically with the Australian High Commission in Malaysia but also with the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade as well as all the alumni offices and local alumni chapters of Australian universities, advocating the global alumni engagement strategy established by Foreign Trade Minister Hon Julie Bishop. Running the MAAC tirelessly with passion and on a voluntary basis proves that Ms Yeoh is an extremely strong advocate and ambassador in promoting Australian education and alumni in Malaysia and the region.

Ms Yeoh is an avid writer and has contributed to the New Straits Times Appointment Pages, the Ascent Section of The Sun newspapers and the CCH Malaysian Employers’ Bulletin. She has also appeared on the TV3 ‘Malaysia Hari Ini’ Talk Show and on Capital TV under the Capital Talk Segment.

In 1999, Ms Yeoh received the inaugural Young Distinguished Alumni Award and in 2016, the Alumni Achievement Award from her alma mater.

Shan Saeed

Chief Economist at IQI Group Holdings

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Shan Saeed is Chief Economist at IQI Group Holdings, a leading property and investment company operating and advising clients in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Hong Kong, London, Toronto, Melbourne and Dubai. He has 15 years of solid financial market experience in the areas of private banking, risk /compliance management, commodity investments, global economy and business strategy.

Started his career with Asian Development Bank backed financial institution named National Development Finance Corporation in Karachi Pakistan for 3 years. Worked for Standard Chartered Bank in Pakistan / UAE for 6.5 years. Commenced asset company named Dita Advisory Services with his partners managing $50 million for 4.5 years. Engaged with IQI Group Holdings since August 2013 advising corporate clients globally.

He has been interviewed / quoted on Bloomberg Malaysia/China, Al Jazeera TV, Hubbis Hong Kong, CNBC Dubai, FT [Deutschland], Channel News Asia Singapore, International New York Times/Malaysian Reserve, Uni of Chicago, Booth School of Business alumni magazine, Wall Street Journal, Khaleej Times, Smart Investor, Money Compass, Rotary Club USA, World Business Journal Singapore, Focus Malaysia, Business Today, Bernama TV and many more.

He has graduated from one of the top elite business schools in USA i.e. Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. He got his first MBA from IBA Pakistan [in collaboration with the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania]. He is also trained in Alternative Banking/Strategies from the Harvard Business School, USA.

Dr. Saliba Sassine

Managing Director of BlueMount Capital

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Dr. Saliba Sassine is a seasoned and experienced senior executive with deep knowledge of corporate finance and structuring, international and cross border transactions, and the application of technology and innovation for competitive advantage.  He has served as Chairman and CEO of a number of companies, and is currently Managing Director of BlueMount Capital in Western Australia and a member of the Australian and International Board of the BlueMount Capital Group of companies. He advised or led transactions in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, ICT, mining, exploration and agriculture.  He led or managed cross border transactions with Peru, Thailand, USA, India, China and Japan.  He has served as a Senior Ministerial Advisor in Australia, and as Chairman of a number of high profile visual and performing arts organisations.  He has a First Class Honours Degree in Economics from University of Western Australia and was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy from University of Western Australia.

Dr Gerard Kho

Chief Marketing Officer of Medini Iskandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd

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Dr Gerard Kho is currently the Chief Marketing Officer of Medini Iskandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd. He is currently placed in charge of promoting Medini as the Future CBD of Iskandar Puteri (formerly Nusajaya). Medini CBD is a catalytic initiative led by Khazanah with minority shareholders being Mitsui and UWI. Gerard’s role includes, as part of the destination building initiative, determining the components and types of development that could help build this future CBD. His role includes making strategic decisions in developing catalytic commercial, retail and lifestyle projects. Identifying and building a strong network of joint venture partners to assist in building Medini CBD is his top priority. The opportunity of being engaged in developing a future city is the key driver for his decision to be part of the Medini Iskandar Malaysia team.

Ehon Chan

Executive Director of Social Entrepreneurship
Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC)

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Ehon has passion for creating opportunities through connecting people, capital, and ideas to solve our world’s most pressing social and environmental issues. He’s the brainchild behind the Malaysian Social Enterprise Blueprint launched by the Prime Minister of Malaysia in 2015, and has been instrumental in the incubation of at least 70 social enterprises in Malaysia.

Previously, Ehon was the cofounder of Hub Australia, a network of coworking communities driving innovation through collaboration, and Spur Projects, a not-for-profit making it easier for men to take preventative action rather than to suicide.

He is currently a Board Member of Montessori International College, the Global Advisory Board for Movember Foundation, the world’s largest men’s health charity, and Advisor to numerous social enterprises. He was an Advisory Board member for Bendigo & Adelaide Bank’s PlanBig and StartSomeGood, the world’s leading crowdfunding site for social ventures, and the Chairman of the World Happiness Forum 2014.

Although far from his mind, his effort and contribution to social change has won him numerous awards and accolades such as Suicide Prevention Australia’s “LIFE Award”, The Age’s “Top 100 Most Influential People”, Australia Trade Commission’s “Top 30 Digital Influencer”, Shoe String Magazine’s “Top 25 Social Entrepreneurs”, Startup Daily’s “Top 50 Social Crusaders and Changemakers” and GOOD Magazine’s “GOOD 100 People Moving the World Forward”.

PK Chin

Committee Member, Malaysia Australia Business Council
Senior Adviser, South East Asia, Dept of State Devt, Govt of South Australia

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The Australian Government in October 2012  issued the White Paper “Australia in the Asian Century” pointing to the unstoppable rise of Asia as a regional economic powerhouse in the century to come, while the more recent McKinsey Global Institute Report “Southeast Asia at the crossroads: Three paths to prosperity”, issued in November 2014, highlights the need for ASEAN countries to address the Region’s productivity challenges and to find new catalysts for growth via unique opportunities from the three global megatrends – capturing a greater share of global flows, riding the urbanisation wave, and deploying disruptive technologies.

Several State Governments, notably the Victoria State Govt, have since actively undertaken to engage parts of Southeast Asia and beyond in G-to-G and private sector business engagement and development, very often in collaboration with business chambers and the like. On its part, the South Australian Government launched engagement strategies with China and India respectively in December 2012 and May 2013, and more recently with South-East Asia in March 2015, encouraging regular and effective business engagement along with other forms of collaboration between South Australia and Asia.

The upcoming AusBizAsia International Business Conference in Kuala Lumpur offers a unique opportunity for the public sector and private businesses and enterprises from Australia and the Asia-Pacific Region to further take advantage of the rising economic transformations and trends set to take place in the coming decades …

Mark Neal Barnard

Chief Executive Officer
Octopus Group Holdings Pte Ltd

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A consumer goods veteran, Mark spent 23 years with Unilever, starting out in South Africa before Thailand, USA and Singapore, in regional and global roles. His broad and deep career has covered brand management, supply chain and customer development functions, gaining vast experience of customer relationships, strategy, route to market development and business turnarounds. In 2007 Mark accepted the challenge to lead the Commercial Function for Diageo, first in Asia, then as the Global Chief Commercial officer, leading the transformation of pricing, customer marketing and the sales function. He then took the opportunity to retire from corporate life and follow his dream of being an entrepreneur. With passion for growing companies and creating value for shareholders, customers and his team, he has joined the Board of Octopus Group and has helped lead the group to a 300% growth over the past 2 years.

Nordin Abdullah

Managing Director, Glenreagh Sdn. Bhd.
EXCO – Malaysia Australia Business Council
Vice President, MICCI

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Trends like population growth and the emerging middle class in Asia have created demands for Australian food products, from commodities like wheat and sugar to quality meats and the highest value added speciality foods. Moving forward, Australia will remain a key component of Asia’s food security strategy but the question remains, can Australian businesses develop strategies and implement them fast enough to take advantage of the demand right on their doorstep?  Can Asian countries attract new investments needed in the supply chain and the related infrastructure to create efficiency?

Wan Latiff Bin Wan Musa

Deputy Chief Executive Officer of MATRADE

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Currently, he is the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of MATRADE. He also performed various other functions including in export promotion, finance, HR and procurement. Mr. Wan Latiff has a wide experience in international trade.

With MATRADE, he served as the Trade Commissioner for almost nine years at MATRADE’s Cologne, Toronto and New York offices where he accumulated more experience in international trade.

He started his career with Tourism Malaysia in 1984 before joining Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), the National Trade Promotion Agency, under the Ministry of International Trade and Industry in 1997.

While with Tourism Malaysia, he was posted as Director at its Tokyo office, promoting tourism services exports to Japan.

He obtained a Bachelor Degree in Economics from the National University of Malaysia (UKM) and Master in Business Administration from Mara University of Technology (UiTM).  He also attended a two-year Intensive Education Programme on Tourism at the Rikkyo University, Tokyo.

En Wan Latiff has been actively involved in various committees for the trade and export development in relation to the economic advancement for Malaysia.

He has been a speaker in many international seminars and conferences.

Ian Jordan

Director – Australasian Property Group

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Ian Jordan, is one of the co-founders of APG. Ian has been involved in the property business for over 25 years having started with single home renovations before progressing to house and land projects and land subdivisions and subsequently small apartment developments. Prior to APG, Ian founded and operated several finance related business including the Selector Group which is a retail focused finance advisory firm as well as Think Tank which was a niche commercial funder backed by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia specialising in providing first mortgage financing for small ticket commercial assets. Ian was also a naval officer having served in the Australian Navy for over 11 years

Ian is a graduate of University of New South Wales having read Information Systems and Economics and is based in Sydney with his family.

Dato’ CM Vignaesvaran Jeyandran (D.I.M.P)

Chief Executive, Pembangunan Sumber Manusia Berhad
(Human Resources Development Fund – HRDF)
Ministry of Human Resources, Malaysia

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Yang Berbahagia Dato’ CM Vignaesvaran who is more fondly known as Vicks has accumulated a wealth of experience across various industries in the corporate world.

He began his career in the construction industry when the KUALA LUMPUR INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (KLIA) was still in the process of being built. Notwithstanding the fact that he was a fresh graduate from the NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF MALAYSIA (or Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)) in Business Administration, Vicks was entrusted to manage the “KLIA ground lighting system” and the “MAS catering building” projects with an astounding combined value of more than RM300 million.

After completion of the KLIA project, Dato’ Vicks played another instrumental role in the construction of yet another national pride – the PETRONAS TWIN TOWER and subsequently in the MALACCA SUNGAI UDANG REFINERY for Petronas and the SEGARI POWER PLANT projects.

Due to the successes in his areas of responsibilities for these projects, many more power and telecommunications assignments followed suit.  In the late 1990’s, he made a conscious decision to expand his horizon and moved on to the Sales & Marketing industry; returning to his study-area-of-specialisation while at university.

Dato’ Vicks, who has never been afraid of getting his hands in the thick of action no matter how humble a task might be, embraced his modest start in the Sales and Marketing arena as a Digital Sales Specialist at INCHCAPE MALAYSIA. He made a conscious decision to take up a Microsoft Professional certification as he moved on to be the Network Support Specialist with SHARP ROXY Malaysia; a position he held on for 7 years. He successfully ended his stint with SHARP ROXY as Head of Department for Marketing and Technical Support. He went on to become the Operations Manager in SAPURA retail solutions in charge of Petronas downstream activities.

Dato’ Vicks stretched his prospect by venturing into the Human Resources (HR) industry when he joined JOBSTREET.COM as their Marketing Operations Manager. Accompanied by his valuable 17 years of experience in various positions across a large number of sectors which include construction; power; telecommunications; and manufacturing with reputable brands, Vicks’ contribution to the HR industry is unparalleled especially in terms of human capital trends and issues.

Hence it came as no surprise to industry movers and shakers when Dato’ Vicks experienced a meteoric rise in his stint with the HRDF. While he might have begun as the General Manager of the Training Grant Division in June 2010, he scaled the corporate ladder in record breaking time to become its Deputy Chief Executive (Operations) in April 2012 prior to assuming to his current position as HRDF’s Chief Executive in November 2014.

Momentously marking his one year anniversary as HRDF’s Chief Executive, he was deservedly conferred with the Darjah Indera Mahkota Pahang (DIMP), carrying the title Dato’, by His Royal Highness The Sultan of Pahang on 8 November 2015.

Helen Rowell

Executive Director for the Victorian Government South East Asia Business Office

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The Victorian State Government, South East Asia Business Office supports the Victorian Government’s economic development agenda by engaging with stakeholders throughout the South East Asian region to promote bilateral trade, investments and international engagement.  This conference is an excellent occasion for us to showcase the wide range of trade and investment opportunities available in Victoria, especially in areas such as food and fibre, digital technology, education and training.

Dato’ Peter Tan

Perunding Kos T&K Sdn Bhd (PKT)

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Dato’ Peter Tan, who learned his trade as a Quantity Surveyor in Melbourne, returned to Kuala Lumpur in 1991 to set up his current practice – Perunding Kos T&K Sdn Bhd (PKT).

With close to 40 years of experience in his field, he still stands at the forefront of technological advancement of BIM usage in Quantity Surveying, constantly pushing the entire industry to move forward as a whole.

Utilizing combination of experience and state-of-the-art technology, Dato’ along with his practice, optimizes the value of new developments around Malaysia, while maintaining its luxury and sustainability.

Bobby Varanasi

Chairman & CEO Matryzel Consulting Inc.
Global Ambassador – IAOP
Board Member – Global Sourcing Council

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Globalization and south-south trade have opened a plethora of opportunities to collaborate and co-create lasting solutions/products/services. Leverage, and localized insights give organizations an edge in building new markets and sustaining competitive gains. The ABA platform is perhaps one of the most prescient ways to bridge the learning between Australia and Asia.

Matthew Gaal

Director of Development South East Asia of Woods Bagot Studio
EXCO – Malaysia Australia Business Council

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Woods Bagot is a People Architecture company. We place human experience at the centre of our design process in order to deliver engaging, future-oriented projects that are underpinned by three main tenets: Limitless Curiosity, Computational design based on the analysis of User Behaviour, and SuperTypologies.

We do this as a global design and consulting studio with a team of over 1000 experts working across 17 studios and 5 regions. Our global studio model allows us to work collaboratively across time zones and borders, using the latest technology to share design intelligence and strengthen our knowledge base around the world.

Heading up Woods Bagot’s expansion in SE Asia is Matthew Gaal. Since graduating from The University of Melbourne in Australia, he has gained extensive experience in the field of architecture and construction – ranging from concept design through to completion on site, leading some of the firms most prestigious projects. 

Matthew is a registered Architect and currently based in Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia as Associate Principal with Woods Bagot and Director of Development SE Asia. Matthew also holds the position of KL City Representative with the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, sits on the board of the Malaysian Australian Business Council, and is the MABC Property & Construction Committee Chair. 

Having worked in the United States, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, Australia and the Middle East, Matthew specialises in large scale, complex projects. He brings an international perspective to the collaborative design process.

Conference Schedule

2:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Registration for all delegates for the conference

Venue: KLCC, Level 3, Clock Room Registration Counter

Join us at Kuala Lumpur’s most popular rooftop bars, featuring a variety of cocktails, nightly DJs and amazing views of the Petronas Twin Towers from its cabana booths. Chill out and network at one of the most famous after work places in town.

Venue: SkyBar, Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Level 33.
8:00 am

Registration for all conference delegates

Venue: KLCC, Level 3, Clock Room Registration Counter

08:55 a.m. Emcee Opening Remarks

09:00 a.m. Welcoming Remarks by Mr. Leigh Howard, Chairman of Malaysia Australia Business Council (MABC) and Australia Business Asia (ABA)

09:10 a.m. Speech by H.E. Rod Smith PSM, Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia & Co-Patron of the MABC

09:20 a.m. Opening Ceremony

09:25 a.m. Launch of “Our diaspora’s got talent Australia’s advantage in Asia” by PwC (PwC to present copies of the report to Co-Patrons and Photo Opportunity)

09:30 a.m. Session close

Venue: Banquet Hall, KLCC Level 3

The Power of Digital Branding: Key Trends and Insights on Asian Consumers
Jonathan Yabut explores the region's best practices in branding your product or business in Asia---a continent full of contrasts and yet rides on the same wave of today's social media.

From the rise of millennial customers to the shifting use of story-telling to promote brands, Jonathan will highlight strategies on how to keep an "outsider brand" relevant and dynamic in the complex Asian market.

Venue: Banquet Hall, KLCC Level 3

Expand your business network while enjoying an international selection of finger food

Venue: East Wing Foyer, KLCC Level 3

The Airport Economist Tim Harcourt sits down with leading CEO's who have not only had an impact on business across region but have captivated by the media's attention along the way. In a one-on-one on stage interview designed to bring the best out of these exciting business leaders.

Detailed Session Program
10:30 a.m. Benyamin Ismail, Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia X Berhad, Malaysia

11:00 p.m. Stuart Mendel, Managing Director of Tun Razak Exchange Lifestyle Quarter, Lendlease

11:30 a.m. Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah, Secretary General of Treasury of Ministry of Finance Malaysia

12:00 p.m. Session Close

Venue: Banquet Hall, KLCC Level 3

Keynote address by YB Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Minister of Trade & Industry, Malaysia & Co-Patron of the MABC

Venue: Banquet Hall, KLCC Level 3

Derek Kidley, Chief Executive Officer of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Consulting, South East Asia, Australia, New Zealand

Venue: Banquet Hall, KLCC Level 3

Expand your business network while enjoying an international selection of food.

Venue: Ballroom 2, KLCC Level 3

Detailed Session Program
02:00 p.m. Panel Speaker 1
Frans Helleman, Country Director Malaysia & Singapore at CHEP (Malaysia) SDN BHD, Brambles Limited

02:05 p.m. Panel Speaker 2
Dr Gerard Kho, Chief Marketing Officer of Medini Iskandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd

02:10 p.m. Panel Speaker 3
Matthew Gaal, Director of Development South East Asia of Woods Bagot Studio

02:15 p.m. Panel Speaker 4
John Dick, Managing Director, Principal of DA Partners Pte Ltd, Honorary Secretary and Past President of AustCham Singapore

02:20 p.m. Panel Speaker 5
Peter G. Fanning, Foreign Legal Consultant of Hutabarat Halim & Rekan Lawyers, Indonesia

02:25 p.m. Moderated Panel Discussion
Moderated by – Nordin Abdullah, Managing Director of Glenreagh Sdn Bhd
The moderator will ask several questions of the different panelist including the minister relating to the topic – The time allocated is 15mins

02:40 p.m. Question and Answer Session
The moderator will invite questions from the delegates in the hall - The time allocated is 15mins

03:00 p.m. Session Close

Venue: Banquet Hall, KLCC Level 3

Expand your business network while enjoying an international selection of finger food.

Venue: East Wing Foyer, KLCC Level 3

Detailed Session Program
03:30 p.m. Opening Remarks from the Moderator

03:40 p.m. Panel Speaker 1
Chau Ta, President of the Australian Chambers of Commerce in Vietnam (AusCham)

03:45 p.m. Panel Speaker 2
Jeff Ong, CEO and Founder of Flexiroam

03:50 p.m. Panel Speaker 3
Bobby Varanasi, Chairman & CEO Matryzel Consulting Inc., Global Ambassador – IAOP & Board Member – Global Sourcing Council

03:55 p.m. Panel Speaker 4
Ian Jordan, Director of Australasian Property Group and National President of Australia Malaysia Business Council

04:00 p.m. Moderated Panel Discussion
Auskar Surbakti, Presenter & Correspondent at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)
The moderator will ask several questions of the different panellist including the minister relating to the topic – The time allocated is 15mins

04:15 p.m. Question and Answer Session
The moderator will invite questions from the delegates in the hall - The time allocated is 15mins

04:30 p.m. Session Close

Venue: Banquet Hall, KLCC Level 3

Dato’ CM Vignaesvaran A/L Jeyandran, Chief Executive of Human Resource Development Fund (invited)

Venue: Banquet Hall, KLCC Level 3

05:00 p.m. YB Datuk Seri Dr. S. Subramaniam, Minister for Health Malaysia (Invited)

05:20 p.m. Closing Remarks – Leigh Howard, ABA & MABC Chairman

05:30 p.m. Photo Opportunity & Closing Ceremony

Venue: Banquet Hall, KLCC Level 3

Join us as we celebrate the achievements of Malaysia Australia Business Council (MABC) over the past 30 years.

Venue: Ballroom 1, KLCC Level 3
8:00 am

Registration for all conference delegates

Venue: KLCC, Level 3 Registration Counter

Detailed Session Program
09:00 a.m. Opening Remarks from the Moderator

09:05 a.m. Panel Speaker 1
Frank Belitz, Senior Investment Director, ASEAN of Australian Trade & Investment Commission at Australian High Commission, Singapore

09:35 a.m. Panel Speaker 2
PK Chin, Senior Adviser - SE Asia, for Govt of South Australia

10:05 a.m. Panel Speaker 3
Dr Saliba Sassine, Managing Director of BlueMount Capital (Western Australia)

10:35 a.m. Moderated Panel Discussion
The moderator will ask several questions of the different panellist including the minister relating to the topic – The time allocated is 25mins

11:00 a.m. Session Close

Venue: Meeting Room 304 + 305

Detailed Session Program
11:00 a.m. Opening Remarks from the Moderator

11:05 a.m. Panel Speaker 1
Representative of Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) (invited)

11:35 a.m. Panel Speaker 2
Anthony B K Cheng, Northern Territory Business Development Manager

12:05 p.m. Moderated Panel Discussion
Moderated by Nordin Abdullah, Managing Director of Glenreagh Sdn Bhd
The moderator will ask several questions of the different panellist including the minister relating to the topic – The time allocated is 25mins

12:30 p.m. Session Close

Venue: Meeting Room 304 + 305

Detailed Session Program
1:00 p.m. Opening Remarks from the Moderator

1:05 p.m. Panel Speaker 1
YB Dato’ Norsabrina Mohd Noor, Kedah State Executive Council Member Committee Chairman of Science, Innovation and Information Technology, Communication and Advanced Technology and Human Resources (invited)

1:35 p.m. Panel Speaker 2
Datuk Wira Jalilah Baba, President of Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce & Industry (MICCI) (invited)

2:05 p.m. Panel Speaker 3
Shan Saeed, Chief Economist of IQI Holdings Sdn Bhd, Malaysia

2:35 p.m. Moderated Panel Discussion
Nadira Mohd Yusoff, Chief Executive Officer of Nadi Ayu Technologies Sdn Bhd and co-founder of NATSB (invited)
The moderator will ask several questions of the different panellist including the minister relating to the topic – The time allocated is 25mins

3:00 p.m. Session Close

Venue: Meeting Room 304 + 305

Detailed Session Program
1:00 p.m. Opening Remarks from the Moderator

3:05 p.m. Panel Speaker 1
Kate Harden, Chief Executive Officer of International Alumni Job Network, Australia

3:35 p.m. Panel Speaker 2
James Tng, Director of Moore Stephens (WA) Pty Ltd, Australia

4:05 p.m. Panel Speaker 3
Mark Barnard, Chief Executive Officer of Octopus Group, Singapore

4:35 p.m. Moderated Panel Discussion
Pat Yeoh, President at The Malaysian Australian Alumni Council
The moderator will ask several questions of the different panellist including the minister relating to the topic – The time allocated is 25mins

5:00 p.m. Session Close

Venue: Meeting Room 304 + 305
8:00 am

Registration for all conference delegates

Venue: KLCC, Level 3 Registration Counter

Venue: Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre Main Entrance

Pulau Indah Industrial Park (PIIP) provides a golden opportunity for investors to be part of the largest private sector-initiated development in the region. It will be a model township for business, living and leisure – seamlessly integrating all three aspects into one unrivaled development. The project is also adjacent to Westports Malaysia in Port Klang, one of the world’s leading seaport terminals.

Detail Programme:
10:00 a. m. Welcoming and presentation by HIS & PIIP/SBB at CSSB Boardroom Level 3

11:00 a.m. Site visit around Pulau Indah (using their coach) with CSSB Estima as lead car

12.30 p.m. Lunch hosted by CSSB at Food Station

01:30 p.m. Depart to MaGIC

Venue: Pulau Indah Industrial Park

MaGIC was launched on the 27th of April 2014 by President Barack Obama and Prime Minister YAB Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak. Since the birth of MaGIC, we have seen a significant number of entrepreneurs benefiting from the programs and initiatives offered in MaGIC. We will continue to engage and work together with the ecosystem players and entrepreneurship community and further expand our reach to support more entrepreneurs.

Detail Programme:
02:30 p.m. Arrival at MaGIC

02:40 p.m. Presentation of brief history of MaGIC establishment

03:00 p.m. Presentation of MaGIC’s role as incubator for entrepreneurs for Malaysia and Asia.

03:45 p.m. MaGIC venue visit

04:30 p.m. Depart from MaGIC

Venue: Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC)
8:00 am

Registration for all conference delegates

Venue: KLCC, Level 3 Registration Counter

  • Minimum five (05) confirmed 20 minutes face-to-face meeting at with the criteria provided
  • Meeting schedule listed based on time at business matching venue

Venue: Meeting Room 302

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Conference Pass

2-Day Delegate Pass

For Non-Malaysia residence:

Conference Only
  • Welcome Reception
  • Conference Pass
  • Networking Lunch
  • Full conference material
  • 1 Power bank sponsored by Dexion
  • 1 GB of Flexiroam data
Sold Out
Conference + Gala Dinner
  • Welcome Reception
  • Conference Pass
  • Networking Lunch
  • Gala Dinner ticket
  • Full conference material
  • 1 Power bank sponsored by Dexion
  • 1 GB of Flexiroam data
Sold Out
Additional Engagement(*per-item)
  • *Business Matching (5 meetings)
  • *Pre-arranged site visits
  • *Morning Workshops
  • *Afternoon Workshops
  • (ABA Chamber Members received complimentary pre-arranged site visits)
Sold Out

For Malaysia residence:

Conference Only
  • Welcome Reception
  • Conference Pass
  • Networking Lunch
  • Full conference material
  • 1 Power bank sponsored by Dexion
  • 1 GB of Flexiroam data
Sold Out
Conference + Gala Dinner
  • Welcome Reception
  • Conference Pass
  • Networking Lunch
  • Gala Dinner ticket
  • Full conference material
  • 1 Power bank sponsored by Dexion
  • 1 GB of Flexiroam data
Sold Out
Additional Engagement(*per-item)
  • *Business Matching (5 meetings)
  • *Pre-arranged site visits
  • *Morning Workshops
  • *Afternoon Workshops
  • (ABA Chamber Members received complimentary pre-arranged site visits)
Sold Out

For off-line registration, kindly download the Registration Form below:

Raise your game by attending this conference

Trends in Asia have a direct impact on global business, access to larger markets, a wider  potential customer base, access to capital, innovation and human capital. If these trends aren’t  already affecting your industry they soon will. As a business leader you need to get ahead of the  curve to maximise your business potential. This conference will provide all participants with access  to a wide range of business contacts in one convenient location.

Conference Partners

organizations that made this conference possible


Preferred Roaming Partner

Jointly Supported by


Organized by


Official Conference Partners


ABA Member Chambers

Supporting Partners


Media Partners

Sponsorship Opportunity

We offer exciting sponsorship opportunities for organizations who would like to be part of the largest convergence of Australian business chambers and Australia linked businesses in Asia.
Kindly fill up the form below to receive our sponsorship info pack.

Your Organization

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Contact No.

Conference Venue

Ballroom 2, Level 3, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre



Traders Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, is a contemporary city centre hotel catering to smart business and leisure travellers. Our guests enjoy direct access to the world class Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Suria KLCC and the famous Petronas Twin Towers – the ultimate business, convention, shopping and entertainment hub of Kuala Lumpur.

More Accommodation

Download the form below to enquire for more accommodation options.