Lavish Gala Dinner marks launch of EKONOMOS Issue 5, 2024

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The ABSC Inc. hosted a grand Gala Dinner to celebrate the release of EKONOMOS Issue 5, 2024

The Australian Business Summit Council Inc. welcomed two hundred and fifty business leaders, diplomats, and politicians at its lavish Annual Gala Dinner to launch the fifth issue of EKONOMOS, the official business affairs magazine published by the Council, in the Sarah Grand Ballroom of one of Sydney’s five-star reception centres, Le Montage, on 9 May 2024.

ABSC Inc. president Dr. Frank Alafaci PhD welcomed the VIPs, dignitaries, and guests to this signature occasion, featuring Senator Dave Sharma (Liberal Senator for NSW); the Hon. Mark Coure MP (NSW Shadow Minister for Multiculturalism / Jobs, Industry, Innovation, Science and Technology / and for South-Western Sydney); Dr. Helen Sham-Ho (former Member of the NSW Legislative Council); Ms. Wendy Lindsay (former Member for East Hills in the NSW Legislative Assembly); Mr. Michael Megna (Mayor of the City of Canada Bay); H.E. Dr. Nor-Eddine Benfreha (Ambassador of Algeria); H.E. Mr. Joe Tapera Mhishi (Ambassador of Zimbabwe / Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps); H.E. Mr. Rade Stefanovic (Ambassador of Serbia); H.E. Mr. Beka Dvali (Ambassador of Georgia); H.E. Mr. Kemal Muftic’ (Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina); H.E. Mr. Vitaliano Gallardo Valencia (Ambassador of Peru); H.E. Ms. Dianela Pi (Ambassador of Uruguay); H.E. Dr. Siswo Pramono (Ambassador of Indonesia); H.E. Dr. Chanborey Cheunboran (Ambassador of Cambodia); H.E. Mr. Samuel Yao Kumah (High Commissioner of Ghana); H.E. Dr. Elias Munshya (High Commissioner of Zambia); Mrs. Mercy Osebhon Clement (High Commissioner of Nigeria); H.E. Mrs. Marie Claire Jeanne Monty (High Commissioner of Mauritius); H.E. Mr. Robert Sisilo (High Commissioner of the Solomon Islands); Mr. Jorge Kadri (Consul General of Brazil); Mr. Sebastiano Angulo (Consul General of Chile); Mrs. Silvina Aguirre (Consul General of Argentina); Mr. Mohamed Khalil Morsi (Consul General of Egypt); Dr. Nguyen Dang Thang (Consul General of Vietnam); Mr. Vedi Kurnia Buana (Consul General of Indonesia); Mrs. Charmaine Aviquivil (Consul General of the Philippines); Mr. Qamar Zaman (Consul General of Pakistan); Mr. Md. Shakhawat Hossain (Consul General of Bangladesh); Mr. Lawrence Buhagiar (Consul General of Malta); Mr. Jose Vasquez Rivas (Honorary Consul of El Salvador); Mr. Amir Sahinovic (Honorary Consul of Bosnia-Herzegovina); Dr. Cem Gencoglu (Vice Consul of Turkiye); Ms. Chrysa Prokopaki (Trade Commissioner of Greece); and Mrs. Simona Bernardini (Trade Commissioner of Italy).

As the ABSC Inc. president for the fifth consecutive year, Dr. Alafaci addressed the stellar audience on the need to promote sound policies, measures, and incentives for capital accumulation so that the robust spirit of entrepreneurship on which Australia heavily relies will provide sustainable economic growth into the future. Indeed, the paramount mission for which the Council was established in 2018 is to support the bona fide rights of local businesses and enhance Australian entrepreneurialism by means of stimulating, strengthening, and furthering multilateral economic links between businesses both within the country and extraterritorially. As such, the Council supports the advancement of high value-added and technologically advanced sectors and industries at home as well as the furtherance of lucrative business, trade, and investment opportunities between the Australian market and the international business community.

Heading the keynote speeches at the Annual Gala Dinner, Senator Dave Sharma (Senator for NSW) emphasised the importance of trade to the long-term future of Australia; H.E. Mr. Joe Tapera Mhishi (Ambassador of Zimbabwe / Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps) highlighted the investment potential in mineral exploration and extraction in Zimbabwe, especially with the development of a new lithium policy; and H.E. Dr. Chanborey Cheunboran (Ambassador of Cambodia) commented on the untapped opportunities in Cambodia as a promising investment destination with a stable political system, favourable business conditions, robust economic growth, and a strategic geographical location that attracts both local and international investors.

Officially launching EKONOMOS, Issue 5, 2024, ABSC Inc. president, Dr. Frank Alafaci PhD conferred in a formal presentation ceremony with Senator Dave Sharma (Senator for NSW) a special commemorative plaque to each of the article contributors to the magazine who were present at the Annual Gala Dinner: H.E. Dr. Nor-Eddine Benfreha (Ambassador of Algeria); H.E. Mr. Joe Tapera Mhishi (Ambassador of Zimbabwe / Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps); H.E. Mr. Rade Stefanovic (Ambassador of Serbia); H.E. Ms. Dianela Pi (Ambassador of Uruguay); H.E. Dr. Chanborey Cheunboran (Ambassador of Cambodia); H.E. Mrs. Marie Claire Jeanne Monty (High Commissioner of Mauritius); Mr. Sebastiano Angulo (Consul General of Chile) on behalf of H.E. Mr. Jaime Chomali Garib (Ambassador of Chile); H.E. Mr. Mohamed Khalil Morsi (Consul General of Egypt); Dr. Joseph Rizk AM (CEO / Managing Director, Arab Bank Australia Ltd.); Mr. Wally Mehanna (CEO, Canterbury Bankstown Chamber of Commerce); Mr. Ramy Qutami (Managing Director, Madison Marcus); Mr. Eric Boone (Partner, Madison Marcus); Emeritus Professor Greg Whateley (Deputy Vice Chancellor, UBSS / CEO, Group Colleges Australia); and Professor Ian Bofinger (CEO / Executive Dean, Australian Academy of Music and Performing Arts).

Likewise, the ABSC Inc. president and the Hon. Mark Coure MP (NSW Shadow Minister for Multiculturalism / Jobs, Industry, Innovation, Science and Technology / and for South-Western Sydney) formally acknowledged and presented the five sponsors (Alliance Project Group, Arab Bank Australia Ltd., Drs ABCD First Aid Training, DMG Fine Wines and Trade Window) with their own commemorative trophies for their generous contribution to making both the Annual Gala Dinner and the fifth issue of the ABSC Inc.‘s business affairs magazine possible.

Importantly, two Lifetime Achievement awards were bestowed by the ABSC Inc. president in a surprise presentation ceremony to Mr. Michael Rizk OAM (accepted on his behalf by Dr. Joseph Rizk AM, CEO / Managing Director, Arab Bank Australia Ltd.), one of the directors / former president of the Australian Lebanese Chamber of Commerce and currently the Head of Trade Relations of the Chamber, and Mr. Michael Megna (Mayor of the City of Canada Bay) who has operated a chartered tax advisory business in Five Dock, NSW since 1974, for their distinguished service to the community.

Alternating with the event’s formalities, four memorable music performances from Ms. Katya Cyargeenka on piano, Adjunct Professor Art Phillips (former guitarist for the American singer Barry Manilow) on acoustic guitar, Professor Ian Bofinger (CEO / Executive Dean, Australian Academy of Music and Performing Arts) on cello and his wife Assistant Professor Tracy O’Leary playing the flute, and Emeritus Professor Greg Whateley (Deputy Vice Chancellor, UBSS / CEO, Group Colleges Australia) in a special duet performance with Adjunct Professor Art Phillips once more on acoustic guitar entertained the audience during the Annual Gala Dinner.

ABSC Inc. president, Dr. Frank Alafaci PhD formally concluded this exclusive Annual Gala Dinner with his acknowledgment of the support and assistance provided by the Board of Directors of the Australian Business Summit Council Inc., especially Mrs. Sylvia Alafaci, the Council’s secretary, for her incredible devotion to organising this event, sending out most of the invitations, preparing the beautiful table arrangements and decorations, and communicating with Le Montage’s events management team led by Mr. Stephen Melani to whom the Council owes a special debt of gratitude and appreciation for their kindness, patience, and professionalism.

Dr. Alafaci PhD also thanked the Council’s committee members Ms. Linda Kim, Ms. Sheron Sultan, and Mrs. Mas Meuross for assisting the ABSC Inc. secretary to decorate the Sarah Grand Ballroom and attend to the numerous VIPs, dignitaries, and other guests who had honored the Council with their presence on the evening, including Mr. David Bertram, CEO of DB Print Management for printing the Official Program and Menu for this Annual Gala Dinner as well as copies of EKONOMOS, Issue 5, 2024, which is likewise available in an electronic format on the ABSC Inc. website at www.absc.online.


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