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Background

The South Asia/Indian Ocean region is of increasing importance to Australia in terms of geopolitical shifts, changing demographics and emerging business opportunities.

Australian business is demonstrably cautious of involvement in this region and needs to be able to engage in meaningful debate about the implications and opportunities.

A need exists for an organisation which provides a permanent, discreet, high level forum for very senior executives, to meet to discuss opportunities and issues. The outcome will be to inform and enhance trade and investment directions and policy.

This niche group will comprise large organisations operating in Australia and South Asia including Business Corporations, Universities and Governments at the levels of Chairman, CEO equivalent, CFO, Chief Strategist, for a limited corporate membership fee.

Purpose

The South Asia Forum will provide participants with
  • themed, informed, high level discussions
  • a clear line of sight for the outcomes of discussions, identifying where their conclusions will be taken
  • insight for the organisations they represent
  • the opportunity for structured debate on the issues with relevant opinion leaders

The Forum will
  • Focus on demonstrable outcomes, including documented inputs to trade and investment policy
  • Progress the issues identified
  • Have a multilateral focus on the South Asia region
  • Involve high level stakeholder engagement with careful attention to the right connections
  • Have complementarity with existing organisations
  • Be a niche organisation because of the seniority of its member base
  • Overlap private, public and academic sectors
  • Operate in a structured, safe environment
  • Have flexibility – for example, it can focus on a single issue if need be

Objectives

  • To assist Australian and South Asian business, governments and academe to engage readily through a platform for creating new, strong and relevant connections
  • To work at top level to explore and develop opportunities and policies for expansion of trade and investment
  • To provide senior business intelligence to Government agencies in Australia and South Asia on the nature of impediments to expanding trade and investment links
  • To increase debate and focus on issues which connect Australian business and academic leaders to policy makers and business in South Asia and Indian Ocean affairs
  • To highlight existing and potential depth and reach of activity focussed on South Asia

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