On October 2, 2015, the President of The MAAC, Ms Pat PW Yeoh and the Vice President (Alumni Relations), Mr Adrian Ong enjoyed a great night of entertainment, delicious Australian food and wine, and the opportunity to network with members of the business community at the Malaysia Australia Business Council Annual Gala Dinner.
Apart from the enticing dinner that was prepared by the Kuala Lumpur Hilton Hotel, the guests were also treated to an evening of entertainment with Australian singer, Ms Cassidy Anderson and funnyman and infamous Malaysian stand-up comedian, Mr Douglas Lim. The evening was also complimented with a group of female violinists performing a medley of popular classical songs.
The Secretary General from the Ministry of Trade, Yang Berbahagia Tan Sri Dr Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria represented the Minister of Trade and Industry, Minister Mustapa who was not able to attend the dinner due to a trip to Milan with the Prime Minister. Among other VIPs at the event were the Australian High Commissioner, H.E. Mr Rod Smith, PSM, Dr Angela McDonald, Australian Deputy High Commissioner, Ms Melissa Hutchings, First Secretary, Political & Economic Section at the Australian High Commission, Ms Susan Kahwati, Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner of Australia, Ms Naila Mazzucco, Trade Commissioner of Australia and Ms Karen Welsh, Councillor Education and Science from the Australian High Commission.
In his speech, the Australian High Commissioner spoke about the significant bilateral trade relations between Malaysia and Australia, especially in 2015 where they celebrate 60 years of Australia’s diplomatic presence in Malaysia. He also emphasised that much has changed over the last 60 years where Malaysia has just overtaken Thailand to become Australia’s 8th largest trading partner, with two way trade of over RM 60 Billion and on a strong upwards trajectory. Australian exports grew by 10% over the previous year, while Malaysian exports grew by 16% percent. Other areas that he spoke about include the ASEAN Economic Community, The TPP, RCEP the Malaysia-Australia Joint Trade Committee Meeting in 2016 as well as the gains of MAFTA, AANZFTA and the TPP which will identify areas where further liberalisation, facilitation and collaboration can drive more business growth.