I was pleased with the success of the 25th Joint Conference of ATBC and ROCABC, 13- 15 August, Hyatt Regency Sanctuary Cove. Several members who have been involved since the early days thought it was the best Taiwan business event ever held in Australia.
Photographs taken at the Joint Conference events by Mr Joseph Chiu will soon be available to everyone on a special website.
The Conference encouraged members and friends, including federal, state and local political leaders and officials, to take a fresh look at business and other Australian interests in Taiwan. Holding it end-to-end with the official Joint Energy and Minerals Trade and Investment Cooperation Consultations (JEMTIC) produced a focus on Australia-Taiwan commerce extending over six days.
More than 250 people attended Join Conference events. Thirty seven representatives of member companies took part.
Mr Lin Sheng-chung, Taiwan’s Deputy Minister for Economic Affairs, was the ATBC’s special guest at the Conference. While he was in Queensland he was briefed on a wide range of issues, including energy trade and investment and water resources.
Taiwan’s Representative at Canberra, HE Ambassador Dr Gary Lin, was among our many VIP guests.
Mr Edward Chen, Chairman of the ROCABC and Taiwan Power Corporation, led a business delegation of thirty prominent people, including ROCABC Vice Chairman Henry Kao (Chairman, I Mei Foods), Jim Sheu (Chairman, Keeper International) and Wei Wei (President, Taiwan Sugar).
The Hon Martin Ferguson MP, Minister for Resources and Energy and Minister for Tourism, addressed the Conference plenary on 15 August. He also attended the Welcome Dinner the previous evening, at which the Hon Andrew Fraser MP, Treasurer and Minister for State Development and Tourism, presided, representing the Queensland Government, the Conference ‘Dragon Sponsor’. Martin Ferguson has recently visited Taiwan; he spoke at our 23rd Joint Conference, 2009, in Sydney. We appreciate his strong interest and support for our work.
The Mayor of the Gold Coast, Cr Ron Clarke MBE and Mrs Clarke attended the Welcome Dinner. The Gold Coast City Council was a Conference ‘Tiger Sponsor’ and hosted the much applauded Conference Lunch, which took the form of a rather grand poolside barbeque. To the amazement of first-time visitors from Taiwan, ibises, parrots and other native birds that make their homes in the sub-tropical gardens of the Hyatt Regency Sanctuary Cove shared the feast with us.
Mr Rob O’Donovan, Australia’s first Representative at the Australian Commerce and Industry Office (ACIO) Taipei, and Mr Colin Heseltine, his successor, were both at the Conference.
Three former ATBC Chairmen, Mr Ken Court AM, Mr Jack Cowin and the Rt Hon Ian Sinclair AC, attended, as did Mr Lindsay C Hamilton AM, Vice Chairman Emeritus and our first Honorary Life Member.
As part of the Conference, Bond University hosted a gala dinner on 13 August for the Taiwan delegation and ATBC members. Professor George Earl, Director of the university’s Institute for Sustainable Development and Architecture, delivered an informative after dinner address.
On the afternoon of 14 August, The Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce Queensland (TCCQ) arranged a forum with the visiting ROCABC delegation for Taiwanese business leaders resident in Australia and ATBC members. More than thirty Australia-based Taiwanese business people attended the Conference Welcome Dinner that evening.
A Queensland Youth Orchestras jazz ensemble provided great entertainment at the dinner.
During the Conference plenary on 15 August, the Hon Steve Bredhauer, Trade and Investment Queensland, chaired a Bridge to Taiwan forum, attracting a large number of Queensland companies. Six business leaders, three each from Taiwan and Queensland, addressed the Bridge to Taiwan.
The Conference attracted a number of generous sponsors:
Dragon Sponsor Queensland Government
Tiger Sponsors The Sundale Group Gold Coast City Council
Brisbane Airport Corporation
MIT Chartering Australia
MOS Burger Australia
Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Australia Taiwan Broadband Communications
Lucky Door Prizes
Joan and Lindsay Hamilton Sirromet Wines
Warm thanks and best wishes to our sponsors and to all who took part!
Members will be pleased to know that the Conference produced a small surplus. That, together steadily increasing membership, sets the ATBC up well for another successful year in 2012.