Australia India Business Council will be led by two women Jodi McKay, former NSW Leader of the Opposition and Ravneet Pawha, Vice President (Global Alliances) and CEO (South Asia) at Deakin University.
Ms McKay and Ms Pawha’s election as National Chair and National Vice Chair of the Australia India Business Council Ltd (AIBC) comes at a momentous time in the history of Australia-India relations, with the two countries agreeing on an interim free trade agreement and negotiations underway for an Australia India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement.
Ms Jodi and Ms Ravneet will be supported in the AIBC national leadership team by Irfan Malik, CEO and Managing Director inQ Innovation Global and Ashok Mysore, Vice President of Delivery and Operation at Infosys.
Ms McKay said, “India is the fastest growing major economy in the world, and Australia has been positioning itself to realise the mutual benefits of growing trade ties.”
“However, the relationship between Australia and India is not solely a government responsibility – business must be prepared to step up and it is AIBC’s role to support and facilitate opportunities.”
“Ravneet and I lead the AIBC at a crucial time in the bilateral relationship. We are excited about the opportunities for Australia and the role of AIBC as the voice for business and an advocate for strengthening economic, social and cultural ties.”
The AIBC was established in 1986 by the respective Prime Ministers of both countries of the time – Bob Hawke and Rajiv Gandhi.
“The history of AIBC and the India Australia story is underpinned by business-to-business and people-to-people links. AIBC must be the voice for business and trade while harnessing the tremendous potential of the Diaspora in this critical relationship.”
Ravneet Pawha said, “I’ve had the opportunity of being a voice in building robust government-to-government, business-to-business and people-to-people linkages between India and Australia for almost three decades in various roles including as the President of the AIBC Victoria chapter for the past two years,”
“India is Australia’s seventh-largest trading partner and fifth-largest export market, and the signing of the historic India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement has given significant momentum to the deepening of the bilateral relationship.”
“Both governments recognise there is significant potential in cooperation in areas of trade and business, AIBC is well-positioned to advance this engagement by facilitating, nurturing, and promoting industry, business, start-ups ecosystem through commercial and economic development between India and Australia.”
“I look forward to working with Jodi in strengthening AIBC’s role as a platform for leaders of businesses in both countries to transform and influence decisions that promote mutual awareness and understanding that makes it easier for Australian businesses to operate in India and vice versa,” Ms Pawha added.
Ms McKay and Ms Pahwa thanked the outgoing leadership team of Jim Varghese and Sanushka Seomangal.
“Jim and Sanushka have placed AIBC in a strong position to champion the India-Australia trade cause,”added Ms McKay.
“Ravneet and I hope to build on that work for the mutual benefit of our two great nations, said Ms McKay.