The Australia Bangladesh Business Forum (ABBF) celebrated its first anniversary on Sunday at a packed out gala dinner attended by a long, impressive list of dignitaries, political, business, community leaders and representatives of Chambers of Commerce from across Sydney.

Australia’s small business landscape is full of migrant success stories. One in three Australian small businesses are run by first or second-generation migrants, most of whom interestingly didn’t own a business before coming to Australia!

Among them, the number of entrepreneurs of Bangladeshi origin is rapidly growing across a wide variety of sectors including education, health, manufacture, hospitality, construction, fashion and food.

Speaking at the gala dinner, the ABBF’s Founder President Abdul Khan Ratan pointed out that today more than ever, networking, knowledge sharing and information dissemination are critical for business survival and growth.

“Through our platform, ABBF associate members can now strengthen their business through up-to-date information, benefit from business and social networking, and belong to a business community with significant knowledge and contacts in both Australia and Bangladesh,” Mr Khan said.

The ABBF’s inaugural general secretary and Campbelltown Citizen of the Year Brian Laul pointed out that the Australia Bangladesh Business Forum was established in direct response to a need for a platform to facilitate professional and business collaboration among this Australian Bangladeshi diaspora, within the Australian and global marketplace.

“The Forum aims to provide the Australian Bangladeshi business community with a unified voice, support it through direct advocacy across all levels of government, and help build strategic partnerships for the benefit of the wider community,” Mr Laul said.

Today, the business sector in Australia is dominated by SMEs. In fact, 97.5% of all business in Australia (or around 2.5 million) are small businesses.

Targeting these SMEs, the Australia Bangladesh Business Forum is committed to advancing business knowledge through educational activities in the form of business workshops, expert panel presentations and best practice showcases.

“We are looking forward to some very meaningful activities during NSW Small Business month this October”, Mr Laul said.

Bangladesh is emerging as a highly promising destination for those looking to expand their portfolio and tap into the country’s dynamic and rapidly growing economy.

Over the past decade, Bangladesh and Australia have witnessed a substantial expansion in bilateral trade, exceeding $2.6 billion, with the bilateral trade in goods accounting for around $2 billion.

“As we facilitate investment and trade across a global market, the Forum is a giant step forward for business relations between Australia and Bangladesh, which now ranks as Australia’s 32nd largest trading partner,” Mr Khan said.

Over the past one year, the ABBF’s membership has grown in strength and diversity to 300 businesses that include major corporations, professional service providers, insurers, education providers, travel companies, manufacturers, trading and shipping companies, sports and cultural businesses, and many others.

Among the political leaders who felicitated the ABBF at its first anniversary gala dinner were the Hon Ed Husic (Federal Minister for Industry & Science), the Hon Anoulack Chanthivong (New South Wales Minister for Industry and Trade, Minister for Better Regulation & Fair Trading, Minister for Innovation, Science and Technology, Minister for Building, Minister for Corrections, Member for Macquarie Fields), Federal MPs Dr Mike Freelander and Anne Stanley, Md Shakhawat Hossain (Consul General of Bangladesh in Sydney), Senators Andrew Bragg and Maria Kovacic, Mark Speakman (Leader of the NSW Opposition), Scott Farlow MLC (Shadow Minister for Planning & Public Spaces, Shadow Minister for Housing, Shadow Minister for Cities), New South Wales State MPs Greg Warren, Charishma Kaliyanda and Mark Coure, Mayors and Councillors from across Sydney.

The Australia Bangladesh Business Forum invites all business people to become part of its network of dedicated business professionals promoting trade and diversity across all sectors, and gain valuable insights into the business support eco-systems available. All details are on its website