The Premier of Victoria was the keynote speaker at Australia India Business Council Annual Address at Melbourne’s Sofitel Hotel last night.
The Address was the premier annual gala event for the business community working in the Australia India space, and attracted more 300 business leaders, government representatives, dignitaries and key stakeholders
It provided an opportunity for showcasing International Indian Film Academy Awards Journey and to meet with other organisations across a range of sectors engaged in business development opportunities between the two countries.
Mr. John Pereira, President of the Australia India Business Council VIC, welcomed guests and introduced the VIP speakers, Dr Subhakanta Behera, the Indian High Commissioner to Australia, The Hon. Ted Baillieu, Premier of Victoria, Mr Ravi Bhatia, National Vice Chair of the Australia India Business Council and Mr. James Breheny, Vice-President of the Australia India Business Council – Victoria who was the MC for the evening..
The Indian High Commissioner, Dr Subhakanta Behera emphasised the importance of maintaining close relationships to build on trade, education, art and cultural exchange into the future. He provided his support in further strengthening Victoria’s ties with India and endorsed the opportunities that an event like International Indian Film Academy Awards weekend – the Oscars of Bollywood can provide if hosted in Melbourne – The Fashion Capital of Australia.
IIFA Awards are presented annually to honour artistic and technical excellence of professionals in Bollywood and celebrate the achievements of Indian cinema. The awards ceremony is held in a different country around the world every year to demonstrate and promote the international business and bilateral trade between the host city and India. KlubSutra.com Pty Ltd – has been working with some of the top officials from Victoria Major Events Corporation (VMEC), Premier’s office and other government bodies to finalise a formal plan to bid to host the 2012 edition of International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards in Melbourne. KlubSutra.com’s directors Mr Ashish Chawla and Mr Ashish Mehta appreciated VMEC’s efforts and thanked Hon Premier Ted Baillieu for releasing a Bollywood policy and working towards bringing IIFA Awards weekend to Melbourne.
IIFA Awards is property of India’s biggest entertainment company – Wizcraft Entertainment International Pvt Ltd (Mumbai) and is headed by Mr. Andre Timmins, Mr Viraf Sarkari and Mr Sabbas Joseph. A high level delegation including Mr. Andre Timmins and Miss Shefali Munshi from IIFA is expected to be in Melbourne in last week of September to discuss the staging of the phenomenal awards weekend that attracted over 40,000 tourists, 800 million viewers and over $100 million worth of publicity for Toronto in June 2011. KlubSutra.com represents IIFA and its principal owners in Australia and had been engaged in working on feasibility of bringing the Bollywood’s Oscars to Australia.
Premier in his address acknowledged working towards strengthening Victoria’s ties with Bollywood and announced that Government would set up a state representative office in Mumbai – The Commercial and Entertainment capital of India.
Mr Baillieu says India is Victoria’s 14th biggest export market for merchandised trade.
“So you can see there is a way to go,” he said.