As part of the Small Business Festival Victoria 2016, Swinburne and the Hungarian Consulate Melbourne, connected Victorian businesses with opportunities in Central and Eastern Europe.
Over 120 participants, speakers, consultants, sponsors and volunteers spent an evening networking, discussing and exploring the business opportunities, that the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Romaniahave to offer to Victorian small and medium sized businesses.
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and AUSTRADE officials provided support to the business representatives. The event was sponsored by Excel Electrical Engineers Pty Ltd, the Hungarian Consular Office in Melbourne, the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources Victoria and Swinburne University of Technology.
Volunteers from the Swinburne Business Without Borders student group and the Hungarian community also contributed to the success of the event.
Keynote speaker, DFAT’s Mr Kevin Magee discussed the rich exchange of business and culture between Central Eastern Europe and Australia.
Mr Peter Bakonyi, head of the Hungarian Consular Office in Melbourne emphasised the collaboration of Central and Eastern European nations behind the initiative.
Ms Justine Morris, Global Relations, Swinburne University of Technology, highlighted the potential for academic exchange between the regions.
Speakers and consultants provided insights into business opportunities and experiences, under the coordination of Professor Bruce Wilson Director, RMIT EU Centre and Swinburne’s Dr Áron Perényi. Opportunities in technology, innovation, manufacturing, energy, resources, infrastructure, agriculture, health, tourism and education were highlighted.
- Mr Tamas Deutsch – Trade Commissioner, Embassy of Hungary, Canberra
- Ms Michaela Jerabkova – Deputy Head of Mission, Consulate General of the Czech Republic in Sydney
- Mr George Luk-Kozika OAM – Honorary Consul General in Victoria, Consulate-General of the Republic of Poland
- Ms Eugenia Mocnay – Honorary Consul for the Slovak Republic in Victoria, Consulate of the Slovak Republic
- Ms Ramona Martinovici, Mr Daniel Mustata, Ms Anca Rosca & Mr Michael Cica, CAESAR Foundation
- Ms Jana Grilc – First Secretary, Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia in Canberra
- Mr Phil Bourke, Trade Adviser, Advanced Manufacturing, AUSTRADE
- Ms Jane Ward, Director, Collaboration and Partnerships, Swinburne University of Technology
Experts and consultants
- Ms Rita Vago – Trade Commissioner, Embassy of Hungary, Melbourne
- Mr James Oczko, Lawyer, Czech-Australian Chamber of Commerce
- Mr Mirek Zarnowski, President, Polish Chamber of Commerce Australia
- Dr Floreana Coman, Managing Director, FCST Pty Ltd
- Mr Robert Walters, Secretary, Slovenian Australian Chamber of Commerce
- Jeffrey Chan, Senior Grants Assessor, EMDG, AUSTRADE
- Mr Prathay Chandrakumar, Trade Adviser, Health and Wellbeing, AUSTRADE
- Dr John Hopkins, Lecturer in Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Swinburne University of Technology
- Mr Dermott Dowling, Director, Creatovate Pty Ltd
- Mr Les Kohegyi, Partner, Wilckens Roche Lawyers
- Mr Vince Leone, Partner, Wilckens Roche Lawyers
- Ms Antonia Kaucz, Cross-Cultural Specialist, New Challenge International Consultancy
- Dr Murray Rees, Director, ReeMarketing
- Ms Katalina Toth, Lawyer, Saines Lucas Lawyers
Mr Charles Kovess, president of the Australia-Hungary Chamber of Commerce and Industry announced the re-launch of the Chamber.
Swinburne’s Dr Áron Perényi called for sustained consultation and contribution by the key stakeholders – including Victorian businesses, government representatives from both sides of the globe, and the bilateral chambers of commerce – to ensure the success of the Central European Business Forum for years to come.