Forum debates ME workplace issues
Dubai, September 22, 2013
The State Government of Victoria’s first ever 'Women in International Business Forum' in the region saw leading businesswomen discuss the key issues being faced at the workplace across the Middle East.
The forum brought together decision makers and industry leaders for three hours of debate and discussion on women in international business as part of Victoria Week, the week-long series of events showcasing the strong business and trade links between the Australian State and the region.
Victoria’s Minister for Innovation, Services and Small Business, Minister for Tourism and Major Events, and Minister for Employment and Trade, Louise Asher, hosted the forum in Dubai which attracted some of the UAE’s biggest names in business.
Keynote speakers included Dr Shaikha Al Maskari, the chairperson of Al Maskari Group and Tricon Group, as well as Victorian Donna Benton, a Dubai-based entrepreneur who launched the popular Entertainer Book.
“Victoria has emphasised how important the Middle East region is to us in terms of business and trade and this forum was the perfect platform to bring together the region’s leading business women to discuss the key issues for them in the workplace,” remarked Asher.
“Victoria’s strategy with the region aims to empower businesses, individuals and institutions across our state and the wider region to develop meaningful partnerships that can be sustained over time, she stated.
“This forum was a wonderful way to further enhance this strategy and build stronger connections and further understanding of the women who are successfully doing business here,” she added.
The forum was held to bring together women involved in international trade and investment across Victoria and the UAE to help them develop sustainable business links, as well as encourage, support and advance the involvement of women achieving international business success.
The event also aimed to increase the profile of Victorian and UAE-based business women involved in international business within the local and international business community.
A highlight of the forum was a fashion show called ‘Melbourne Style’ which brought together some of Melbourne’s top fashion designers, including Lisa Barron and Kim Fletcher.
A range of Victorian labels were showcased in the show, including Limedrop by Clea Garrick, Kuwaii by Kristy Barber and Sha-de, a unique fashion label that is a fashionable alternative to clothing with a sun-smart element.
"The Kim Fletcher Millinery brand is synonymous with major horse racing carnivals, both within Australia and in Dubai,” Fletcher said.
“Our reputation as a premier millinery creator combining elegance, quirkiness and individual style is a perfect fit for the Dubai market. Participating in the trade mission further raises awareness of our brand and offers us the chance to grow our exports to the Middle East,” she noted.
Clea Garrick, the owner of emerging Melbourne-based fashion label Limedrop, said she was delighted to showcase her latest collection to the many influential and successful businesswomen at the forum.
“Our brand is known for fun, print-focused womenswear and jewellery, inspired by travel,” Garrick said.
“We are excited to be taking part in this Coalition Government trade mission to explore export opportunities in such a vibrant market."
Victoria Week continues throughout this week and culminates in the ‘Put Victoria on Your Table’ with Celebrity chef George Calombaris, the host of the popular Australian Master Chef.
The event was launched in Dubai for the first time last year and will once again bring focus to Victorian produce and the growing links to the region’s food and beverage industry.-TradeArabia News Service