Annual General Meeting

Date posted: September 20, 2008

Since the 2007-08 Executive Team was elected in office a year ago, there have been significant events that occurred here in Australia and aboard. To name a few, these included: the rapid rise of the price of oil, the US economic problems, the change of government in Australia and of course the Beijing Olympics. All of these events have economic consequences for business, good or bad.

The past 12 months have been very productive for the Chamber despite the global challenges and change.

Before I start with my report, I would like to pay tribute to the outgoing Executive Team for their dedication, commitment and collaboration. The Team’s guardianship during the past 12 months kept the spirit of the Chamber alive and ensured its future existence.

Therefore, on behalf of the Executive Team I table the following report.

CCIAP’s Strategic Plan

At the Executive Committee’s business planning day held in November 2007, the Executive Team reviewed the CCIAP’s original strategic plan. The Executive Team confirmed that the plan is still relevant and should be carried forward for the next three years. It was unanimously decided that the strengthening of the Chamber’s “grass roots” based be given a high priority.

Membership is our strengths

It is recognised that keeping the number of membership in every organisation such as ours is important; however the quality of membership should also be considered as one of our key success factors. I considered both, the quality and quantity of our membership, to be critical elements of our successful existence. Our strategic plan which comprises of the Chamber’s vision, it’s purpose and it’s strategic objectives be the main attraction to retain members and to attract new ones. Membership is our strengths and I hope each and every one of us here find it in their hearts and mind to continue supporting CCIAP in their own way. And, I must report that the take up rate of members are in the upward trend. Our Treasurer, Mr Manuel Paneda should be able to provide us with the 2007-08 numbers.

Networking opportunities

Networking opportunity for the purpose of meeting new business contacts or for the purpose of increasing your scope of influence by opening new doors or new markets is considered to be one of the key reasons why people join groups or organisations such as the Chamber of Commerce. At CCIAP, we have maximised the networking opportunities for our members. In the past 12 months, we have provided 14 networking opportunities. We have done these through: our monthly First Mondays networking nights (total 11); CCIAP Christmas party in December 07; special members and guests dinner to host the Philippine Retirement Authority delegation in September 07; members participation at the annual Brisbane Lord Mayor’s Multicultural Business Dinner; and, extending the invitation of other local Queensland Chamber of Commerce and ANZCHAM to our members.

Our Secretary Riza Stibbe and I continue to pass on any trade inquiries to relevant members as we received them.

With the change of ownership of our permanent venue for our monthly networking, we are now in the look out for a new arrangement.

Members support

Our continuing challenge is to track or document the outcome of these opportunities. The majority of participants had provided us with good feedback and some are silent, but most of the feedback I heard so far is quite good which keeps me motivated and inspired.

Some examples of the direct support the Chamber has provided our members included the following: assisting with the opening of two Mhar Hair Salons; and attended the lunch meeting at Charlton Brown’s premises to welcome new Filipino students.

External Relations

With my regular attendance in my capacity as the Chamber’s President, the Chamber continues to be represented at the Brisbane Lord Mayor’s Multicultural Business Round Table and at the Commerce Queensland’s Regional Council.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Brisbane Office and the Queensland State Development Office have both recognised our role in maintaining bilateral trade relations. This was demonstrated by the request by the incoming Australian Ambassador to the Philippine Mr Rod Smith to meet with the Executive Team in February 2008 before he took his posting in Manila. The on-going relationship between the Qld State Development and the Chamber also demonstrate our capacity to be involved at all levels of government to enhance trade relations between Qld and the Philippines.

International Relations

The new position of Director International Relations being occupied by Dennis Hickman will only improve our relationships and image in the Philippines and abroad.

Our office in the Philippines care of the office of the Brisbane Technologies in the Philippine will provide a point of contact for both Australian and Filipinos seeking to partner with us or join our organisation.

Communication and promotion

In addition to our networking events, our new look website, courtesy of the Brisbane Technologies ensures that wherever you are in the world people will find out about us and be informed of what we do.

The road ahead

I am confident that the future outlook for the Chamber is good. The collective efforts of the past and current Executive Teams have ensured this.

The current Executive Team has developed a Project Plan for a signature event that will better position the Chamber in the general community and the business community. Watch this space for this new event. Another project is yet to be planned, but this particular project is expected to raise the Chamber’s profile in the world’s trade stage and hopefully will bring much needed revenue.

Your continued participation and collaboration are very much appreciated.

On behalf of the Executive Team, I would like to thank you for your encouragement and support.

Lastly, I would like to thank my husband for his patience, his encouragement and his support. Without these, it will be very challenging for me to give this position the attention and the focus it rightly deserved.

Connie da Cunha
President 2007-08

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