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Pakistani Royalty, the Mayor and local business leaders come together to support WABF

The Woking Asian Business Forum (WABF), a not-for-profit organisation set up to encourage and support the development of Asian businesses in the Woking area, was officially launched last week, with its first networking evening attracting over 100 people, including special guests HRH the Prince of Kalabagh from Pakistan and the Mayor and Mayoress of Woking. The evenings presentations were recorded and delegates were interviewed for broadcast on Pakistani Television.

The evening, held in Woking with the support of Surrey Business Link, Woking Borough council and the Surrey Chamber of Commerce was a resounding success, with existing and new members of the Forum in attendance. Guests were treated to interesting presentations from Dr Spinder Dhaliwal, from the University of Surrey, journalist and published author on Asian entrepreneurism, and Mr. Ray Morgan, Chief Executive of Woking Borough Council. Both talked about the Asian entrepreneurial spirit and the need for Asian businesses to be open to the idea of working together in order to grow, as well as encouraging business owners to utilise the abundant skills and education that Asian women and the younger generation have acquired.

“Firstly, a big “Thank You” to everyone involved in setting up this launch event and for the help over the last year to get the Woking Asian Business Forum up and running, which has been no easy feat”, Said Shahid Azeem, Chairman of the WABF and CEO of ArcomIT. “This opening evening received superb attendance from members, and from leading dignitaries and business leaders, which shows just how important the Asian Business community is regarded in Woking and the role it has to play in developing the local economy.”

This first networking evening was also used as an opportunity to update new and existing members about the Forum’s development progress, with news that the management committee is now in place and established. Guests were also informed about the new WABF website ( being completed and told about what it will offer visitors, which is sponsored by Solicitors, Charles Russell, Accountants Bessler Hendrie and car retail group Colbornes. The evening ended with guests enjoying an excellent curry buffet banquet supplied by WABF members.

“I’m delighted to support the Woking Asian Business Forum and to be working together to achieve the integration and development of Asian businesses in our community,” said Ray Morgan, Chief Executive of Woking Borough Council.

The WABF is supported by Woking Borough Council, Business Link, the local chambers of commerce, South-East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Learning and Skills Council and the local Asian business community, The WABF’s aim is to identify Asian businesses with potential and provide them with the support services they need in order to develop and grow. In addition, it aims to help businesses to diversify, offers training to individuals who are keen to develop, and provides specific guidance to Asian women and young people.