AHFE Launched Successfully in the European Parliament
On 17 October, the Asian Hospitality Federation Europe was launched by means of a high-level dinner in the European Parliament in Brussels.
Amjad Bashir MEP (UK), who has been very successful in the Asian restaurant business himself, was the perfect host for the launch, as he knows first-hand ‘where the shoe hurts’. Bashir educated the room with staggering figures of the tremendous contrition of the Asian Hospitality Industry to the European economy, not just in terms of GDP but also as a massive job creator.
The newly established European association is based on the successes of its UK founder member, the Asian Catering Federation. ACF front-man Yawar Khan has been elected the first President of AHFE. In his opening address, Khan said: “The UK Asian Catering Federation was established approximately 8 years ago and has already thousands of members across the UK, representing Asian caterers and restauranteurs from all backgrounds. The fact that we grew so quickly only shows that we were right to organize ourselves to deal with the very specific issues our members are facing. We have learned that these issues are not exclusive to the UK; they are felt by our fellow Asian hospitality business across Europe. For this reason, it was a logical next step to establish the European Equivalent of our successful UK organisation, with the aim of addressing these issues at EU level”.
UK MEP Anthea McIntyre, Chair of the European Parliament’s Employment Committee expressed her support for the association and underlined the need for an association at EU level that deals with the issues that are so specific to the Asian Hospitality Sector.
The Brussels secretariat of the association will be run by Patrick Gibbels, Director of the Brussels based consultancy firm Gibbels Public Affairs. Gibbels, who has over ten years of experience in running large European Associations told the room that the next step for AHFE is to welcome a wide array of new members from all over Europe and to grow its presence in Brussels, becoming the number one discussion partner for the EU, regarding matters concerning the industry.
The high-level event received great interest and was attended by a number of High Commissioner/Ambassadors and representatives from Asian EU embassies, as well as Members of the European Parliament, the European Commission, Brussels stakeholder and press. Yawar Khan said: “The level of interest and support we have received here tonight only underlines that we have made the right decision setting ourselves up here in Brussels. I look forward to achieving many successes for our member and the sector”.