The Asia Pacific Fuel Industry Forum is an annual fuel industry forum developed for fuel businesses operating in Australia and New Zealand and has been delivered by ACAPMA for the last 4 years.

The central proposition of the APFI Forum is that it is an event designed by the fuel industry for the fuel industry, with the goal of providing all participants with a knowledge dividend. That is, intelligence or industry insights that will assist fuel businesses as they grapple with an increasingly complex market environment.

“The principal challenge of these events is to make them relevant to industry”, said ACAPMA CEO Mark McKenzie.

The design of this year’s agenda was developed from feedback received following last year’s event but has also been shaped by some of the big national policy and strategic conversations that ACAPMA has been involved in – on behalf of fuel retailers and wholesalers -over the past 12 months.

“For starters, national discussion about the Climate and Energy agenda has been vigorous over the past 12 months with many business owners telling us that they are sick and tired of the current debate and just want some firm political leadership on this issue”, said Mark

ACAPMA has responded to this need by securing former Federal Treasurer, Peter Costello, to provide a rank assessment of the quality of political leadership in Australia and to share a perspective on what that means for development of business strategy in the near term.

Big changes in the structure of the fuel retailing industry have also been a point of conversation which is why this year’s event will be addressed by Mr Ilyas Munshi, the Group Commercial Director of Euro Garages.

“EG is an example of the new-age businesses engaging in the global fuel retailing industry and Ilyas will share the EG story and some insights on the likely trends that will shape the global petrol-convenience market in the future”, said Mark

Convenience retailing is also emerging as a major industry discussion and so this year’s event features several high-profile speakers who will provide perspectives on the importance of understanding changing consumer behaviours and the powerful role of using customer data to develop a petrol-convenience proposition that is likely to be successful.

“We are particularly proud that the President of the National Association of Convenience Stores, Dr Henry Armour, has agreed to travel out from the USA to provide delegates with a perspective on global trends in convenience retailing”, said Mark

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell, will provide a perspective on the effectiveness of the operation of the commercial agreements in the fuel retailing industry, as they relate to the Australian Oil Code Regulation.

The Ombudsman’s presentation is particularly relevant in the wake of the findings of the report of the Joint Parliamentary Inquiry into the Operation and Effectiveness of the Franchise Code and Oil Code, which was handed to the Australian Parliament just before it rose for the 2019 Federal Election.

“The response of the future Australian Government to this important review has the potential to reshape the nature of existing commercial agreements in our industry and so the Ombudsman’s perspective on this issue is valuable for all market participants”, said Mark

Issues surrounding the future approach of the Australian and New Zealand Governments to current and emerging vehicle technologies is also a hot topic for the industry at the present and so the agenda incorporates presentations from high profile speakers in respect of biofuels, electric vehicles and the hydrogen vehicles agenda – as it relates to the national fuel landscape.

“One of the other areas of development this year is the evolution of the Petroleum Contractors Workshop which will focus on current issues relating to the development and implementation of national skill standards for the workforce that builds and maintains fuel retail and storage assets around the country”, said Mark.

A full copy of the conference agenda was released earlier this week and can be found on the event website at https://apfiforum.com/conference/#agenda

Registrations for the Forum opened last Wednesday and delegates can register via the online registration forum at: https://acapma.eventsair.com/apfif19/register/Site/Register

As always, the 2-day conference is run simultaneously with a trade hall exhibition which has been further expanded to accommodate businesses involved in the marketing and provision of convenience products and services. Spaces are still available for this exhibition and further information can be obtained by visiting https://apfiforum.com/trade-hall/.

“These sorts of high-quality conferences only come about as a result of the generosity of our sponsors and the participating of trade exhibitors which is why our programme is designed to maximise opportunities for relaxed interaction between customers and suppliers during the course of the two-day event”, said Mark

As always, the highlight of the programme is the annual conference dinner which will be held at the nearby Melbourne Cricket Ground – this year occurring in the week of the AFL Grand final which is one of the peak events in the Australian Sporting calendar.

“All in all, we have taken the time to develop a high-quality industry event – one that has something for everyone in terms of valuable market insights, access to senior customers and a relaxed but entertaining social agenda”, said Mark

“We are proud of the APFI Forum 2019 and I encourage all market participants to take a close look at the event programme and consider registering for this year’s event”, concluded Mark

Further information about the event can be found on the 2019 APFIF website which can be found at www.apfiforum.com .