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New president for GBCC

Nasir Awan, the boss of international wholesale firm Awan Marketing, today stepped up to become president of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce and vowed to help businesses “create new opportunities locally, nationally and internationally”.

The new president Nasir Awan

His two-year term as successor to Deb Leary was confirmed at the GBCC’s annual general meeting at the Edgbaston Park Hotel.

Mr Awan is the chief executive of importing and wholesale company Awan Marketing, headquartered in the Hockley area of Birmingham.

The business was founded in 1976, building on the small retail outlet founded by his late father, and today serves as a key distributor for household brands, as well as having established suppliers from Vietnam, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Korea, India, Pakistan and Europe.

Mr Awan has a long association with the chamber, having been vice-president to Deb Leary and previously serving as president of the Asian Business Chamber of Commerce (formerly the Institute of Asian Business) from 2011 to 2014.

He also holds a number of charitable roles and is a Deputy Lieutenant of the West Midlands.

Mr Awan said: “It is a great honour and a privilege to become Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce president and it is a role that comes with huge responsibility.

“I take over as president at a time where we are facing a lot of challenges nationally, internationally, and also locally.

“There are a lot of challenges ahead for businesses with the cost of energy and the wars in Ukraine and the Middle East pushing prices up.

“Established businesses will have to redefine and realign their costings and overcome a number of hurdles.

“But we are here to offer support as a Chamber and, as president, my door will always be open for businesses to come and talk to me.

“I want to ensure that businesses in Greater Birmingham survive and flourish, creating new opportunities locally, nationally and internationally.”

GBCC chairman Greg Lowson said: “I am delighted to welcome Nasir Awan as president of the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce for the next two years.

Nasir has a wealth of invaluable experience to draw upon, from his own business ventures to his appointment as a Deputy Lieutenant of the West Midlands.

“I would like to thank Deb Leary for her time as president. Deb’s tenure has been marked with some remarkable moments for the city-region, with the hosting of the Commonwealth Games in 2022 being the highlight.

“At the start of her role, Deb highlighted that global trade, innovation and collaboration would be the key pillars of her presidency and it has been fantastic to see how she has pushed these themes over the last two years.”

Mike Owens, the managing director of Schumacher Packaging, was confirmed as the GBCC’s new vice-president.

He has worked in the packaging industry for more than 30 years, holding a number of roles in plant management, operations and finance, as well as at senior European leadership level.

Born in Northern Ireland, he holds an MA (Hons) degree in Economics from Edinburgh University.

Schumacher Packaging – a specialist manufacturer of corrugated cardboard and solid-board packaging – is part of the German-owned Schumacher Group, who acquired Birmingham-based Jaffabox three years ago.

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