March 14, 2017: H.E. Abdullah Al Saleh, Undersecretary for Foreign Trade and Industry at the UAE Ministry of Economy (MOE), recently met Australia’s Frances Adamson, Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). They exchanged views and explored ways to further develop economic relations and trade between the two countries and open wider horizons for joint cooperation, focusing on key areas of interest.
The meeting was held at the MOE’s headquarters in Abu Dhabi. It was attended by Juma Mohamed Al Kait, Assistant Undersecretary Foreign Trade Affairs; and Sultan Ahmed Darwish, Director of Trade Negotiations and WTO; while Australia was represented by Arthur Spyrou, Ambassador to the UAE and a number of members from the Australian diplomatic mission.
Both parties discussed the growth and development in terms of economic relations between the two countries, particularly in the expansion of non-oil trade as well as the outstanding cooperation in the aviation sector.
H.E. Al Saleh emphasised the keenness of the UAE to strengthen the framework for mutual cooperation with Australia, which is characterised by an exceptional partnership that defines cooperation between the two countries at all levels. This is reflected in the remarkable growth of non-oil foreign trade volume, which had exceeded $2.1 billion during the first nine months of 2016, and more than $2.8 billion in 2015.
Al Saleh further explained that the level of bilateral economic relations have been remarkable and that the next level would bring a number of new types of opportunities by diversifying sources of economic and commercial bilateral relations. In order to expand the development trends of the two countries, he noted that sectors such as agriculture and industry, renewable energy, tourism, information and communications technology are among the priority sectors of both countries.
The UAE’s total investments in Australia by the end of 2015 has reached $12.55 billion, including $2.93 billion of direct investments accounted for.
Secretary Adamson said that Australia is keen to enhance joint cooperation with the UAE and build a framework and model of cooperation and exchange experiences and expertise in priority sectors, following on the economic agenda of the two countries.
Adamson expressed interest for the expansion of joint investments, especially in light of the growing interest by Australian companies in establishing market presence in the UAE because of its competitive advantages and attractive business climate as well as being an important commercial gateway for access to markets in the region. On the other hand, the Australian government is keen to attract more UAE investments to the Australian market in various sectors.
Adamson also discussed the ongoing preparations for the upcoming visit of the Minister of Economy, leading a high-ranking economic delegation, to Australia this year, which will form part of the country’s consistent efforts to deepen economic and trade ties between the two countries and explore the most viable investment opportunities for the private sector.