Meetings held with Minister for Regional Development, Agriculture and Food, Department of State Development, City of Perth and Chamber of Commerce focused on enhancing trade between the UAE and Australia
The DMCC Executive Chairman, Ahmed Bin Sulayem, has conducted a series of meetings with senior government officials of Western Australia (WA) in Perth. Discussions focused on ways to enhance the bilateral relationship and further bolster the trade between the DMCC, the world’s leading and most interconnected Free Zone, and Western Australia.
The DMCC Executive Chairman met with Honorable Alannah MacTiernan, Minister for Regional Development, Agriculture & Food; the Deputy Director General of Department of State Development; Martin Mileham, Chief Executive Officer of the City of Perth; Deidre Willmott and Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA, amongst other officials.
The DMCC Executive Chairman and the Minister for Regional Development, Agriculture & Food discussed the important role that the UAE plays in Australia’s foreign trade. As the 16th largest trading partner and largest in the Middle East, WA Agricultural Exports to the UAE was valued at $227 million in 2014-2015 , with 12% annual growth. With both Emirates and Etihad airways servicing Perth – UAE there are opportunities to grow higher valued chilled food trade further.
Parties also discussed further opportunities for both Australia and the UAE. Honorable Minister Alannah MacTiernan said: “The UAE is an important trade partner for Australia with two-way goods and services trade worth $8.8 billion. In 2015, the UAE investment in Australia was estimated at $12.5 billion. Further expansions can be achieved by increased research and beyond capital investment we are looking into further opportunities to create a more prolific investment environment. Our government is aware that DMCC has a dedicated Agro Hub with a grains focus offering finance, trade facilitation and a “Food Trade Group” to encourage industry growth. WA Government is represented in Dubai by Western Australia Trade Office and we look forward to enhance our engagement with the UAE and DMCC”.
Mr. Bin Sulayem said: “With Dubai’s strategic location providing access to world markets and cutting edge Free Zone infrastructure, we can provide significant value addition and reach for Australian trade. We are determined to work closely with Australia to drive more trade flows through Dubai and help Australian businesses to grow.”
Mr. Bin Sulayem visited the Council House to hold discussions with Martin Mileham, Chief Executive Officer of the City of Perth. The discussion focused on Dubai’s and Perth’s shared focus on infrastructure development and smart technologies which has high effect on the business environment and Human Development Index (HDI), where both cities were top rated as “very high human developed”.
“The Smart Dubai Initiative is anchored in the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to make Dubai the happiest city on the Earth, aiming at introducing strategic initiatives and developing partnerships to contribute to its Smart Economy, Smart Living, Smart Governance, Smart People and Smart Mobility. With over 13,5000 companies in our Free Zone and nearly 100,000 living and working in our community, we are constantly looking for ways to improve, including smart city initiatives. I was inspired by the discussions and insights from the CEO of the City of Perth, who works to continue to improve the infrastructure of Perth, a beautiful and progressive city in Western Australia”, concluded Mr. Bin Sulayem.
“Major projects in Perth have not only made it a more attractive city for its residents but transformed the capital into a world class travel destination. Demand for hotel rooms in Perth continues to grow and investment in hospitality is providing new jobs and business opportunities. The solid transport connection between Dubai and Perth helps enhance our strong ties and further facilitate the development of our economies”, concluded, Mr. Mileham.
The DMCC Executive Chairman was also briefed by the Deputy Director General of Department of State Development on the history of rapid growth of Western Australia averaging 5.3% per annum, contributing a significant share of world production of key commodities, such as iron ore (37%), alumina (12%), diamonds (10%), LNG (8%), nickel (7%), gold (6%) . Western Australia is also famous for its premium agriculture and food products free from major pests and diseases that guarantees safe, quality food to suppliers and consumers, which makes it a great trade partner for the United Arab Emirates.
With an increasing global demand for safe and reliable premium foods, the agriculture and food sector has the potential to make a much greater contribution to the WA economy. Recognising this, in 2013 the Department of Agriculture and Food established the Agrifood 2025+ Strategy to support the industry in its efforts to double the value of its sales by 2025. With DMCC’s Agri Hub, Tea Centre and future Coffee Centre, there are a lot of opportunities for collaboration with the UAE.
The visit of the DMCC Executive Chairman was organised by the Government of Australia (Western Australian Trade Office – Middle East & Africa) to exchange experience and facilitate the bilateral trade between two counties.