Ambassador Doug Trappett and RAK FTZ CEO Oussama El Omari with the Australian delegation
As part of its mandate to boost investments into Ras Al Khaimah and add impetus to trade co-operation with the emirate, the Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone (RAK FTZ) – one of the fastest-growing and most cost-effective free trade zones in the UAE – hosted a top-level business delegation from Australia at the free zone today.
Organised in cooperation with Ras Al Khaimah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RAKCCI), the one-day business mission involved a series of meetings between the visiting delegation and key officials at RAK FTZ, RAKCCI, and various Ras Al Khaimah government departments and companies operating in the emirate. During the visit, the delegation toured RAK FTZ facilities and discussed trade opportunities.
The delegation also paid a courtesy call to HH Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, in addition to meeting officials from RAKCCI, RAK Airport, RAK Maritime City, the Mina Al Arab project and RAK Ceramics.
The delegation was led by HE Ambassador Doug Trappett, the Australian Ambassador to the UAE and Qatar. The mission included Ms Amanda Hodges, Acting Australian Consul-General in Dubai, officials and members of the Australian Business Council Dubai, Australian Arab Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Trade and Investment representatives from the Australian Trade Commission in Dubai, State of Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia, and New South Wales were also present.
Oussama El Omari, CEO of RAK FTZ, after receiving the Australian trade delegation at the free zone, said: “We are extremely privileged to welcome this high-level business delegation from Australia here at RAK FTZ and showcase our world-class facilities and services. Australia is a very important and strategic market for us, and today we discussed a series of opportunities for close co-operation, across key sectors, between RAK FTZ and Australia. The cost-effectiveness of setting up business at RAK FTZ, coupled with value-added services and to the ease of doing business here, are salient advantages we offer.”
A total of 65 Australian companies operate at the RAK FTZ with activities ranging from services and consulting to general trading. “The visit will go a long way towards building the strategic relationship that the UAE enjoys with Australia. This mission was a great opportunity to strengthen our positioning as a strategically located business hub geared at helping SMEs set up base in in the UAE and grow their presence in the Middle East. Our talks today focused on developing commercial partnerships in the future. We definitely see vast potential in any future co-operation that may arise out of this trade mission,” said El Omari.
During the visit, the discussion focused on developing business collaboration across key sectors in Ras Al Khaimah, which included healthcare, tourism, educational programmes, services exchange & networks, higher education, scientific research, among others. The projects include joint ventures, specialised surgical medical care, training facilities, real estate investments, hospitality tie-ups, health tourism, leisure, women in leadership programmes, consultancy expertise, bringing world-class universities to RAK, and research for overcoming chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes and others.
The trade mission to Ras Al Khaimah follows a recent visit by a RAKCCI delegation to Victoria and Queensland to promote business opportunities in the emirate. Total Australian exports to the UAE are worth AED 8.37 billion, while Australian imports from the UAE are worth AED 8.69 billion, whith, with immense potential for further growth.