UAE-Western Australia Bilateral Trade at A$4.2 billion in 2009; State Contributes 65 % to Australian Trade
Western Australia, Australia’s largest state, today said that its bilateral trade with the UAE has been growing at a steady pace over the years and has clocked A$4.2 billion in 2009, out of which exports to the emirate alone was to the tune of A$2.4 billion and imports A$1.8 billion.
Elaborating on the significant trade partnership with the UAE and the MENA region in general, senior officials of the Government of Western Australia said that the state, which is known for its vast mineral resources, commodities and education services, is the largest contributor to the Australian trade with the emirate.
Mr. Pankaj Savara, Regional Director and Trade Commissioner of the Dubai-based Western Australian Trade Office – Middle East (WATO-ME) said: “Western Australia has a significant stake in the bilateral trade relations between Australia and the UAE and contributes 65 per cent to the overall trade. The outlook is that there will be significant expansion in the level of trade in the coming years with the trade basket poised to diversify from the current minerals and commodities, including gold followed by agri-business and food products and food.”
He said WATO-ME is mandated to nurture growth in exports from Western Australia to the MENA region with focus on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. “Our charter is to promote trade and encourage investments both from the region to Western Australia and vice versa.”
The State Government of Western Australia (WA) actively facilitates and encourages commercial, educational, investment and cultural ties between Middle East and the state of Western Australia, through WATO-ME.
“We have many Western Australian companies based in the UAE for years now and we view the trend in bilateral investments set to grow further with increasing opportunities within the region. Increasingly, thanks to the excellent transport infrastructure of the UAE, many Western Australian businesses are using the emirate as a re-export hub to the MENA and East European countries.” Mr. Savara said.
Mr. Savara has 20 years of previous experience in the Middle East, and has introduced hundreds of Australian products and services to the region. He has organized numerous trade missions from WA to ME and held a number of investment attraction missions to WA from ME.
“The Western Australia trade relationship is also poised for a significant diversification with a growing commerce in shipments of chilled meat, fresh vegetables and fruits, flower and live seafood,” he said.
WA is the nation’s best-performing state economy, driven by booming demand for natural gas and iron ore that has boosted business investment and construction. In 2009, WA received highest investment till date from all over the world. The world's largest natural gas projects and the largest single resource natural gas project in Australia's history – The Gorgon Project is based out of WA.
The Government of Western Australia also recently hosted the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, Ms Quentin Bryce AC and her delegation on a West Australian built AED 100 million yacht - Australis, in cooperation with the Australian Embassy in UAE. Australis, designed and built by Western Australian ship building company Austal is docked in Dubai.
Mr. Savara said “Western Australia provides numerous opportunities and is predominantly known for its strong oil and gas and mining industries, agribusiness and education sectors. With its five world class universities, WA became home to the highest group of students from ME, in 2009. ”
Over the years the connectivity between Perth, the capital of Western Australia, and UAE has increased and Emirates operates two non-stop flights daily. It takes four hours less flying time to Perth compared to any city in the eastern part of the country. Perth is also the gateway to Australia for the Middle East and Indian Ocean countries and has less shipping distance saving around four to five days in time which in turn also helps cut costs.