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Newsletter 02/2015

A word from the Ambassador | UAE busy with trade shows

 

During the more temperate weather at the start of the year, the UAE is busy with trade shows. The first two months of this year have been no exception. Dubai hosted Arab Health – the world’s second largest healthcare exhibition and conference, and Gulf Food - the world's largest annual food and beverage gathering. Over 30 and 150 Australian companies respectively used these events as regional hubs to showcase their products and capabilities and strike commercial deals.

Prominent Australian names such as TAHPI, Cochlear, Byron Group – Emergency Transport Services, Murray Goulburn, Warrnambool Cheese and Butter, Bega Cheese, Bulla Dairy and Maggie Beer featured at the events. Abu Dhabi hosted the International Defence Exhibition (IDEX) later in the month - with around 20 companies parading their niche capabilities at the Australian pavilion.

On the visit front, February saw a couple of outward visits to Australia. UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nayhan visited Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to further discuss issues touched on when she was here in January. On the same day as their meeting, a group of GCC Senior Officials visited Canberra to review progress against the existing GCC-Australia Action Plan, including on the stalled FTA negotiations. Later this month DFAT officials will visit Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Doha to also promote the benefits of a FTA.

One project that the Embassy and Austrade are currently working on is creating an alumni network for Emiratis who studied either in Australia or at Australian universities in the UAE. The network will be a useful tool to foster and develop connections between Emirati alumni and the wider Australian community in the UAE, including through promoting business opportunities. Obtaining an initial database is always a challenge and definitely a work in progress. If anyone knows of any Emiratis that have studied at an Australian institution, please ask them to contact us at alumni.UAE@dfat.gov.au.

As some of you would have known, the Embassy held its own International Women’s Day (IWD) event on 22 February at the Australian Consulate-General in Dubai, with Julia Gillard as keynote speaker. Gender equality and women’s empowerment are priorities for the Australian Government, both domestically and internationally. It was great that some of the ladies from the Embassy were able to attend the recent IWD event co-hosted by the Australian, British and Canadian Business groups as well as the IWBG. I hear it was a successful event – well done.

February and March have been two big months of sport in Australia, with the ICC Cricket World Cup being played and co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand - yet another international event that showcases globally Australia’s ability to host world class sporting events. We are hoping that Australia makes it through to the final and congratulate the UAE for registering the first century scored by an Emirati – Shaiman Anwar - in Cricket World Cup history.

Pablo Kang

Australian Ambassador to the UAE and Qatar

For those on Twitter – follow me at: http://twitter.com/AusAmbUAE (@AusAmbUAE)

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