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Newsletter 12/2014

Austrade update | 2014 coming to an end


Dear ABCD members,

We are heading towards the end of an exciting year. 2014 was filled with a wide range of promotional events, successes in our priority sectors, and key VIP visits. Below is a quick summary of the month gone by and what to look forward to in 2015.

Following the recent visit by Australian consultancy AgEconPlus at Gulfood in February 2014, a delegation of vegetable growers led by the AUSVEG association met with local and international industry representatives at the World of Perishables Exhibition in Dubai from 9-11 November 2014. Austrade assisted with the visit by inviting 65 key customers to attend a networking function. There has already been strong interest expressed by UAE customers and industry representatives to open export channels with Australian growers of many commodities including carrots, broccoli and organic produce.

In mid-November, Austrade UAE and KSA played host to Dr Nigel Preston, Food Futures Director at CSIRO, and renowned aquaculture scientist. Dr Preston's visit formed part of the Austrade MENA Sustainable Fisheries initiative and included meetings in the UAE with the Ministry of Environment and Water, the Food and Agriculture Organisation and stakeholders in the private sector. In Saudi Arabia, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Saudi Aquaculture Society hosted Dr Nigel at a seminar conducted for 50 government and business members.

As a follow-up, Austrade will be organising another visit by CSIRO to attend and participate in the Australia Unlimited MENA program in Saudi Arabia and the UAE in April 2015. Austrade recently met with the Dubai Land Authority (DLA) Director-General and his team as part of the MENA Sustainable Urban Development initiative and Australia Unlimited MENA 2015 program. At the meeting, Austrade Dubai and DLA discussed opportunities to collaborate on a combined global green building and sustainability conference to be held in partnership with the Green Building Council of Australia in April 2015.

As part of the UAE's Vision 2021, the DLA is striving to build a diversified economy based on knowledge and innovation. Over the next nine years, the DLA will launch national projects and initiatives to achieve this goal. Its first initiative will be the development of 'The Perfect City', due to begin in early 2015. The UAE’s recent announcement of marking 2015 as the year of innovation is perfectly aligned with the Australia Unlimited MENA 2015’s theme centred on Innovation. Australia being a nation of innovation is aptly positioned to share and provide its expertise to such landmark initiatives. And these are the type of opportunities we’ll highlight and explore during the AU program next year.

Before the commencement of the Australia Unlimited MENA program in April, we’ll start 2015 with a delegation from Australia coming over for Arab Health in January and Gulfood in February. On the sporting front, Australia is gearing up to welcome 10 countries from the Middle East, one of them being UAE for the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 in January, and the ICC Cricket World Cup in February for which the UAE is also qualified.

I would like to wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. The coming year promises to be as busy as 2014.

Mr. Gerard Seeber

Australian Consul-General, Dubai and ABCD member

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