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Newsletter 05/2015

A word from the Ambassador | Australia Unlimited hugely successful

 

April has been a big month for us all. I am sure that some of you would have been involved in one of the many events that Austrade organised as part of this year’s Australia Unlimited event.

Australia Unlimited MENA (AU MENA) is the Australian Trade Commission’s flagship annual promotional campaign in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Now in its third year, AU MENA is a ‘whole of Government’ initiative that promotes the trade, investment and cultural ties that exist between Australia and the MENA region.

Built around the theme of innovation, AU MENA this year brought together over 60 Australian business representatives with MENA Government and industry stakeholders in sectors where Australian capability meets regional demand - sustainable urban development, agribusiness and food, and vocational education and training.

The Australian Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Robb,  was here to open the Australian Unlimited event in Dubai as part of his busy visit to UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The Minister this year bought with him a 20 strong Australian CEO delegation which also participated in parts of the Minister’s bilateral program here. Minister Robb’s main focus was to engage with GCC countries to urge them to resume Free Tree Agreement (FTA) negotiations with Australia.

During this month we also had a visit by six Australian Parliamentarians at the invitation of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. I know that some members of the Embassy, AusBG and ABCD intersected with their program at various events. It is good to see more interest and awareness by our MPs about the UAE and our bilateral relationship.

Of course this year is a very special year for Australian’s wartime history with 2015 marking 100 years since Australian troops landed on the shores of Gallipoli, beginning a gruelling eight-month campaign where thousands of Australians, New Zealanders, British, Turkish, Indian and Canadian soldiers lost their lives. ANZAC Day was an opportunity for all Australians to recognise and thank all of those who have served our country and worn our nation’s uniform over the past one hundred years.

The Anzac centenary is also a time to remember the essential contribution of those on the home front who support and care for those in service, and often face the loss or injury of loved ones. For those that were at either the Dawn or Sunset services at the Fairmont Hotel in Abu Dhabi or the Westin Hotel in Dubai, I am sure that you would agree with me that they were very moving.  Attendance numbers for both the Abu Dhabi and Dubai Dawn Services were very high, which was especially good to see this year.

As I mentioned in last month’s newsletter the Embassy has created an UAE alumni network for all those Emiratis that have studied in Australia or for those that have studied at an Australian institution here in the UAE. Our database is growing rapidly as word of mouth is working well. We have run two events with UAE alumni, the last one being one with Minister Andrew Robb during his recent visit. It is great to see that all alumni are keen to be involved with new Emirati students heading off to Australia to commence studies and to maintain the networking opportunities once they return. If anyone knows of any UAE alumni I would encourage you to pass on our Alumni email address: alumni.uae@dfat.gov.au so they can get in touch.

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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