STRENGTHENING GULF TIES

STRENGTHENING GULF TIES

A RECENT trade mission saw more than 30 representatives from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) strengthen its ties with Queensland to enhance the almost $9 billion trade partnership it has with Australia.

Trading reps from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman participated in the two-day Gulf region business mission, which showcased investment opportunities in state infrastructure and services.

The business mission was secured by Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd in March, while attending the GCC foreign ministers’ strategic dialogue event in Abu Dhabi.

“The Australian Government is strongly committed to building up its links with the GCC,” says Rudd.

“The Gulf is a region of great strategic and economic importance to Australia and I’m delighted to have welcomed this delegation to my home state of Queensland.

“A high-level delegation is one way to support Queensland’s economy. It is an opportunity for Queensland businesses to expand trade and investment links; be they in agriculture, education, scientific research, banking and finance or tourism.”

Premier Anna Bligh says the visit sent a strong message that Queensland was ‘open for businesses and still a great place to invest after the summer of natural disasters.

“I have been really impressed and heartened by their interest in Queensland and their desire to help,” she says.

“Queensland has growing ties with these Gulf States in business areas like education. Student enrolments in Queensland from the Middle East between January and July 2010 was 4450 and I am sure our friendship will continue to grow.”

Total import and export operations between the Gulf States and Australia reached $8.74 billion in 2010.

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