A review of Australia Unlimited and other 1H activites
As we come to the end of the 2016-17 financial year, below is a quick insight on the activities that took place in the first half of 2017 and a look at the plans for 2017-18.
In January, a delegation of 25 Australian healthcare companies, including a large delegation from the Gold Coast City Council, participated at the Arab Health 2017 trade show. Australian experts were invited to present their innovative medical products and solutions during the Arab Health conference. The Austrade MENA team provided value-add through a pre-departure webinar, (which included market experts covering legal and market entry strategies) and targeted introductions with regional customers from the UAE, Saudi, Kuwait and Iran.
This was followed by a delegation attending Gulfood 2017 in February. Over 150 Australian companies attended the event, including 70+ companies who were present across three Australia-branded stands in the Meat, Dairy and World Food sections. The week prior to the event, a food and agri delegation travelled to Iran to meet with industry associations, leaders and business experts. In Dubai, a webinar hosted by Austrade gave clients a regional insight on the trends, opportunities and challenges. Austrade also organised a showcase event for 150 people with live cooking demonstrations with support from the Victorian Government, Meat and Livestock Australia, Food Innovation Australia Ltd and Horticulture Innovation Australia. The event brought regional buyers together with Australian seasoned exhibitors and new to market organizations.
The fifth Australia Unlimited MENA annual campaign, then took place from 11-19 March 2017, wrapping up a program in 7 countries in the region with around 40 Australian delegates. Major activities took place in Iran, UAE, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia, and associated programs were run in Oman, Qatar, and Egypt. The campaign was organised in conjunction with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), State and Territories, and key business and industry stakeholders to maximise its impact.
Healthcare Research, Mining, and Dairy were the main segments profiled under the theme Collaborate to Innovate. Delegations from South Australia, and the Australia Arab Chamber of Commerce & Industry (AACCI) were also part of the region-wide program.
South Australian Minister for Investment and Trade, Minister for Small Business, Minister for Defence Industries and Minister for Veterans Affairs, Martin Hamilton-Smith, MP also participated in the program in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Egypt.
14-18 May, Austrade Posts in Dubai, Kuwait and Riyadh delivered a program for nine vocational education and training companies associated with the GCC-Asia Borderless Skills initiative and the newly-formed Skills Australia Consortium. The initiative centres on educating Asian students to Australian-competency levels to gain skilled employment in the GCC.
In addition to the above events, some high-profile delegates visited the region, including Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, and Minister for Trade and Investment – Steven Ciobo.
In the new financial year commencing July 2017, we will continue to promote our regional initiatives in Australia through the annual platform – MENA Connection Seminars. Additionally, we have started running an Austrade MENA Webinar Series profiling sector-specific opportunities in the region.
In the coming months, we also anticipate the opening of an Austrade office in Qatar and Australian Embassy in Morocco.
We are also looking at doing more targeted events, for instance, a premium food and beverage event in UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait during the first week of December. Support the various trade missions that come through year long. Focus on new priority sectors such as, Services, Defence, and Water. And continue to build and capitalize on the partnerships we have cultivated both in-market and back in Australia.
We will keep you updated on our activities and plans.
Wishing you and your families Ramadan Kareem!
Mr. Gerard Seeber
Australian Consul-General, Dubai & Senior Trade Commissioner MENA