H.E. Engr. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy (MOE), and H.E. Steven Ciobo, Australia's Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, recently met to discuss the strengthening of economic cooperation in sectors of mutual interest. The two ministers highlighted the latest developments regarding the implementation of recommendations and cooperative frameworks agreed on during the first session of their countries' Joint Economic Committee held in Sydney in November 2017.
The meeting was attended by MOE officials H.E. Eng. Mohammed Bin Abdul Aziz Al Shehhi, Undersecretary of Economic Affairs; H.E. Abdullah Bin Ahmed Al Saleh, Undersecretary for Foreign Trade Affairs; and Abdullah Al Hammadi, Director of the Tourism Department. H.E. Arthur Milton Spiro, Ambassador of Australia to the UAE, and H.E. Australian Consul General in Dubai and Senior Trade Commissioner, also attended.
H.E. Engr. Al Mansoori said that the UAE enjoys strong economic relations with Australia and that they have witnessed significant mutual growth over the past few years driven by the exchange of visits, delegations, and economic activities. The first session of the countries' Joint Economic Committee held in the last quarter of 2017 in Sydney marked an important step that resulted in important recommendations and agreements for reinforcing cooperation and partnership across a number of vital areas – most notably trade, investment, small- and medium -sized enterprises, innovation, agriculture, food products, financial services, tourism, civil aviation, and education.
His Excellency added that their total bilateral non-oil trade reached a high of AED 10.4 billion (more than USD 2.8 billion) at the end of 2016, with the rate expected to grow further in the coming years upon the implementation of committee results and the phases and mechanisms of cooperation agreed on.
For his part, H.E. Ciobo said Australia considers the UAE an important economic ally, and that their joint visits reflect the common desire to enhance dialogue and move relations to more expansive horizons. He pointed out the importance of the outcomes of the first Joint Economic Committee work between the two countries which he said has laid out a clear framework and mechanisms for pushing mutual efforts to develop economic, trade and investment relations forward.