Ambassadors to be part of Coast export networking lunch
  • Wednesday 28 October 2015

Two Australian ambassadors to the Middle East and Trade Commissioners from Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Riyadh will be part of a special Austrade Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Connections Program Export Networking Lunch on the Sunshine Coast tomorrow (Thursday).

The event at Maroochy River Golf Club is part of the MENA Connections Series, an annual promotional platform for a strategically important trade market for Australia.

Guests on Thursday will hear about the Australian Government’s evolving strategy for MENA as well as receive an outline of key regional developments and what they mean for Australia.

They will also be briefed on upcoming opportunities available for Coast-based businesses in the MENA area.

The delegation, including Australian Ambassador to the UAE and Qatar Pablo Kang and Australian Ambassador to Kuwait Warren Hauck, will be officially welcomed to the Sunshine Coast by Mayor Mark Jamieson.

“This is an another great opportunity for local businesses in our region as the Sunshine Coast Council is the only regional council in Australia to be hosting events in the 2015 Austrade MENA Connections Program,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“We are already assisting a number of other export-ready businesses in our region target markets beyond our shores and some of those will be part of the event on Thursday.

“With a population of approximately 420 million people, MENA is an A$8.5 billion market for Australia’s merchandise exports, advanced services, research collaboration and technology.

“Australia is well entrenched in the region with more than 450 companies and more than 30,000 Australians in the Gulf alone.

“Our goal is to have more Sunshine Coast exporters involved in the MENA market and for investors from that region to have a closer look at the outstanding range of opportunities we have here on the Coast.

“Among the areas of particular interest to us is that the propensity to import food within the region in unusually high.

“This drives a need to import and to invest internationally into agriculture and we believe the Coast is well placed to be a part of those scenarios.”

Consul General for Dubai and Senior Trade Commissioner MENA Gerard Seeber, Senior Trade Commissioner for Riyadh Mark Morley and Trade Commissioner and Deputy Consul General for Dubai Elodie Journet will be the keynote speakers at tomorrow’s lunch.

While on the Sunshine Coast, the delegation will also meet with council representatives for a briefing on investment opportunities and hold roundtable discussions centred on priority areas such as food and agriculture, healthcare, logistics vocational education and training and investment, with key local exporters.

Tomorrow’s visit follows on from an event earlier this month where Trade and Investment Queensland’s (TIQ’s) overseas-based commissioners visited the Sunshine Coast to give a number of local businesses the opportunity to speak about their products and services and how TIQ can assist them in their respective markets.