UAE and Australia to hold second round of FTA talks
BY A STAFF REPORTER
1 June 2005
ABU DHABI - The UAE and Australia will hold a second round of talks next week in Abu Dhabi to clear the way for the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to boost trade and investment between the two countries.
"The initiation of talks on the UAE-Australian Free Trade Agreement last year was another milestone in the relations between the two countries. There was scope for further improvement in these relations in many areas", said Noel Campbell, Australia’s Ambassador to the UAE while speaking to reporters at a ceremony to inaugurate the Australian Business Group, at the ADCCI.
Noel Campbell said that there were tremendous improvements in the relations between the UAE and Australia over the last ten years, which is reflected from the two-way trade between the two countries, which has grown to $2.2 billion from $700 million, a decade ago, as both economies are complementary to each other.
The number of Australian companies operating in the UAE went up from less than ten to over 100 now and over 650 students from the UAE were studying in various institutions in Australia now compared with just 20 ten years ago, the ambassador said.
Earlier, Mohammed Omar Abdullah, the DG Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, emphasised the importance of the role played by the business councils in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to enhance economic ties and investment cooperation between their countries and the UAE.
Addressing a press conference held at the Chamber premises to announce the launching of the Australian Business Group. The Australian Business Group will seek to enhance the economic ties among all members of the Australian businessmen residing in the UAE and businessmen from the Emirates in such a way that would contribute to boosting the level of economic cooperation and opening new areas for investment and partnership between the two friendly countries, Abdullah pointed out.
This would in turn trigger trade, investment and cooperation between the two sides, he added.
Bryan Daniels, Chairman of the Australian Business Group said that the Group was formed at the end of last year. He said a broad cross section of Australian and the Abu Dhabi businessmen representing the oil and gas, construction, education and health services are members of the Group.
"There had been tremendous growth in the number of companies over the years and the Group had been holding regular networking sessions with the Abu Dhabi businessmen to create awareness among them on the business aspects in both the countries," he added.