Australia focuses on strengthening

RetailME Bureau

Australian companies offering solutions to the growing health and medical needs of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region will be the highlight of a trade and investment roadshow this month. The Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) will host a series of events in the UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Egypt from January 24 to February 1 to promote the bilateral trade, investment and cultural ties between Australia and the MENA region.

Now in its fourth year, the Australia Unlimited MENA 2016’s (AU MENA) theme is how economies can utilise the expertise of Australian firms to develop their healthcare and medical sectors. Access to quality health services is a priority across the MENA region because of its growing population.

Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck, Australia’s minister for tourism and international education and state minister for trade and investment, will take part in the roadshow along with the respective Australian ambassadors based in the MENA region.

Gerard Seeber, senior trade commissioner and consul general in Dubai, says AU MENA 2016 would show how Australian firms can help with the impact of rising demand on health infrastructure and medical resources. “Our aim is to make Australian firms the first choice when it comes to choosing a partner in healthcare and medical services.”

Nineteen Australian healthcare education institutions will participate in the AU MENA 2016 programme, and 30 Australian companies are exhibiting at this year’s Arab Health Exhibition and Conference taking place from January 25-28 in Dubai.

Australia’s relationship with GCC economies is strong and growing, with a year-on-year increase of Australian exports to the region increasing 15.8% from 2014 to 2015. On January 24, 2016, the Australian Trade Commission, representing the Commonwealth of Australia, will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Dubai Exports, the export promotion agency of the Department of Economic Development – Government of Dubai. The MOU will establish a framework to strengthen cooperation in the field of trade promotion between the two nations.

Notably, Australia is a major exporter of food products, including meat to the region.