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MENAFN - Arab News - 18/01/2014
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(MENAFN - Arab News) Australian trade minister accompanying a top business delegation will visit Saudi Arabia soon, Ambassador Neil Hawkins said on Wednesday

Hawkins made the announcement during his meeting with Abdullah Al-Mubti, president of the Council of Saudi Chambers, in Riyadh

The two officials discussed mutual economic interests and trade cooperation. The meeting coincides with the upcoming G-20 conference, which Australia is hosting.

Both parties expressed willingness to enhance trade relations in various major sectors

Earlier, the envoy said Saudi Arabia is the largest economy in the Gulf region, and the Australian trade minister's visit would highlight the sheer scale of significant business opportunities available to Australian companies in the Kingdom.

"We believe that personal contacts are an essential ingredient of doing business in the region," the envoy said.

Major Australian exports to Saudi Arabia in 2011-12 included, passenger motor vehicles, barly, wheat and meat, while major Australian imports from the Kingdom in the same year included fertilizers and crude oil

At the outset of their Wednesday meeting, Al-Mubti noted the distinguished relations linking the Kingdom and Australia, and the growing size of the business dealings over the past years.

He emphasized the existing cooperation between the two countries as members of the G-20 and their unified vision toward the stability and development of the region

Al-Mubti acknowledged the major role played by the two countries' ambassadors in consolidating and strengthening economic relations, as well as facilitating visits between businessmen from both sides. He stressed the important role played by the joint business council that was established recently

The president of the council expressed the chamber's readiness to host the meeting and to discuss key issues of interest to Saudi and Australian businessmen such as, infrastructure, construction, services, higher education and training


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