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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 24/04/2011

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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The UAE Minister of Economy Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri has emphasised the attractive investment environment of the UAE and invited Australian companies to visit the country to explore several investment opportunities in various economic sectors.

Addressing the participants of a lunch organised by New South Wales Premier Barry O'Farrell, Mansouri said the UAE is a strategic partner and gateway of Australia to the Middle East and other Arab countries.

The UAE minister urged to invest in industries such as petrochemicals, tourism, health, education, agriculture, telecommunication and transportation.

Mansouri said Australia and the UAE are front-runners in maximising opportunities for growth across our traditional and emerging economic sectors.

"Our bilateral relations are now on a strong footing, and ready to take off to new heights. The prevailing economic conditions and growth dynamics in the UAE show further ground for expanding our bilateral exchanges, especially in trade and investment," he said.

"We are a Dh1 trillion economy today, with a growing population of over eight million, forward-looking economic policies and a futuristic infrastructure presenting vast potentials. Geographically, the fastest-growing production hubs and consumer markets in the world lie within striking distance from the UAE," he added.

Mansouri said the UAE has an unrivalled road transport network, with its airlines and airports among the fastest growing in the world, and sea ports that are vital links in the global freight traffic.

He said last year, nearly 30,000 tourists from the UAE visited Australia while 18,000 Australian came to the Emirates.

"Today, the UAE has a well-diversified economy that possesses an enormous wealth of creativity, knowledge and innovation. Non-oil sectors accounted for 71 percent of our gross national product in 2009 even when we have the world's seventh largest reserve of oil," Mansouri added. He emphasised the role of small and medium enterprises, or SMEs, where over 90 percent of the private enterprises in the UAE are classified as such. These SMEs provide a unique advantage in promoting innovation and entrepreneurship across key economic sectors. We are committed to offering new solutions and creating new frontlines as innovation is the cornerstone of growth.

Mansouri said that Australia as a large country, with a strong agricultural sector and vast stretches of arid land, can provide the UAE with significant insights in preserving our natural resources and at the same time support our efforts to achieve food security.


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