Western Australian Trade Office in Dubai (WATO) announced that the trade between Western Australia and UAE were to the tune of Dhs3.4bn in 2013. Currently 57.1% of the trade between Australia and UAE is carried out with Western Australia. WATO Dubai facilitates and encourages bilateral ties between the Middle East and African region with Western Australia (WA). In 2013, a high-level business delegation was led by the Minister of Economy Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri to Western Australia to explore ways of strengthening economic and trade relations with the State.
“Western Australia is the powerhouse driving Australia’s economy, accounting for 46% share of total Australian exports. A mere 10 hour flight away, the UAE is one of Western Australia’s biggest trading partners for mineral and agriculture commodities. With established business relations and growing bilateral ties, the State is fast increasing its presence in the UAE and in the Middle East and Africa,” said Mr. Pankaj Savara, Commissioner, WATO.
The State is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, holding international recognition for its primary resource industries – Agriculture, Mining, and Oil & Gas. This year an MoU was signed between the Government of Western Australia and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), with the objectives of sharing knowledge and technology between Western Australia and the COMESA states across the fields of mining, petroleum and agriculture.
“The Gulf and Africa look to WA for raw materials for agribusiness and resources. The growing air connectivity between the two regions has improved understanding of WA capabilities and has increasingly solidified Perth, WA as the gateway to Australia. This has been reflected by continued visits by high powered ministerial delegates and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU),” added Mr. Savara.
“We are here to assist Middle Eastern and African companies find the right Western Australian suppliers for a wide range of products and services in a number of industries, including- construction sector, oil and gas sector, agribusiness, mining and education,” concluded Mr.Savara.
Western Australia’s merchandise exports to Africa in 2012-13 totalled $1.4bn, accounting for 38% of Australia’s total. More than 70% of Australian companies investing in Africa’s mining industry are based in the WA State. Current figures show that 168 Western Australian mining companies are operating 807 projects in Africa, in 33 of the 54 African countries.
On the tourism front, WA is a welcoming gateway to the rest of Australia; Perth is amongst the top 10 most livable cities in the world. Currently there are four daily flights to Perth and more flights are being added due to the growing trade relations between UAE and Australia. Perth is also well connected with the GCC countries through daily multiple air connections by Gulf carriers. Etihad Airways will be launching a new daily route linking Abu Dhabi to Perth in Western Australia starting July 15th.
Western Australia’s gross state product (GSP) was $243bn in 2012-13, contributing to 16% of Australia’s gross domestic product (GDP).