Speech to the Australia UAE Business Council

Published on 24 June 2022

I begin by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land we are on today, the Gadigal people, and pay my respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging.

I also want to extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples here today.

It is an honor to be here tonight on behalf of the Minister for Enterprise, Investment and Trade, Stuart Ayres, and the NSW Treasurer and Minister for Energy, Matt Kean.

They both send their apologies that they can’t be here tonight, to celebrate the strengthening relationship between NSW and the United Arab Emirates.

I also want to acknowledge our other VIP guests:

  • His Excellency Mr. Abdulla Al Subousi, UAE Ambassador to Australia
  • The Hon. Christopher Pyne MP, Co-Chair, Australia UAE Business Council (AUSUAEBC)
  • His Excellency Badr Al Olama, Co-Chair, Australia UAE Business Council (AUSUAEBC) and Executive Director of the UAE Clusters, Mubadala Investment Company
  • And my Parliamentary colleague, Anoulack Chanthivong, Shadow Minister for Finance, and Shadow Minister for Industry and Trade

NSW is an economic powerhouse with only one year on record in which our economy hasn’t grown – 2020, when Covid impacts caused shockwaves across the world’s economies.

We have strong links across the Indo Pacific – the world’s fastest growing region with world-class education and research institutions; Australia’s largest investment in infrastructure; and a highly skilled and diverse workforce.

Importantly, we’re also ambitious.

This is shown in our recent State Budget, which the Treasurer Matt Kean handed down earlier this week.

It’s a Budget that is about reform - reform to build a better brighter future for everyone in NSW.

It invests in our State’s greatest asset – our people.

The Budget makes big steps to boost household budgets; improve our children’s education; increase women’s participation in the workplace; help everyone secure a home; and harness the wonders of modern science through investing in renewable energy technology.

It also provides for a record $112.7 billion infrastructure investment – to build the schools, roads and hospitals for our community.

The Budget will see our economy continue to grow and prosper while also ensuring we make the state a better place to live, work and do business in.

It is in this spirit that NSW welcomes the announcement of the Australia-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.

This partnership is a tremendous opportunity that will ensure a brighter, more prosperous future for both NSW and the UAE.

This drive for prosperity has created a thriving history and strong bilateral relationship between the UAE and NSW.

Our businesses choose the UAE as their gateway to the Guld Cooperation Council region and UAE’s investment in Australia and NSW continues to grow. 

In the past 10 years, two-way trade between NSW and UAE has doubled to $1.1 Billion Australian Dollars.

It is UAE companies that look towards NSW as their Asia-Pacific hub, that has made this growth possible.

Companies like Centre Systems Group, Aramex, Galadari Brothers, and Dnata

These companies know that NSW offers world-class investment opportunities in traditional sectors such as resources, infrastructure and agribusiness production, as well as future-focused sectors such as renewables, fintech and space.

As NSW’s largest trading partner in the Middle East, the UAE has a key role to play in our State’s future.

As a State we have set a bold target to double NSW’s exports to $200 billion by 2031.

Exports that the Government and Investment NSW are looking to diversify and grow.

We are eager to work with businesses in NSW and the UAE to continue to achieve these goals.

This is why we have recently appointed a Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner, Vish Padmanabhan, who oversees NSW’s India and Middle East offices.

The NSW Government also has a Trade and Investment Commissioner based in Abu Dhabi, Moin Anwar, who leads the state’s engagement with the UAE and the broader Middle East.

These Commissioners, along with Investment NSW’s continued work in promoting NSW companies through forums such as the Expo 220 Dubai are illustrations of our commitment to work with the businesses and the government of the UAE.

In that vein, I want to encourage everyone to please reach out to the Investment NSW team here tonight to have a conversation about future opportunities.

Thank you again to the Australia UAE Business Council for the opportunity to speak this evening.

And I look forward to seeing the partnership between NSW and the UAE continue to prosper.

Thank you

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