Victoria aims to boost its exports to the UAE

ABU DHABI — Victoria, one of the wealthiest states of Australia, aims to significantly hike exports to the UAE in both products and services, as well to promote two-way investment flows.

By T. Ramavarman

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Published: Fri 14 May 2010, 11:38 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 11:07 AM

“Victoria exported goods worth $604 million in 2008-09, despite the stress stirred up by the global financial crisis. We are yet to calculate the figures for 2009-10, as our financial year draws to a close in June. But I’m sure there will definitely be improvements in the exports from Victoria to the UAE in 2009-10. And we want to double or may be even triple the exports in the coming year,” Victorian Premier John Brumby told Khaleej Times here.

“The UAE is now Victoria’s the tenth largest export destination and second largest Middle East trading partner. The rapid development of the UAE is opening up exciting new export opportunities for Victoria in areas such as education, urban planning, auto manufacturing, tourism, facilities management and food. And the Victorian Government is determined to develop these opportunities,” the Premier, who is on a two-day visit to the UAE, said.

“The UAE is also a nearly $200 million market for Victorian-made passenger cars and Victorian company Volgren, in partnership with Hafilat Industries, is building fourteen new buses for the Abu Dhabi Department of Transport. This partnership is also bidding to build up to 850 additional buses for Abu Dhabi Department of Transport which will open up a major new export opportunity for Volgren,” he said.

“We are also trying to promote mutual flow of investments between the countries as well,” he said. Investments to the tune of $421 million are in the pipeline from the UAE to Victoria in the first half of 2009-10.

“Victoria’s Toyota Camry’s are very popular in the UAE and account for about a third of all large passenger car sales — this is a great example of how our motor industry is achieving international success, which is securing jobs in our state. The Victorian International School of Sharjah which has just been opened will eventually accommodate 2600 students, and has both its facilities and curriculum designed in Victoria.

The Bendigo Regional Institute of TAFE (BRIT) in Victoria has been successful in winning a tender to host 40 emirati secondary school students from Abu Dhabi in July for its summer programmes.

“The summer abroad program is designed to provide these students with a truly Victorian and truly Australian experience through mix of informal and formal learning at BRIT,” John Brumby said.

He also announced thatSpotless Services Middle East (SSME) had been awarded a new contract to provide facilities management services for new residential, retail, entertainment and sporting developments in Abu Dhabi. SSME is a joint venture between Victorian company Spotless Services Australia Limited and Emirates Link Group, based in Abu Dhabi, and opened for business in 2009.

“Victoria currently receives around 16,000 UAE visitors annually but this figure is expected to grow strongly as Middle East visitors to Australia are predicted to grow by 10.5 per cent annually to 2018,” hesaid.

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