Australia praised the mutual cooperation with the United Arab Emirates in multi fields, the Emirate News Agency reported on Tuesday, citing a senior Australian official.
UAE investments in Australia reached AU$26 billion (AED64 billion), according to the Australian Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack in an interview with the Emirate News Agency WAM.
“Australia and the UAE enjoy a strong bilateral relationship in areas including trade and investment, defence, law enforcement, security and consular cooperation.
“The two-way trade has increased 34% from AU$7.3 billion (AED18 billion) to $9.8 billion (AED24 billion) in 2017-2018,” McCormack said.
McCormack is currently visiting the UAE to take part in the World Road Congress in Abu Dhabi from October 6th to 10th.
When asked to comment on how the Australian government was facilitating economic and commercial diplomacy with the UAE, McCormack said that promoting investment in both directions remained a priority for the two countries.
"Trade continues to grow in the key sectors of tourism, education and agriculture, and this is aided by over 100 direct flights between Australia and the UAE every week," he said. In the past two years, the two countries have also increased the mechanisms to facilitate mutual consultations, and now have a Joint Economic Committee and forum for political consultations.
"During my visit to the UAE, I will be exploring further opportunities for Australian businesses and I will advocate for further investment in Australia, including in areas such as regional Australia (towns, small cities and regions), and in infrastructure, which are part of my ministerial responsibilities.
"I also look forward to hearing about the UAE’s latest initiatives to attract investment," McCormack said.
He praised the UAE’s achievements in the space industry, saying, "Let me join the world in congratulating the UAE’s first astronaut, Hazza Al Mansoori, and the UAE more broadly on the successful mission last week. It is an exciting time for the space industry in the UAE as it works towards the Red Planet [Mars] project.
"Collaboration between the UAE and Australia in this area is already growing.
"We look forward to continued collaboration under the two MoUs between the UAE and Australia through the Australian Space Agency (ASA) and the South Australian Space Industry Centre (ASAIC) in the exploration and utilisation of outer space as well as joint scientific research and development of space technology.
"Given the focus in Australia and developments in the UAE, I see great potential for collaboration between the countries," McCormack said.
Commenting on how the two countries can work together to address regional and global food insecurity, the deputy PM cited Australia’s available expertise in priority areas including aquaculture, urban farming, vertical gardens and hydroponics.
He went on to highlight his conversation with Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Department of Transport, Abu Dhabi, on Sunday October 6th, saying that it was an "opportunity to exchange ideas and learn from Sheikh Theyab, and Dr Abdullah Al Nuaimi, UAE Minister of Infrastructure Development."