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Satyendra Pathak
Doha
The trade volume between Australia and Qatar increased to QR5.23 billion in 2017, Australian Ambassador to Qatar HE Axel Wabenhorst has said.
The Australian envoy told Qatar Tribune that trade between the two countries is expanding as there are more Qatar Airways flights to Australia now.
"At the moment there are four daily flights to different cities of Australia like Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. Qatar Airways is starting flight to Canberra in three weeks time. It will be the fifth destination of Qatar Airways in Australia. This will further boost trade between the two countries. It will help attract business here in Qatar as well," Wabenhorst said.
The trade volume is evenly balanced between the two countries, the envoy said.
"The main exports from Australia to Qatar include meat, vegetables, grains and aluminium. Australia mainly imports fertilizers from Qatar. On the services side is regular Qatar Airways flights that are generating a lot of business," he said.
The envoy said that various initiatives are being taken to further boost the trade volume between the two countries.
"Meetings are being organised to connect companies from both the countries. In about one month I will be going to Australia to meet businessmen and explain to them about trade opportunities available in Qatar. Similar business trips will be arranged later in the year," he said.
There are so many opportunities for Australian firms in Qatar's food sector, he noted.
"This is an area that has high priority for Qatar. Australia has expertise in the food sector. Australia is quite a dry country and we have been working for the last two centuries in trying to grow food in a dry environment. Given our expertise as well as the technology that we use in producing meat, livestock as well as grain, there is definitely a good opportunity for business in this sector," he said.
"Australia is also a country that has highly educated people. Medial innovation and scientific research are other areas where there can be more cooperation," he noted.
There are opportunities in many different fields like engineering, construction and events management.
"There is construction going on everywhere in Qatar. Some of the biggest Australian companies operational in Qatar are related to engineering and construction. I see many more opportunities for Australian firms in Qatar's construction sector," he said.
Events management is another area where Australian firms can use their expertise in Qatar.
"Australia has hosted major international sporting events like Olympic Games and Asian Football Championship.
"We are also hosting Commonwealth Games in March and April this year. Services of Australian firms can be taken to organise various sporting events in Qatar successfully," the envoy said.
Talking about Qatari investments in Australia, the envoy said Australia has benefited greatly from investments by Hassad Food."We welcome more investments from Hassad Food. We are in touch with them and we welcome their plans," he said.
"We also welcome Qatar's investment in other economic sectors of Australia. We seek investment by Qatar Investment Authority and its subsidiaries in Australia," he said.
Qatar Investment Authority has invested in electricity distribution network in South Wales, he said, adding that there are many more such opportunities for Qatari investments.
Apart from agriculture where there is already a presence, the envoy said, Australia is in a big need for investments in infrastructure sector. Tourism and real estate are other areas that require a lot of foreign investment, he said, adding that regulations in Australia are well designed to attract foreign investment.
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29/01/2018
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