Austrade road show focuses on health, mining, dairy in Riyadh
Australia’s dynamic health, mining and dairy sectors were in focus during a road show held here Wednesday to help boost investments from Gulf and North African countries.
“We want to cooperate with the Kingdom in bilateral trade and investment in line with the Saudi Vision 2030,” Australian Trade Commissioner Mark Morley told News Agency here at the Marriott Courtyard Hotel.
The road show, which began in Kuwait, will end in the United Arab Emirates during this leg of the tour.
Morley said Australia’s mining companies have much to offer the MENA region in terms of developing a broad range of projects beyond the energy sector. “Australia is one of the world’s leading mining nations, with particular expertise in the mining technologies and services that help to keep the world’s mines operational,” he said, pointing out that there are some 100 Australian miners attached to Ma’aden.
Ma’aden (Saudi Arabian Mining Co.) is a diversified mining company, active in gold-based metals mining and infrastructure industry. Ma’aden was formed as a Saudi joint stock company in 1997 to facilitate the development of Saudi Arabia’s mineral resources. It is the largest mining company in Saudi Arabia.
“At a time when many nations in the MENA region are exploring the potential of their mineral deposits, this represents a good opportunity to talk about needs and capability,” he said.
Through a series of high-profile forums, targeted roundtables and meetings, AU MENA will provide introductions between Australian companies and key government officials, industry stakeholders, and projects in United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
Another focus, he said, was how Australian health care service firms can help MENA countries cope with growing demand.
“Australia’s proven expertise in health care is well-positioned to assist the MENA region as the public and private sector work to develop a local medical tourism industry and try to prevent the spread of lifestyle illnesses such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease,” he noted.
Bilateral trade between Australia and the Kingdom is around 2 billion Australian dollars, in favor of Australia, he added.
By 2020, spending in the GCC alone on health care will reach $69 billion. It is estimated that by 2020 there will be a shortage of 15,000 physicians and 1.8 million nurses and midwives.
”So, the need to enhance skill levels in the health care sector also offers clear opportunities for Australian education and training providers,” he said.
This year, AU MENA will also encompass a program for Dairy Australia. Peter Myers, international trade development manager of Dairy Australian, said the Australian dairy industry has had a healthy relationship with the GCC market, with 11 percent of total dairy exports making its way into the region. Fifty-seven percent of the GCC’s total dairy consumption was met through imports.