Australia In Talks With GCC On Free Trade Deal




The talks were attended by trade officials from the Australian embassy in Riyadh, representatives of the Australian International Network of Higher Commission for Trade and Saudi businessmen.



Gary Kennedy, Australian commercial counselor, said that his country has given Australian officials here the green light to start talks with officials from the Secretariat General of the GCC in Riyadh. He added that this step would ease trade movement and open the way for vast investment opportunities between both countries.


Anthony Donnellan, senior investment official to the Middle East, said that 160 Australian companies are operating in the Saudi market, adding that there has been a dramatic rise in the number of Australian companies entering the market.


Ismail Farag, business development manager at the Australian embassy, said that the meetings held with Saudi businessmen resulted in a number of business proposals between the sides. He added that the Saudis showed interest in the sectors of education, training, meat, bottling and packaging, in addition to real estate and agriculture investments.


The size of trade between Saudi Arabia and Australia last year reached SR9 billion, in which Saudi exports came to SR3 billion, he said, adding that cars made up 50 percent of Australian exports to the Kingdom.


Farag said that the International Higher Commission for Trade in Australia is assisting Australian companies in expanding international trade by overcoming obstacles and risks in entering new markets.

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