Western Australian business delegation led by Investment and Trade Commissioner, India-Gulf Region, Nashid Chowdhury. Pic: Salim Matramkot/The Peninsula
A delegation of business leaders from Western Australia (WA) visited Qatar to explore potential collaborations and strengthen ties between the government and business sectors.
The two-day visit aimed to identify opportunities for Western Australian businesses to expand into the Qatari market and diversify their economy.
Western Australia Investment and Trade Commissioner for India-Gulf Region, Nashid Chowdhury explained to The Peninsula that the visit which concluded yesterday was aimed to deepen and expand the commercial and investment relationship between Qatar and the WA.
She explained that the main areas in diversifying their economy include: mining and METS (mining equipment, technology and services), energy, space, defence, health and medical life sciences, tourism events and creative industries, primary industries and international education.
“Underpinning all of these sectors, we have a huge focus on international education, where we have five universities and a number of private providers, and there’s a huge opportunity of building this connection in this region,” she added.
She underscored that the delegation explored potential partnerships with vocational education providers and sought to establish mutually beneficial engagements with the educational sector in Qatar through mobility exchange, research partnerships and student-talent exchange.
During the two-day visit, a number of businesses from Western Australia from the primary and agriculture sectors came and were linked to high-end importers, distributors, and retail groups here in a bid to market their products to the country. The said delegation was led by Chowdhury, and was supported by Aziz Saba, Ania Tukalska, Fiona Goss and Charles Li. They were also accompanied by leading Western Australian Industry leaders specialising in agro-based food and beverage production companies such as Honey Wholesale, Geraldton Fisherman’s Cooperative, Australian Global Exports, WA Corn Growers, Keto Kitchen and Browne’s Dairy.
Meanwhile, Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) Business Development Manager in Qatar, Diana Monis revealed to The Peninsula that Qatar is one of Australia’s top three trading partners in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, with two-way trade in goods and services valued at AUD2.8bn (2021–2022) and exhibiting annualised trend growth of 7.7 percent over the previous five years.
“Many Australian companies are registered and active in Qatar. Australian exports to Qatar are led by alumina, meat, and engineering services. Qatar’s exports to Australia are primarily aviation services, fertiliser and aluminium.”
She further explained that “sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority and other state-owned investment vehicles Hassad Food and Nebras Power, collectively had around AUD4bn in 2022 invested in Australia’s property, logistics, energy and agriculture sectors.”