Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd and Queensland Premier Anna Bligh Welcome Gulf Cooperation Council Business Mission to Queensland

Joint media release:

  • Minister for Foreign Affairs, The Hon Kevin Rudd
  • Premier of Queensland, The Hon Anna Bligh

Brisbane

9 May 2011

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd and Queensland Premier Anna Bligh today welcome a business and investment mission from member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to Queensland.

The delegation, comprising of approximately 30 business representatives from the Gulf countries of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman, are in Queensland to promote trade and investment with Gulf countries, including investment in infrastructure and services required to help rebuild Queensland.

The major two day Gulf region business mission was secured by Minister Rudd at the first ever Australia – Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Foreign Ministers' Strategic Dialogue in Abu Dhabi in March.

Jointly hosted by the Federal Government and the Government of Queensland, the GCC delegation is led by Her Excellency Reem Al Hashemi, Minister of State of the United Arab Emirates.

“The Australian Government is strongly committed to building up its links with the GCC," Mr Rudd said.

"The Gulf is a region of great strategic and economic importance to Australia, and I’m delighted to welcome this delegation to my home state of Queensland."

Premier Anna Bligh said the visit sent a strong message that Queensland was open for business, and still a great place to invest after the summer of natural disasters.

"Our Government worked hard to make this trip a reality and we have been in discussions with some delegates about what contribution they can make to our recovery efforts," said the Premier.

"I have been really impressed and heartened by their interest in Queensland and their desire to help.

"Queensland has growing ties with these Gulf States in business areas like education.

"Student enrolments in Queensland from the Middle East between January and July 2010 was 4450 and I am sure our friendship will continue to grow."

Mr Rudd added that ministers from all the Gulf States have expressed their sympathy for the people of Queensland, and more importantly their great willingness to support practical measures to help rebuild this state after the devastating floods.

"A high-level delegation is one way to support Queensland's economy. It is an opportunity for Queensland businesses to expand trade and investment links; be they in agriculture, education, scientific research, banking and finance or tourism."

The GCC is an important trading and investment partner of Australia.

Two way merchandise between the GCC and Australia totalled A$ 8.74 billion in 2010.

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