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Australia to establish an Embassy in the United Arab Emirates



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M ED IA RELEASE MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS ALEXANDER DOWNER

EMBARGOED UNTIL 1700, 26 AUGUST 1998

FA113 26 August 1998

AUSTRALIA TO ESTABLISH AN EMBASSY IN THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

I am pleased to announce that the Government has agreed to the establishment of an Australian Embassy in Abu Dhabi. This decision reflects our long-standing and friendly relations with the United Arab Emirates, the UAE’s political and economic importance in the Gulf region and its growing economic importance to Australia.

Australia’s commercial relationship with the UAE is our largest in the Middle East. Last financial year our exports to the UAE increased by 60 per cent to a record $1,065 billion. The UAE is Australia’s second largest customer for passenger motor vehicles and an important market for alumina and live animals.

The UAE is also a potentially significant source of investment for Australia.

The new Embassy in the UAE will contribute significantly to the underpining of Austrade’s trade promotion efforts in the region and enable the Government to provide better consular service for some 2000 Australians who live and work in the Emirates. An Embassy in the

capital Abu Dhabi will be a valuable addition to Australia’s existing Consulate-General in Dubai. ,

The UAE Embassy in Canberra has done much to promote bilateral cooperation since opening one year ago, and I would hope that an Australian Embassy in Abu Dhabi would complement that work.

This decision demonstrates the Government’s determination to pursue commercial interests on a truly global basis and our growing links more generally with the countries of the Gulf.

Media Inquires: Ministerial - Innes Willox (02) 6277 7500 or 0419 206 890 Departmental - Tony Melville (02) 6261 1555

Media releases and speeches are available from DFAT via the internet, http://www.dfat.gov.au/