FROM OPPOSITE CORNERS
TBY talks to Hon. Barnaby Joyce, Deputy Prime Minister of Australia and Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources, on energy security and the ventures that UAE-based businesses are making down under.
The UAE and Australia entered an agreement on Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy in 2014. How has this improved bilateral relations between the two countries so far?
The nuclear cooperation agreement has added another important strand to our strategic bilateral relationship with the UAE as it moves to adopt ambitious targets for low carbon energy production, and reduce its reliance on oil. The UAE is already our largest trading partner in the Middle East. The Australia-UAE Agreement on Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy is necessary for Australian uranium to be used in civilian nuclear power generation in the UAE. Bilateral nuclear cooperation agreements set out strict conditions for the peaceful use, safeguarding, and security of Australian uranium supply.
In 2015, UAE investment in Australia amounted to AUD12.5 billion (AED35.25 billion), with sovereign wealth funds such as the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) being the major investors. What investment opportunities does Australia provide, particularly for the UAE's private sector?
The UAE is already a significant investor in Australia, particularly through sovereign wealth funds like the ADIA, which became the largest hotel owner in Australia with its 2103 purchase of 31 Accor-branded hotels. Total UAE investment in Australia was estimated at AUD12.5 billion in 2015. Looking to other opportunities, Australia is currently undertaking major infrastructure investments, and looking for foreign investors to participate in a wide range of projects including roads, rail, dams and other water infrastructure. I encourage UAE investors to consider the opportunities offered for partnerships in such projects right across Australia. There is also a particular focus on developing northern Australia in this regard, and Australia now has a dedicated Minister for Northern Australia, Senator the Hon. Matt Canavan.
Earlier in 2016, Sharjah's great investment potential in sectors such as tourism, environment, health, and transport was promoted at a Sharjah-Australia business roundtable. How will the Emirate's rewarding business climate increase opportunities for Australian investors, and which sector looks the most promising?
Australia is aware that the UAE is the second largest economy in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia, and that the UAE has been building on its traditional oil and gas wealth by diversifying into new economic activities. There are already over 360 Australian companies with a presence in the UAE and working in a range of sectors, including in agricultural supplies and services. There are now 130 return air flights per week operating between the UAE and Australia; therefore, there are expanding opportunities for commercial contact and two-way tourism.
Despite socio-political turbulence and falling commodity prices in the MENA region, the UAE remains the most stable and diversified economy. What is your outlook for the UAE in the medium term, and how do you envision future relations between Australia and the UAE?
The UAE is Australia's largest trading partner in the Middle East and 16th largest overall, with two-way goods and services trade worth AUD8.8 billion in 2015. As the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, naturally I take a particular interest in our bilateral agricultural and food trade including related services trade. Australia will remain a reliable supplier of safe and high quality food and agricultural products to the UAE. Australia exported AUD913.2 million of agricultural goods to UAE in 2015. The top 5 agricultural exports to the UAE in 2015 were sheep meat (AUD190.4 million), beef (AUD 97.6 million), rape or colza (AUD 92.8 million), almonds (AUD 72.6 million), and dairy preparations (AUD 68.2 million).
FROM OPPOSITE CORNERS
TABLE OF CONTENTS
HH Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Federal Supreme Council and Ruler, Sharjah
HH Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Federal Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, has been an inspiring leader of the Emirate since 1972, carefully watching over its development into the cultural capital of the Islamic world.read article
Sheikh Fahim Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Executive Chairman, Department of Government Relations
TBY talks to Sheikh Fahim Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Executive Chairman of the Department of Government Relations, on his department's role in coordinating the delivery of information to key stakeholders and the important part it plays in cultivating sustainable development.read article
HE Sultan Abdullah Bin Hadda Al Suwaidi, Chairman , Sharjah Economic Development Department
TBY talks to HE Sultan Abdullah Bin Hadda Al Suwaidi, Chairman of Sharjah Economic Development Department, on the resilience of Sharjah's economy and building on its well-diversified foundations.read article
HE Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman, Sharjah Media Corporation
TBY talks to HE Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Media Corporation & Chairman of Sharjah Media Centre, on competitiveness in the sector, its influence on the other Emirates, and expectations for the future.read article
HE Waleed Al Sayegh, Director General , Sharjah's Finance Departmen
TBY talks to HE Waleed Al Sayegh, Director General of Sharjah's Finance Department & CEO of Sharjah Asset Management, on fiscal policy direction and initiatives being introduced to increase efficiency and transparency from the top down.read article
Dr. Rashid Al Leem, Chairman , Sharjah Energy and Water Authority (SEWA)
TBY talks to Dr. Rashid Al Leem, Chairman of Sharjah Energy and Water Authority (SEWA), on the challenges facing the Emirate's plan to reach 30% water re-use by 2020, and changing the attitudes through education.read article
Mohammed N. Al Hazzaa, Director General , Emirates Company for Industrial Cities (ECIC),
TBY talks to Mohammed N. Al Hazzaa, Director General of Emirates Company for Industrial Cities (ECIC), on the company's performance, government support of the private sector, and forecasting occupancy trends.read article
Focus: Reducing water and power consumption
Under Dr. Rashid Al Leem's stewardship, Sharjah is aiming to become the first City of Conservation. This principally encompasses supplying electricity and water through sustainable avenues with technological efficiency while raising awareness of sustainability practices.read article
Ted Young, Project Head, Al Zahia Communities Business Unit at Majid Al Futtaim Properties
TBY talks to Ted Young, Project Head of the Al Zahia Communities Business Unit at Majid Al Futtaim Properties, on the reasons behind the market's resilience and the future of housing demands in the Emirate.read article
Focus: Mixed-use Developments
Cities within Cities
Sharjah's real estate sector is undergoing important transformations, with the government and developers focusing on megaprojects to attract investors. For this purpose, mixed-use developments are increasingly preferred to purely residential or commercial developments.read article
Focus: Fighting Cardiac Disease
The UAE Ministry of Health has stated that over half of all deaths in the UAE are the result of four oft-occurring issues: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, road traffic accidents, and congenital abnormalities. A survey from the Emirates Cardiac Society showed that almost 9 in 10 Emiratis are at risk of heart disease, with one in three unaware of that fact.read article
HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman , Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA)
TBY talks to HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), on the growing tourism sector in the Emirate, its strategies to boost cruise tourism, and the incredible progress in Sharjah.read article
Manal Ataya, Director General , Sharjah Museums Department (SMD)
TBY talks to Manal Ataya, Director General of the Sharjah Museums Department (SMD), on cooperating on international exhibits, its educational festivals, and the challenge to ensure that museums are accessible to all.read article
Hanan Al Mahmoud, Director, Al Jawaher Reception & Convention Centre (JRCC)
TBY talks to Hanan Al Mahmoud, Director of Al Jawaher Reception & Convention Centre (JRCC), on the appeal of Sharjah as a MICE destination, plans for expansion, and the projected benefits of Expo 2020.read article