The recent Businesswomen’s Trade Mission to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, sponsored by the NSW government, has been hailed a success. Louise Denver reports back on the jam-packed event.
The multi-talented party of 25 women, many of whom were the CEO or MD of their own business, were led on the trade mission by NSW Minister for Ageing and Disability, and acting Minister for Small Business, Kristina Keneally.
Supported by NSW Department of State and Regional Development who organised a portfolio of business matching opportunities for each participant through Austrade, the party was also reciprocating a visit to Australia last year from leading Dubai Businesswomen Raja Al Gurg, Faisa Saeed and Maryam Al Noor—initiated and organised by the AACCI—as well as a business trip this year from Abu Dhabi’s Fatima Al Jaber.
These businesswomen, representing the Dubai Businesswomen’s Council, and the Abu Dhabi Businesswomen’s Council, graciously hosted the NSW Trade Mission, putting on a mix and match of opportunities for the businesses who were represented, which extended from fashion, through health and beauty products, to water-proofing, fire-proofing and IT.
Everyone on the tour either initiated business, or will consider setting up a JV or office representation in the region. The opportunities in the training sector were paramount with both UAE emirates being under construction, says Keneally. Some of the unique painting, fireproofing and waterproofing systems the women also represented stirred up a lot of interest. As did the special lavoche breads from Kurrajong Kitchens, which turned out to be just what Emirates Airline needed.
Keneally was telling in her remarks about the opportunities between our two great nations, quoting the huge increase in exports over the past decade from Australia to the UAE, which continue to grow at 50 percent a year. She was able to see the opportunities for herself on her first visit to Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and noted how attractive it had become as a tourist destination. Keneally also appeared on television along with the AACCI’s immediate past chair from NSW, Juliet Zora. Keneally was quoted in a number of newspapers and magazines along with the Dubai Business women and the two representatives of the AACCI.
As well as meeting ministers in her own portfolio, she led the Australian businesswomen to functions hosted by Jeremy Bruer, the Australian Ambassador, Kym Hewitt, Austrade’s senior trade commissioner, and their partners.
—Louise Denver is executive officer, NSW chapter, of the Australia Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry.