DIFC and The Australia Gulf Council sign a Strategic Partner Agreement



Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the financial and business hub connecting the region’s growth markets with the markets of Europe, Asia and the Americas, announced a Strategic Partnership with the Australia Gulf Council (AGC). The agreement aims to promote and facilitate trade, investment and other opportunities between Dubai and Australia.

The partnership was formalised following the Annual Investment Meeting held in Dubai earlier this month, which was organised by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Trade to encourage investment opportunities in emerging markets and high growth regions.

The AGC recognises a range of dynamic sectors for future collaboration between Australia and the Gulf States including banking and finance, Sharia law, food and water security, and foreign investment. According to the AGC, the GCC region represents one of Australia’s top export markets worth AUD 8,739 million in 2010.

DIFC is a leading financial centre strategically located between the east and west, which provides a secure and efficient platform for business and financial institutions to reach into and out of the emerging markets of the region. The quality and range of DIFC’s independent regulation, common law framework, supportive infrastructure and its tax-free regime make it the perfect base to take advantage of the region’s rapidly growing demand for financial and business services.

The Strategic Partnership aims to bridge a closer network of business-to-business interactions between Australia and the Gulf States. Linking the DIFC to 32 Corporate Members of the AGC and a range of interested stakeholders in government and business will be the first step in leveraging the partnership.

Jonathan Herps who is part of the AGC’s Advisory Board and His Excellency Pablo Kang, Australian Ambassador to the UAE and Qatar attended the signing ceremony in Dubai today, along with Mr. Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, CEO, Dubai International Financial Centre Authority.

His Excellency Kang said: “I hope the new agreement would act as a catalyst to even further practical cooperation between Australian business organisations and Dubai."

Commenting on this agreement, Al Awar said: “This partnership agreement comes in line with our strategy to develop and build relationships with other key market players, further strengthening our position as one of the world’s top financial centres. This is our second collaborative agreement with an Australian body, which reflects our commitment to contribute towards the UAE’s economic growth by attracting Australian companies and offering them a platform to access regional opportunities.”

“It is my pleasure today to sign this strategic partnership agreement with the DIFC on behalf of the Australia Gulf Council. The new partnership presents outstanding opportunities for corporates in DIFC to connect with corporations and financial institutions in Australia. The MoU will further support the promotion of unexplored investment opportunities and conventional and Islamic finance investment between Australia and the GCC region among potential investors from both sides.” said Jonathan Herps, Member AGC Council of Distinguished Advisers.

Georgie Skipper, Board Member, AGC, said: “The Australia Gulf Council and DIFC have a number of areas where they strategically complement each other, which we are looking forward to maximising through our newly formed strategic partnership. In collaboration with the AGC partners and our network of corporate leaders, our strategic partnership with DIFC will drive long term and sustainable commercial outcomes for both our organisations”.

Over the last two years, DIFC has been strengthening its relationships with Australian entities. Two weeks ago, DIFC signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the New South Wales Trade and Investment, the government body responsible for driving sustainable economic growth in the state of New South Wales, Australia, and last year, the Centre welcomed two leading Australian financial firms, Macquarie Capital Finance (Dubai) Limited and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) to its community.

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