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Posted On: 6 February 2009 02:53 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

Brisbane to build ties with Qatar

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A trade delegation from Brisbane is in Doha to explore new avenues for promotion of bilateral trade between the Australian state capital of Queensland and Qatar. Brisbane Councilor, Lord Mayor Campbell Newman is heading the trade mission. The team consisting of a dozen firms specialising mainly in the construction industry is hoping to set up partnerships with their Qatari counterparts. “Our objective is to explore mutual beneficial trade and economic opportunities and we are interested in a long term economic and cultural relationship between Brisbane and Qatar,” Newman told The Peninsula yesterday at the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry which hosted the delegation. Newman said Brisbane is the fastest growing city in Australia and over the next few years the city will continue to see- in spite of the current economic circumstances- an increase in population and as a result requirements for massive infrastructure investment for the private and public sector like housing, schools, roads, hospitals and other social infrastructure. “Over the next 20 years our region will go from around 3 million people to at least 4.5 million and that is a big challenge to deal with,” Newman said. Therefore, there are big opportunities for Qatari investors to invest in infrastructure, like in public–private partnership projects. “We are looking for investors for new hotels in Brisbane and probably on the Gulf Coast in the longer term. If Qatari businessmen are interested in investing in education facilities in Queensland for example, that would be welcomed,” he said. Queensland is strong in a variety of sectors that offer plenty of opportunities worth exploring like education, bio-technology, a growing computer games industry, mining and agriculture as well as energy. “We have companies here interested in providing services into the region and we are interested back in Brisbane whether there could be a way to boost tourism. Many people from the GCC now come to Queensland, particularly to the Gulf Coast for holidays. We would like to look at how we could explore growth in that area as well,” he said. He said Brisbane is also interested in students coming from Qatar and studying in the city especially that it has a very welcoming environment and the fact that it is multi-cultural. Trade balance between Australia and Qatar is in favour of the later as Australia’s exports to Qatar stood at A$ 196m and its imports from Qatar stood at A$ 240m in 2007. Australia’s imports from Qatar consist mainly of fertilisers, petroleum and exports vehicles, meat and agricultural products.