The Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon Scott Morrison officially launched the first ever Australia United Arab Emirates Business Council aimed at deepening bilateral trade and investment, and expanding opportunities for Australian and UAE businesses, today in Sydney.

His Excellency Dr. Anwar Mohammed Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, followed the Australian Prime Minister, welcoming the launch of the Business Council.

“Since the establishments of diplomatic relations in 1975, the UAE and Australia have been bound together by strong and longstanding ties, ranging from trade, tourism, investments and culture, to people-to-people contacts, ultimately leading to mutual benefit for both our nations.” Said HE Dr. Anwar Gargash.

“I would like to welcome the decision to inaugurate this Business Council despite the pandemic. I truly believe that this Council will accelerate the growth of our economic cooperation in the years to come, as well as enhance investment and trade exchange.” HE added.

The launch was also attended by UAE Ambassador to Australia, His Excellency Abdulla Al Subousi, the Australian co-chair the Hon Christopher Pyne and the UAE co-chair Badr Al-Olama who provided a video message of support from the UAE.

Australian Co-Chair, Mr Pyne, said that the establishment of the business council was long overdue for the two nations.

“I was surprised to learn during my time in politics that there has never been a business council before between Australia and the UAE. Our countries have so much to offer each other and it is our interest to promote mutual prosperity,” said Mr Pyne.

“The Council will allow Australian and Emirati businesses an unparalleled chance to connect with decision makers in both government and enterprise, to better foster and understand future requirements and opportunities.”

UAE Co-Chair, Badr Al-Olama, said: “Establishing an Australia UAE Business Council has long been overdue, since our two great nations have been great allies and great friends over the many years.

“The depth and breadth of this long-standing relationship is demonstrated by the standing of the UAE as Australia’s largest trading partner in the Middle East, and the appeal of Australia as one of the top real estate investment destinations for the UAE.”

By way of background – About the Australia UAE Business Council Co-Chairs

The Hon Christopher Pyne – Australian Co-Chair

Christopher Pyne served as the 54th Australian Defence Minister and was responsible for delivering the $200 billion build-up of Australia’s military capability, the largest in Australia’s peacetime history.

Christopher worked to ensure the growth and sustainment of Australia’s Defence Industry, and thus implemented Australia’s Defence Export Strategy, Defence Industrial Capability Plan, and the Naval Shipbuilding Plan. He also created the Defence Cooperative Research Centre, the Centre for Defence Industry Capability, the Defence Innovation Hub, and the Next Generation Technology Fund.

Christopher also sought to strengthen Australia’s defence ties with other countries, establishing the Australia France Initiative, settling Defence Memoranda of Understanding with Israel, China, and Switzerland, and initiating Memoranda of Understanding with the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Christopher was a Minister in the Howard, Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison Governments, holding various portfolios including Ageing, Education, Industry Innovation and Science, and Defence.

Christopher was elected to Parliament in 1993 and served as the Member for Sturt for 26 years. During this time, he was in the Liberal Party Leadership Group for 10 years, and Leader of the House of Representatives for six years.

Badr Al-Olama – Emirati Co-Chair

Badr Al-Olama heads Aerospace at Mubadala Investment Company (Mubadala), and is Chairman of its portfolio businesses Strata Manufacturing PJSC (Strata) and the Sanad Group (Sanad). Badr is also a board director at the UAE Space Agency, Oumolat Security Printing, TASIAP GmbH – a joint venture with Daimler AG, and a number of automotive joint ventures in Algeria that produce Daimler and Rheinmetall vehicles.

Badr heads the organising committee for the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS) – a pioneering collaborative platform that has been jointly established by the United Arab Emirates and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). Through GMIS, Badr also oversees the Mohammed Bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity – an open innovation platform that seeks to solve real-world challenges by recognising the corporate social responsibility of global manufacturers.

Prior to his current engagements, Badr was the former Chief Executive Officer of Strata, former President of the UAE Harvard Club, a former board director at Emirates Defense Industries Company (EDIC), and a former member of the UAE Ministerial Council on the Fourth Industrial Revolution. He also led the strategic development of Nibras Al Ain Aerospace Park, which aims to establish a sustainable aerospace ecosystem in Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates.

Nominated as a ‘Young Global Leader for the Middle East and North Africa region’ by the World Economic Forum in 2016, Badr began his career as a lawyer at Habib Al-Mulla & Company (currently known as Baker & McKenzie Habib Al-Mulla). He has a degree in Shari’a and Law from the UAE University (2002) and holds an LL.M from Harvard Law School (2005)