The state of South Australia is providing an increasingly attractive investment destination for businesses in the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) region.
Investment Attraction South Australia, the South Australian Government’s lead agency for attracting foreign direct investment is currently touring Qatar, the UAE and Kuwait in a bid to further strengthen trade and investment ties.
Investment Attraction South Australia specialises in working with international firms looking to expand into Australia and the visiting delegates will meet with senior business leaders in each country with a key focus on the financial and business services sector.
This is the first mission to the MENA region that Investment Attraction South Australia has taken part in, and the agency’s Director of Financial Services and Capital Markets Mario Pegoli says he hopes to use the trip to build a more detailed understanding of the investment landscape and establish networks with business and investment houses.
“We are here with a common purpose – to forge closer relationships with like-minded businesses – to develop mutually beneficial business opportunities,” Mr Pegoli said.
“We’re keen to showcase the attributes that make South Australia an attractive business destination particularly in the finance and business services sector.”
Investment Attraction South Australia will hold talks with leading investment authorities, banks and financial institutions across the sector.
Among the high profile firms the group will meet with are Qatar Investment Authority, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Dubai International Financial Centre Authority and the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre Authority.
Mr Pegoli said during the past 20 years, the Australian financial services industry has experienced the highest rate of growth of any sector of the economy to become Australia’s largest industry. At over nine per cent of the national economy, the financial and insurance services sector is larger than Australia’s mining, agriculture or manufacturing industries.
“South Australia is part of Australia’s sophisticated financial ecosystem and our capital city Adelaide offers a more affordable, flexible and accessible central business district than capital cities interstate,” Mr Pegoli said.
“The state’s 1.7 million population is large enough to facilitate development and growth with advanced business infrastructure that is safe, efficient and reliable.
“Our state is geared to give companies a better return on their investment - providing a highly attractive, profitable location for financial and business services operations thanks to our skilled labour pool, our status as one of the world’s most liveable cities and our competitive office and labour prices.
“So my message for companies in the Middle East and Northern Africa is that if you value working in an innovative, sustainable city, you should consider coming to Adelaide to capitalise on these advantages.”
The Middle East and Northern Africa region is a key target for the South Australia Government in terms of trade and investment partnerships.
In the 2015-2016 financial year South Australia trade exports to MENA totalled approximately A$656 million. Key exports typically included agricultural products such as grains, oil seeds and vegetables, fresh meat, and live animals.
Export opportunities continue to open up with flights from Adelaide to Doha on Qatar Airways and Adelaide to Dubai with Emirates, providing businesses with direct market access to capitalise on growing demand.
This mission marks the start of regular trade missions and opportunities for hosting inbound delegates to local events and activities in South Australia.