Premier leads mission to Lebanon and the UAE

15 May 2012

NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell is visiting Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates to build relationships with NSW. He will tour parts of Lebanon and hold high level  meetings with senior government and religious leaders before visiting the UAE to promote trade and investment in NSW.

Mr O'Farrell said business links between NSW and Lebanon were well established but he was keen to work with Lebanese Australians and their contacts in Lebanon, to grow them even further.

"The NSW Government is committed to strengthening our economy by building our trade and investment relationships with key markets, such as the UAE.

"My role as Premier is to promote NSW as a stable destination for investment and to help develop ties that will open markets for NSW companies and deliver economic benefit for our State.

"The UAE is an important market for NSW because of its continuing growth and our complementary economies.

"Our commercial relationship with the UAE has a solid basis – bilateral trade between the UAE and NSW was worth almost $504 million dollars  in 2010-11, an increase of just over 150 per cent from 2005-06.

"There are more opportunities for growth, especially in  sectors where NSW has strengths and expertise that are sought in the UAE, such as building and construction, financial services and food product  manufacturing.

"The Middle East is forecast to spend $1 trillion on large infrastructure projects in the next five to 10 years.

"This visit, which complements the work done by the NSW Trade & Investment office in Abu Dhabi, follows my successful missions to China and India last year which are part of a strategic effort by the NSW Government to lead regular delegations to key markets to drive economic growth in NSW," Mr O'Farrell said.