UAE- Australian relations witness remarkable growth

Abu Dhabi: The bilateral relations between UAE and Australia have witnessed remarkable progress in the recent years since the opening of the UAE Embassy in Canberra in 1997.

Both countries enjoy long term bilateral relations based on trade in the areas of oil, gas, minerals, meat, livestock and others. They also have cooperation ties in the fields of military, defence and security.

H. H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister and Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr signed yesterday the Cooperation Agreement on Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy. The deal sets the framework for civil cooperation in the nuclear energy between both countries, and facilitates the trade exchange of nuclear materials and equipment. It follows a number of agreements signed by the UAE with a number of countries that export nuclear materials and technology.

In accordance with the deal, Australia will export to UAE uranium to be used in the peaceful nuclear energy programme. Australia possesses the largest uranium reserve in the world.

The UAE-Australian ties cover other areas such as health, culture, education and aviation. Emirates Airlines operates 70 flights weekly to Australia, and is about to launch another direct flight to Adelaide state for four times a week. Meanwhile Etihad Airways operates 21 flights weekly to Australia. Virgin Australia operates three flights from Sidney to Abu Dhabi weekly.

Many Australians visit the UAE for tourism or work, while a number of Emiratis visit Australia for tourism or study.

Regarding the bilateral trade ties, they increased by 10 per cent to 6.4 billion Australian dollars in 2011.