Australia's relationship with the middle east - a trade perspective

2017-06-08T06:28:47Z (GMT) by Khachan, Geraldine Reiman, Cornelis
Although the Middle East continues to feature as a prominent part of the global scene, there are misunderstandings as to its composition and characteristics. Even so, the region is of increasing interest to Australia, as attested to by the current Parliamentary Inquiry into Australia's Relations with the Middle East, including the Gulf Region, doing so through sub-committees of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade. This paper identifies the Middle East from an economic perspective in relation to the potential for increased Australian trade relations in the future. In assessing Australia's trade activity in the region, this paper further defines the Middle East by reviewing the composition of its international trade. Australia's contribution is found to be much lower than that of the European Union or Asia. However, Australia is slowly improving its position. Given low market penetration, the implications are that Australia should re-examine its Middle East trade and foreign policy in order to secure long-term export earnings from an expanding and accessible market. This is especially so when the Middle East is found to consume a more diverse range of products than Australia has traditionally exported.