The State Government of Victoria is celebrating 20 years of trade and tourism ties with the Middle East region. The Australian state set up its Victorian Government Business Office (VGBO) in 1997 to forge and strengthen trade and investment ties with the region, which two decades later has seen Victoria’s annual exports to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region grow to AUD$ 2.49 billion (US$ 1.85 billion).
Tourism and aviation links between Victoria and the region have also multiplied over the years, with Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways all flying daily to Melbourne. Emirates Airline has had a long-term relationship with Melbourne, having sponsored the famous Collingwood Football Club and the Emirates Melbourne Cup, the flagships among a portfolio of key partnerships in the state.
Etihad Airways also has a strong connection with Melbourne, which is home to Australia’s Etihad Stadium, and has seen the UAE’s national carrier become the lead sponsor of Melbourne City Football Club.