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Australian SMBs are being urged to build new trade and export relationships in southeast and central Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Director of Trade and International Affairs, Bryan Clark from the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) today issued a statement in support of the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation forum being held in Perth.

The forum is an opportunity for business to learn about the significant trade opportunities afforded by the Indian Ocean region.

The region comprises some 30% of the world’s population, two thirds of the world’s oil reserves, one third of the world’s gas reserves, 80% of the world’s diamonds, and 60% of the world’s uranium, Clark cited in his statement.

“It is essential that Australia, as we now take on the chair role of the leading institution for this region, focuses attention on the opportunities which lay ahead in bringing this region into focus and supporting the development of the institutional frameworks which will enhance industry attention, economic development and regional cooperation,” Clark said.

“This is an important new challenge for Australia which should be giving equal weight to more established markets in a year when we will host the G20, and leverage momentum from the upcoming 9th WTO Ministerial Meeting in Bali in December,” Clark added.

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