10 August 2020

Key insights

The Gulf & Saudi Arabia – Middle East government receipts from both oil and non-oil sources will be lower in the medium term. As a result, oil-exporting countries in the region have begun cutting subsidies, raising taxes and reimposing austerity measures that had only recently ended following the 2015 decline in oil prices.

South Africa – The Mineral Council of South Africa has announced a new Mining Charter, to promote development in the mining industry. The Charter requires greater commitment from foreign companies operating in the resources sector. This means Australian METS companies may need to either partner with a local South African company to supply into the country’s mining industry, or consider registering a local subsidiary company.

Market opportunities

Dubai – New themes will create fresh opportunities for Australian exporters at the EXPO 2020 Dubai, now scheduled for October 2021. ‘Innovation’ has been added to ‘Sustainability’, ‘Education’ and ‘Partnering for economic growth’. The DFAT and Austrade Expo taskforce is conducting programming workshops with the states and territories – and industry stakeholders – to validate Australia’s priorities post-COVID.

UAE – The General Secretary of the Emirates Cricket Board says the UAE will extend full support to the Indian Premier League cricket tournament to be hosted in Dubai if India cannot accommodate the games. Dubai’s first public conference in four months was held on 16 July announcing it was ‘back in business’.

Middle East and Africa – Education institutions in West Africa and East Africa are increasing their uptake of edtech across the region, in particular e-learning frameworks that will guide curricula development at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. Austrade will showcase Australian capability to policy makers in the region to facilitate the market entry of Australian edtech to education platforms and service providers.

Sub-Saharan Africa – hanges in health policy may create new opportunities for Australian telemedicine providers. Governments across sub-Saharan Africa are trying to minimise the movement of people as they move from regional areas to cities to seek medical assistance. Currently, banks, telecoms-providers and private health-service companies are partnering to provide customers with an array of e-health products. These services aim to enable doctors to diagnose, conduct investigations, and treat and remotely monitor patients for general medical problems.

Kenya & Nigeria – Telecommunications companies and local telemedicine service providers are partnering to scale up telemedicine solutions, which include internet consultation and diagnosis. The insurance sector is supporting initiatives by reimbursing costs associated with services. These strategic partnerships provide an opportunity for Australian companies, including those involved in drone technology, telemedicine, online pharmacies, remote disease-tracking and remote patient-monitoring systems.

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