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The Middle East has long held interest as a region for trade, cultural exchange and political dialogue. More recently, the region has drawn significant attention specifically related to Australian strategic interests in the Middle East and geo-political events in the Arab world (comprising the 22 member states of the Arab League). The Australia Gulf Council (AGC) was established to bring together corporate, political and diplomatic representatives at the highest levels to facilitate trade, investment and cultural exchange between Australia and GCC countries. The Council for Australian Arab Relations (CAAR) was established in 2003 by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to create links and promote relations between Australia and the Arab world. Dr Anne Aly was appointed to the CAAR by Minister Stephen Smith in 2009 and continues to serve as a board member with accountability for promoting Australian Arab relations through education.
The AAISA will capitalise and strengthen existing and emerging synergies between Australia and the Arab region through education, Business, dialogue and exchange other mutual interests. It will identify common trade and business priorities and build links with the Arab world by facilitating collaborations between the partners and institutions in the Arab world to address those priorities.