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The Perth economy will change significantly should the proposed World Trade Center Perth development financed by a middle eastern conglomerate and supported by the Government materialise.

This was announced today by The Hon. Colin Barnett and Mr Ghazi Abu Nahl, chairman of the World Trade Center New York Association which is the international licensing body. He is also head of Nest Investments Holdings Ltd, the pen ultimate owner of World Trade Centers Holdings (Cyprus) Ltd, which controls the Perth Subsidiary World Trade Center Perth who holds the license.

Mr Barnett and Mr Ghazi Abu Nahl confirmed they would move forward with discussions under the government’s Unsolicited Bid program to include government land in the proposed development.

Mr Ghazi Abu Nahl also confirmed the $50 million acquisition of 30 Beaufort Street; which was previously the Myer Megamart site. This location could be combined with the Unsolicited Bid land to form a landmark development for Perth’s inner city region. A final decision on land use will be negotiated by the parties over the coming months.

Woods Bagot is the unsolicited bid architect for the World Trade Center Perth project which will be a staged development.

Mr Barnett said the project was the first to successfully complete the Stage One preliminary assessment proposal under the Unsolicited Bids policy and would involve developing a unique commercial, residential and entertainment precinct on 1.9ha of land between the Perth and McIver train stations. He was joined by Perth’s Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi who endorsed the project on behalf of the City Council. "This is wonderful news for Perth and its economy as it will generate job opportunities and over A$100 million annually in significant trade revenue", she said.

Mr Neil Kidd, well known Perth property specialist and World Trade Center Perth Business Development Director will be responsible for the management of commercial activities for the Center in Perth and will also play a major role in the development of trade agreements with other World Trade Centers internationally with the local WTC. "Given our proximity to China, India and Japan and Perth’s friendly time zones, we are strategically located to take full advantage of this opportunity", he said.

Mr Kidd said WTC experience throughout the world was that local government was supportive of such strong commercial developments and he looked forward to working with its representatives to deliver the Perth Center in a timely manner.

Mr Ghazi Abu Nahl has strong ties with Perth where he owns several assets. His children were educated in part here and, along with Mrs Abu Nahl, are Australian citizens. He is internationally regarded as one of the world’s most astute business men, and sits on various economic committees. His business activities span re-insurance, banking, resort and property development, tourism and hotels. He has been a member of Lloyds insurance of London for more than 45 years and is currently the Chairman of World Trade Center Association in New York

There are 330 licenced World Trade Centers in over 90 countries which operate under the WTC brand and are a major global employer.

Nest Group develops Centers throughout North Africa and the Middle East where it operates 15 licenses. More recently Nest has ventured into China where it is planning major investments in various provinces. "We are already receiving significant trade inquiry from our members who have a huge appetite for investment in Perth", Mr Ghazi Abu Nahl, said.

Media Inquiries: Chris Codrington: 0412 9111 07