New Zealand eyes boosting trade ties with GCC
In a bid to enhance its trade relations with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), New Zealand’s trade minister has led a business delegation to the UAE on Sunday (September 25).
During the two-day visit, the 15-member team headed by Minister of Trade Todd McClay has met with a number of senior officials and business leaders in Sharjah.
Businesses accompany the minister include Tait Radio, Fonterra, Orion Health, AsureQuality, FRAMECAD, Sequal Lumber, Fiber Fresh, Cognition Education, Wintec, Unitec and Service IQ.
With annual exports worth more than $1.23 billion the GCC is the sixth largest export partner of the island nation.
The UAE is home to regional offices of many New Zealand firms operating in the wider GCC and Middle East region.
“New Zealand’s high quality food production systems and pastoral farming expertise make it a natural partner for the United Arab Emirates,” says McClay.
Abdullah Sultan Al Owais, Chairman of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said both the countries have growing economic ties and a mutual interest to develop these relations.
“Today’s meeting follows the MoU signed (in March last year) between UAE Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, which was aimed at facilitating business and investment between the two countries,” added Al Owais.
As education is also among the agenda, the minister will meet with education leaders in Dubai to showcase New Zealand’s expertise and the opportunities available for collaboration. GCC is one of New Zealand’s largest markets in higher education and skills training service delivery.
“The UAE can also trust New Zealand as a source of high tech innovation and services. By combining 21st century sensibilities with ingenuity and technical capability, New Zealand is able to export world-leading and cost-effective products and services,” he adds.
The delegation will leave to Riyadh for biennial trade and economic discussions with the government of Saudi Arabia.