During the inaugural ceremony
More than 150 key government officials and senior embassy trade and investment leaders from New Zealand and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia attended the official inauguration of the New Zealand-Saudi Arabian Business Network Monday evening.
Hon. Gerry Brownlee, New Zealand’s Minister for Economic Development, Minister of Energy and Resources and Leader of the House, was guest of honour at the official launch, the third gathering of the network since it was established in October 2010. The event was held at the Riyadh residence of H.E. Rodney Harris, Ambassador of New Zealand in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Also in attendance were members of the Executive Committee of the New Zealand-Saudi Arabian Business Network.
The event coincided with the Minister’s visit to the region aiming to reinforce the value New Zealand places on the bilateral relationship with Saudi Arabia and the GCC, and to support emerging opportunities for New Zealand business interests in the education, healthcare, energy and water management, food security and tourism fields.
The Network aims to provide a solid base to assist New Zealand businesses across the GCC to grow and expand in the Saudi Arabian market, with support and advice from local senior officials – including the New Zealand Ambassador and Wayne Mikkelsen, Consul General and New Zealand Trade Commissioner. The Kingdom is a key export market for New Zealand, in particular for companies in the Food and Beverage (F&B) sector. Recent trade figures indicate that there has been more than 35 per cent growth in F&B exports from New Zealand to Saudi Arabia during 2009/2010.
The New Zealand-Saudi Arabian Business Network currently has approximately 50 New Zealand members based in Saudi Arabia, all leaders in their respective trade sectors.