New Zealand Business Delegation to Visit UAE
The largest ever business delegation to visit the Middle East from New Zealand, led by the New Zealand Minister of Trade, the Honourable Tim Groser, is set to arrive in the UAE this week with the aim of reinforcing and expanding trade relationships between the two countries.
The delegation consists of over 90 New Zealand business leaders representing over 60 leading New Zealand companies looking to capitalise on the solid growth and economic modernisation taking place throughout the region.
According to New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), the government’s economic development agency, the GCC as a whole is an increasingly important contributor to New Zealand’s economic prosperity. Trade between New Zealand and the GCC totalled over USD2.1 billion last year - a 40 per cent increase since 2000 - making the GCC New Zealand’s sixth largest bilateral trading partner.
As one of New Zealand’s largest Middle Eastern markets, the importance of the UAE for New Zealand cannot be underestimated. Trade between the two nations was valued at over US$ 563 million in 2009 – making up 28 per cent of total bilateral trade between New Zealand and the GCC. New Zealand exports to the UAE amounted to over US$ 245 million in 2009 – a 61 per cent increase on 2007 figures, while total exports from the UAE to New Zealand stood at over US$318 million with crude oil and petroleum accounting for the bulk of this.
Mr Groser, New Zealand Minister of Trade, commented on the visit: “New Zealand companies are committed to building long term, mutually beneficial commercial relationships with their Emirati counterparts here in the UAE, and our depth of commitment to this market is demonstrated by the size and strength of our accompanying business delegation.”
“This is a unique chance for New Zealand business leaders to demonstrate to local partners here the breadth of expertise that they can offer - expanding and diversifying the existing economic relationships within the UAE,” he added.
As a region that is likely to emerge strongly from the global recession, the UAE plays an important role for New Zealand companies. It is a growing market for New Zealand products and services, but also the primary trading hub for the region and an excellent base from which to carry out business throughout the Middle East
Some examples of successful New Zealand companies in the UAE include Global Timber Homes who have recently been involved in the design and build of a wooden over water restaurant at Al Raha Beach constructed using sustainable New Zealand pine, Pultron Composites who have set up a factory in Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free Zone to manufacture fibreglass reinforced pultrusion rebars for reinforcing in construction, and New Zealand technology companies such as Orion Health, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, 4RF Communications, and Tait Electronics who have all set up in the UAE to take advantage of the strong infrastructure for the wider technology sector and to utilise this location as a regional hub for technology related companies.
Government lead initiatives such as this GCC business mission aim to broaden the trade relationship with the UAE by developing sectors such as food and beverage, specialised manufacturing, information and communications technology and education, as well as investigating new opportunities for trade and investment.
The Minister of Trade and the business delegation will visit Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait, before completing their visit in Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.