H.E. Engineer Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, recently held a meeting with H.E. Todd McClay, New Zealand’s Trade Minister, to discuss moves to enhance cooperation and economic relations between the two countries, especially across vital sectors and areas like renewable energy, agriculture, food and innovation. Minister McClay was accompanied by a special trade delegation from New Zealand.
The meeting was held at the Ministry of Economy’s headquarters in Dubai. Also present during the meeting were senior UAE officials that included H.E. Engineer Mohammed Ahmed Bin Abdulaziz Al-Shehhi, Undersecretary for Economic Affairs; H.E. Abdullah bin Ahmed Al Saleh, Under-Secretary for Foreign Trade and Industry; H.E. Juma Mohammed Al Kait, Assistant Undersecretary for Foreign Trade Affairs; Sultan Ahmed Darwish, Director of Trade Negotiations and WTO and Tariq Al Suwaidi, Government Communication Director for the Ministry of Economy.
The meeting focused on reinforcing cooperative ties between the two countries in the field of renewable energy, which complements an agreement signed between the UAE and New Zealand in 2014, which covers the deployment of renewable energy solutions in various regions of the world—lauding the role played by ‘MASDAR’ as a crucial factor to its success.
The officials also discussed moves on how to strengthen cooperation in the trade sector and to increase non-oil trade rates between the two countries, which stood at USD 715 million in 2015 (AED 2.6 billion). The two countries also talked about effective means on urging institutions and investors from both the UAE and New Zealand to take advantage of the available investment opportunities in various fields—throwing key focus on agriculture, food industries, innovation, knowledge economy and civil aviation. The participants also discussed the current status of the Free Trade Agreement between the GCC and New Zealand.
During the meeting, H.E. Sultan Al Mansouri emphasized on the UAE’s keenness towards strengthening and developing bilateral relations with New Zealand, especially in economic and trade segments that contribute to the promotion of development and upgrading frameworks of cooperation in various fields such as technology, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and tourism.
H.E. Al Mansouri threw the spotlight on the unique investment environment of the UAE and welcomed the entry of New Zealand’s investments across various sectors, urging New Zealand’s business community to take advantage of investment opportunities in the UAE and the attractive incentives that come with it.
H.E. Al Mansouri also encouraged New Zealand to participate in the coming Expo 2020 exhibition, which the UAE will be hosting in Dubai and is expected to be participated in by more than 180 countries—giving the opportunity of enhancing the ability of countries to showcase their products and communicate directly with the 25 million visitors.
Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Minister of Trade praised the development of the bilateral relations between the two countries and expressed confidence in furthering cooperation and exploration of new areas and opportunities to promote the two countries’ relations. He also praised the early preparations for the Expo 2020 and expects Dubai to organize a distinctive successful version of the Expo as backed by its capabilities and expertise in hosting and organizing major international events.