UAE flag flies over a boat at Dubai Marina
IBTimes US

Minister of State for Foreign Trade of the United Arab Emirates, Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, said that the country has started preliminary discussions to grow trade relations with New Zealand under the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.

Minister Al Zeyoudi took to X, formerly known as Twitter, on Thursday to share a series of photographs where he can be seen shaking hands with New Zealand's Minister of Agriculture, Damien O'Connor, and sitting with the New Zealand delegation at a dining table in Dubai.

The delegation consists of the Ambassador of New Zealand to the UAE, Richard Kay; the Director-General of the Trade Policy and Negotiations Division, Wendy Matthews; the Director-General of the Middle East and Africa Division, Jonathan Curr; and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Sean O'Brien.

It also consists of the Press Secretary to the Minister for Trade and Export Growth, Sean O'Brien; the Private Secretary to the Minister for Trade and Export Growth, Rebecca Good; and the Policy Officer, Trade Policy and Negotiations Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Sammy O'Hara.

"A pleasure to welcome @DamienOConnorMP, New Zealand's Minister of Trade & Export Growth 🇳🇿, to Dubai. Our collective non-oil trade surged by 7% in 2022, reaching $805m, and we discussed the great potential for us to drive this number higher under a future UAE-NZ CEPA," he posted.

Al Zeyoudi issued a statement following the meeting to emphasize how trade figures will significantly boost in the future, noting that both countries already share a productive trade relationship as it reached $805 Million in 2022.

"New Zealand is a valued partner for the UAE in the Oceania region and a nation that shares our firm belief in open, rules-based trade as a catalyst for sustainable economic growth," the UAE's Foreign Trade minister said, Zaywa reported.

He continued, "As we seek to expand our network of trading partners, exploring a potential Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement demonstrates our commitment to delivering new markets and new opportunities for our private sector."

The minister suggested that both nations can now look forward to "establishing the parameters of a future-facing, resilient and mutually beneficial deal."

New Zealand's Agriculture Minister also shared his thoughts regarding the meeting and said these exploratory discussions are an important first step toward a trade agreement with the UAE, which is one of the key export destinations and a valued bilateral partner for New Zealand.

Considering the trade between both countries, the UAE exports Crude Petroleum, Ethylene Polymers, and Tufted Carpets to New Zealand while it imports Concentrated Milk, Malt Extract, and Motor vehicles; parts, and accessories.