NZ and the UAE launch FTA negotiations

Minister for Trade Todd McClay today announced that New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will commence negotiations on a free trade agreement (FTA).

Minister McClay met with his counterpart UAE Trade Minister Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi in Dubai, where they announced the launch of negotiations on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) and discussed strengthening economic ties between New Zealand and the UAE.

Trade agreements are an important tool in this Government’s plan to rebuild our economy and a strong economy means we can provide the quality public services New Zealanders expect.

“The UAE is an important bilateral partner for New Zealand, and today’s launch of negotiations is an exciting step towards growing our significant trade and economic relationship” Mr McClay said.

This follows the conclusion of successful exploratory discussions, as well as public consultation, which demonstrated the importance of pursuing a high-quality agreement to boost our economy and unlock greater export opportunities.

Kiwi exporters are integral to revitalising our economy, which is why the Government has set the ambitious target of doubling exports by value within 10 years. New opportunities in the UAE will open further commercial opportunities that will lift domestic incomes and reduce the cost of living.  

“The UAE is a key export destination and hub in the Gulf region, and there are significant opportunities to enhance cooperation across a range of areas, including agriculture and sustainable energy.

A CEPA with the UAE would also complement our ongoing negotiations towards a free trade agreement with the Gulf Cooperation Council, and I was pleased to advance these discussions during my visit to Saudi Arabia last week and my discussions with Saudi and GCC counterparts”, Mr McClay said.

For more information, including to make submission, please visit www.mfat.govt.nz/nzuaecepa or contact UAECEPA@mfat.govt.nz.