Trade Minister travels to Riyadh, OECD, and Dubai

Trade Minister Todd McClay heads overseas today for high-level trade talks in the Gulf region, and a key OECD meeting in Paris.

Mr McClay will travel to Riyadh to meet with counterparts from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

“New Zealand’s goods and services exports to the Gulf region totalled $2.5 billion in 2023, but that trade isn’t yet covered by a free trade agreement,” Mr McClay says.

“The GCC is an important partner for New Zealand, and I look forward to building our relationships and making progress towards an FTA.”

Mr McClay will also travel to Dubai, where he will discuss progress of exploratory talks towards a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with the United Arab Emirates.

“I’m looking forward to returning to the United Arab Emirates to talk with my counterparts about how we can grow the trade and economic relationship between our two countries.

“These discussions build on recent rounds of exploratory discussions, as well as public consultations, and are complementary to the ongoing free trade negotiations with the Gulf Cooperation Council,” Mr McClay says.

In Paris, Mr McClay will attend the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting alongside other trade, foreign affairs and finance ministers from OECD member and partner countries.

This year’s discussions will focus on the importance of free trade and investment for accelerating the global economy.

“The OECD is an important institution for New Zealand to share its experiences and trading ambitions with the world, and to learn from the experiences of others.

The Minister will also hold several ministerial meetings on the margins of OECD, including with Australia, Costa Rica, the European Commission, Fiji, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Japan, and the Republic of Korea.

"These discussions will progress our ambitious target of doubling exports by value over the next ten years,” Mr McClay says.

“It is only through growing our trade relationships that we support a strong New Zealand economy that can lift domestic incomes, reduce the cost of living and afford the public services Kiwis deserve.”

Mr McClay returns to New Zealand on 8 May.