The eighth session of the UAE-New Zealand Joint Economic Committee (JEC), held in Dubai, on the sidelines of Expo 2020, has identified seven new tracks to consolidate the economic partnership between the two countries over the next two years.
The bilateral partnership includes the development of trade and mutual investment, advanced technology and innovative industries, agriculture and food security, energy and renewable energy, logistics services, tourism, and entrepreneurship and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).
The session also witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Etihad Credit Export Insurance in UAE and the New Zealand Export Credit Agency to enhance trade momentum and increase export-related investments between the two countries.
Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, underlined the depth of UAE-New Zealand relations explaining that the economic partnership has constantly evolved towards further progress and prosperity.
“The non-oil trade between the UAE and New Zealand amounted to nearly $762 million by the end of 2021, reflecting a growth of 14.2 percent compared to 2020 and a 13.4 percent increase compared to 2019. The UAE is New Zealand’s 10th largest trading partner globally, accounting for 2.5 percent of New Zealand’s foreign trade. We are also New Zealand’s number one Arab trading partner, accounting for 50 percent of its trade with the Arab world. Meanwhile, the UAE’s direct investments in New Zealand totaled $170 million by the end of March 2021 and New Zealand has investments worth more than $74 million in the UAE.”
Dr. Al Zeyoudi highlighted the wide array of flexible legislation recently launched by the UAE within the “Projects of the 50” and the “UAE Centennial 2071” goals to transition to a more sustainable and flexible economic model. These include granting 100 percent foreign ownership of companies and measures to attract talent and competencies to all strategic areas and enhancing the business environment’s attractiveness before leading companies and start-ups based on technology and innovation.
Mr. Damian O’Connor, Minister for Trade and Export Growth of New Zealand, said that “We are keen to strengthen our trade and economic relations with the UAE by forging new partnerships with the public and private sectors, in light of what was discussed during the latest JEC session held in the New Zealand Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. We will work to strengthen our cooperation with the UAE in agricultural technology, innovation, and trade facilitation.”
The two sides also agreed on encouraging the business communities of both sides to review prominent opportunities, facilities, and benefits available in both markets and explore new aspects of promoting trade and mutual investment, and enter into private joint investments in sectors of common interest.
The meeting also saw the agreement to strengthen cooperation in the areas of tourism, renewable energy, agricultural security, logistics, entrepreneurship, civil aviation, communications, maritime operations, industrial ports, and free zones, thus developing and facilitating trade and improving the efficiency of supply chains between the two countries.
Moreover, both sides underlined the importance of strengthening research and development partnerships in emerging renewable energy technologies such as battery and solar energy storage and waste conversion and promoting cooperation between companies to invest in this sector.