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FTA negotiations to start with Gulf States

National Business Review, New Zealand

FTA negotiations to start with Gulf States

7 September 2006

The Foreign Ministers from the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states - Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman - have agreed to begin negotiations for a free trade agreement with New Zealand.

The GCC states imported a total of $720 million in exports from New Zealand over the last year, collectively putting them into a similar ballpark to markets like Germany.

According to Trade Minister Phil Goff, New Zealand’s traditional big exports like dairy and meat should stand to benefit, along with forestry, horticulture and manufacturing.

Mr Goff says emerging areas such as services, ICT, construction materials, medical equipment and education also stand to gain.